Abraham Maslow was an academic working in the field of Psychology and became well known for his work on the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1943. This theory still remains valid today for understanding and utilizing human motivation in various contexts.

Maslow’s pyramid of hierarchical needs consisted of 5 levels:

Levels 1 to 4 are deficiency motivators; level 5, a growth motivator (and rare to find). Preventing someone to accomplish those needs usually causes detrimental stress. Most of employees in organizations should at least reach level 2.

Further on, Maslow realized that the self only finds its actualization in giving itself a higher goal outside oneself (altruism) — this led to the revisions of his initial model, resulting in the following 8-stage hierarchy:

At the 8th level, self-transcendence consists in going beyond oneself and helping others to achieve self-actualization. 

How does this translate in practical terms for an organization? 

You can’t motivate someone to achieve their targets (level 4) when they’re having problems with their relationships (level 3): Team building events or Incentive travels can help in addressing those issues.

You can’t expect someone to work as a team member (level 3) when they’re having their health challenged (level 2) health and good living initiatives at work can help address this.

As you can see, solutions are simple; it just takes some motivation to make the first step! 

Let’s give it a try?

How motivated are you at work?

And, at which level of Maslow’s pyramid are you?