Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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Abraham Maslow proposed a theory called “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs”. This theory explains that every person has a hierarchy of 5 needs, which are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs as shown in the figure above.

At the bottom of the hierarchy are the physiological needs. Physiological needs are a person’s basic needs for food, drink, sex, air and other physical requirements. An organizational example of physiological needs is a comfortable working environment. This need can be satisfied by providing employees with restrooms and adequate lighting at the workplace.

Next are safety needs. Safety needs are a person’s needs for security and protection from physical and emotional harm. Organizational examples of safety needs are job continuity and retirement benefit packages, which can satisfy an employee’s safety needs by freeing them from worries about job security or financial security.

Social needs, on the other hand, are a person’s needs for belongingness, affection and acceptance. Organizational examples of social needs such as friendships on the job and acceptance by colleagues can be satisfied by allowing social interaction at work and by making employees feel like part of an organizational team.

Moving upwards, are esteem needs. Esteem needs are a person’s needs for internal esteem factors such as self-respect and self-image, and external esteem factors such as the need for recognition from others. Organizational examples of esteem needs are job titles and other similar rewards. An employee’s esteem needs can be satisfied by providing them rewards based on their job performance to give them a sense of accomplishment.

At the top of the hierarchy are self-actualization needs. Self-actualization needs are a person’s needs for continual growth and achieving one’s potential. It is a person’s drive to become what he/she is capable of becoming. An organizational example of self-actualization...
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