Increase Employee Motivation Through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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Human resource management pursue many tactics to help motivate employees on many levels. There are many “tried and true” approaches taken to motivating individuals. Still others look other sources for motivational sources. Henry Ford said: “Whatever you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right!” Abraham Lincoln said, “When you look for the bad in human kind expecting to find it you surely will.” People live up to the expectations they and others have of them, so employers should expect the best. Rewarding desired behavior and desired outcomes with rewards that enhance performance and motivate the employee further. Tailoring the reward to the work done is the most motivating factor it shows that there is thought behind the reward. Focusing on the employee’s strengths, and promoting high performance shows that employers know their employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Employers understand how to capitalize on the ways those employees learn as an alternative method of encouraging and motivating them (Buchbinder and Shanks). Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who focused his studies on human potential. Maslow studies and experiences in improving mental health by seeking personal growth had a lasting influence on psychology. Maslow is best known for his theory of Hierarchy of Needs. The Hierarchy of Needs states that there are five levels of basic needs for all human being. The five levels include physiological, safety, social dynamics, esteem and self-actualization. (Cherry)

Human resource managers can use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to motivate their employees in several ways. Physiological needs are associated with the physical well-being of an individual such as the need for food, shelter medical care, insurance disability assistance and most importantly an income . Managers can offer employees training, and education that can help employees improve in their jobs. As employees excel in their skills they will be able to obtain higher pay. With the higher pay they will be able satisfy their basic physiological needs. These are motivators to all employees. When employees know that they have financial stability and stable employment their physiological needs are met and therefore this is a motivating force for them. As employee’s meet their physiological needs, they continue on to the next phase in Maslow’s hierarchy, identifying the needs of safety.

Human resource managers need to look at safety in several different ways when they are motivating employees. Safety to an employee can apply to providing an ergonomic workstation, to safer work equipment. It may also be important to provide a different style of safety manual and safety classes for some of the equipment used on the job (Stepien). Some safety though may not be related to the work force it may be related to the home front. Understanding that employees may have safety concerns at home that need to be addressed, and employees cannot proceed to the next level of social belonging without feeling safe. In order for employees to be motivated they need to feel secure and sure in their work. Managers can facilitate this type of security by offering encouraging appraisals of the employees work when due and provide necessary support through the proper channels whether through phone numbers to support or online support centers (Stepien). As employees feel secure in their employment they will be able to move on to the next level which includes the need to feel accepted.

Everyone has the desire to belong to a group whether it is a club, work groups, team or even a gang. The goal in belonging to any group is to be accepted by others and to feel needed (Stepien). Even though employers do not pay their workers to socialize many social needs can still be met at through working in teams and participating in group activities (Banks 20). Strong team connections encourage solid employee motivation (Banks 20). Often by taking the lead and becoming...
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