Discovering People

 How Can I help in Motivating my Staff?


Maslowās Hierarchy of Needs Theory


Probably the most well known theory of motivation is Maslowās Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow's Hierarchy suggests the following.

  • Physiological ö our need for food, shelter, air
  • Security & safety ö so that we might feel protected from danger & harm
  • Social ö need to be loved and part of a group, respect from others
  • Ego ö where self-esteem, recognition, prestige & status plays importance
  • Self Actualisation ö what one is capable of becoming, achieving potential and self fulfilment with whatever weāve got


What can you gain from Maslowās Theory to produce a more satisfying work environment for your staff?


You can learn how to improve a workerās performance by linking job behaviours with the satisfaction of that workerās individual needs. People are motivated to do a job well when it helps them meet one or more of their personal needs. Know what drives your people.

Here are some suggestions on how to meet these personal needs.

1. How to meet Physiological needs at work:
  • Create a comfortable and pleasant working environment for employees. Employees should feel comfortable to bring their own personalities to work and not park them outside the front door.
  • Pay competitive salaries so that your employees can comfortably provide for themselves and their families.
  • Provide opportunities to offer incentives, paid overtime and bonuses.
2. How to meet Security and Safety needs at work:
  • Provide a safe working environment, where other team members display concern for the safety and protection of others.
  • Job security and communicate information regularly.
3. How to meet Social needs at work:
  • Give employees opportunities to work in-groups.
  • Encourage people to work as a team and encourage employees to recognise the importance and contribution of their work to the rest of the team and the company.
  • Be consistent and fair with everyone.
  • Show your concern for team members and encourage them to do likewise.
4. How to meet ego-status needs at work:
  • Give positive feedback and recognition both publicly and privately.
  • Provide rewards based upon performance.
  • Give opportunities to provide opinions.
  • Let people excel and move into areas of increased responsibility allowing them to demonstrate their talents and skills and give autonomy.
  • Always say "Thank you".
5. How to meet Self-Actualisation needs at work:
  • Give freedom to be creative and make suggestions.
  • By treating mistakes as learning experiences.
  • Support personal and professional growth through ongoing learning and training.

You canāt help every employee meet every need, of course. Thatās impossible and there are dangers in expecting our work to constitute our entire life. When considering these needs ask your staff for suggestions and comments on how to achieve a better working environment for them.

Prepared by Corrine McDonald B.Sc ö Consultant, Temporary Division