Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Motivate Others


Using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to Motivate Others

It is always critical to recognize what motivates the actions as well as, behaviors in people, since part of the structure for effective motivation entails a person’s mind-set. Abraham Maslow posited that needs are categorized in sequentially from the lowest to highest, and as every need is satisfied, the needs in the subsequent level begin to establish the person’s behavior and as a result, the actions. This means that, in the event that the need at the lowest level is satisfied the individual is motivated to progress onto the subsequent level of need up to the time that the new level is also satisfied. This extensively recognized hypothesis is referred to as the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. The 5 fundamental needs in the hierarchy model include; safety needs physiological needs, belonging/love needs, esteem needs, as well as self-actualization needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model is usually depicted in a hierarchical pyramid that has 5 levels. The 4 needs at the lower-order are considered as being physiological needs, whereas the needs at the top level are considered as being growth needs (Maslow, 1970). According to the theory, the needs at the lower level requireto be met before the needs at the higher-order may influence behavior. These levels are as shown in the pyramid, in Figure 1 below;
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Source (Greenberg, 2008).
Physiological needs entail the desire for includes air, water, food, sleep, sex, and shelter. These are usually the most fundamental needs that need to be met first. An individual will not progress on to the subsequent level up the pyramid until these fundamental needs and desires are met (Maslow, 1970).
The next level entails of the desire for stability, safety, as well as the absence of discomfort.  Individuals at this level value their jobs principally as a way to circumvent the loss of their basic needs. Subsequent to the satisfaction of the initial two levels, the individual will shifts their focal point to the third level. This is the need for belonging and love, whereby, the desire of the individual revolves around developing acquaintances, finding love, as well as a sense of belonging to a group. Individuals motivated by association are focused on creating as well as maintaining new relations with other individuals (Lindner, 2003).
The forth level of needs entails the desire for self-worth, achievement, as well as recognition. At this level, many workers fail in search of needs accomplishment. At this point, leaders and managers can have a great impact in assisting employees accomplish their needs relating to esteem (Myers, 2005).
The fifth and final level focuses on an individual accomplishing their full potential.  The majority of people do not attain this level until some time late in their life, although some individuals never attain this level. Managers may assist in an employee’s desire to acquire this level through involving an employee in designing jobs, generating unique assignments for the worker, and giving the employee the independence to plan, execute, and make the necessary decisions concerning their job (Antomioni, 2009).
The three levels at the lowest end in this model are known as deficiency needs. They are necessary in order to assist in appropriate development both mentally and physically. The needs at the highest levels in the model are considered as growth needs that facilitate the individual grow as well as develop into a successful human being. Several scholars believe that Maslow’s theory has some practical implication as well as application in the following manner.
Physiological needs may be considered in judgment that concern lighting, space, as well as overall working environment; safety in regard to vocational practice; love in relation to forming organized groups at the workplace; esteem through recognition and responsibility, and lastly, self-actualization in regard to opportunities for challenging and creative tasks and jobs (Vroom, 2004).


Antomioni, F. (2009). What Motivates The Middle Managers? Journal of Industrial  Management, 41(5), 27.
Greenberg, J. (2008). Behavior in Organizations. London: Routledge.
Lindner, J. (2003). Understanding Employee’s Motivation. Applied Psychology Journal, 7(3) 8.
Maslow, A. (1970). Personality & Motivation. New York: Harper Row.
Myers, M. (2005).  Motivation & Job Satisfaction. Management Decisions Journal, 29 (4) 26.
Vroom, S. (2004). Motivation; Work. New York: Wiley.

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