Maslow’s famous Hierarchy of Needs suggests that people are motivated by a variety of needs and that these needs exist in a hierarchical order. In his book, The Leadership Experience, Richard Daft observes an interesting connection between Maslow’s hierarchy and work environments. Consider the application Maslow’s five levels have on you, fellow employees, and the people on your team:
1. Physiological Needs – Food, water, and oxygen are essential to survival. In a work environment these needs translate to heat, air, and a base salary.
2. Safety Needs – People need to feel secure both physically and emotionally. Do you have a safe work environment, fringe benefits, and job security?
3. Belongingness Needs – People desire love, friendship, and acceptance. Does your work environment foster positive relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and the opportunity to work with a team?
4. Esteem Needs – People want to know they are appreciated and desire recognition for their efforts. Does your work meet the esteem needs of employees by recognizing performance and giving credit for contributions to the organization?
5. Self-Actualization Needs – People need the opportunity to grow, develop their potential, and become better. Does your work provide a culture of growth and the opportunities for autonomy, creativity, growth, and advancement?
Questions: Which of your needs are being met in your organization? How are you meeting these needs with your employees, team members, or volunteers?