The hierarchy of needs in the workplace is something that managers need to pay attention to in order to make sure that employees are satisfied. It's a great way to monitor why morale may be lacking among a specific group of workers or the entire company. Maslow's model for the hierarchy of needs in the workplace is one of the most popular models for addressing the requirements of employees and even managers.
Physiological needs are the basic needs of the body. Everyone needs water, air, food, and sleep. If a worker isn't getting enough of these basic necessities then they will not be able to focus on the tasks assigned to them at work. An employee who is going home to an empty fridge each night may find it harder than most to stay motivated on the job. Providing a livable wage to workers and adequate breaks throughout the day can help in this area.
Once an employee has all of their basic needs met, then safety is another major need that must be addressed. Feeling safe on the job and at home and having a sense of short- and long-term financial security are things that every worker is concerned about. Offering retirement benefits, adequate medical coverage, and job security are ways that a manager can make employees feel safe.
Social needs stem from feelings of belonging and wanting to give and receive love. Meeting an employees social needs is not as difficult as it is often thought to be. Hosting social events and making sure that everyone feels welcome to participate and join in is one way to meet that need. Also, creating team-based projects can help employees develop close peaceful exchanges with one another.
Esteem needs are met when an employee feels valued within a company. Creating a reputation for doing great work, achieving milestones within the company and garnering the positive attention of managers and co-workers makes employees feel good about themselves. Esteem needs can be met by managers by openly recognizing workers who consistently do well on the job, as well as providing incentives to employees who improve their quality of work.
According to Maslow, only a small portion of people ever reach this level on the hierarchy of needs, self-actualization. All workers want to see truth, justice and meaning from in what they do. Managers can make this possible by giving workers endless opportunities to reach optimal performance on the job.
Christina Caldwell is a contributor for online publications such as Women's eNews and Little Pink Book. Her work has also been featured in the popular U.K. magazine "Black Heritage Today." Caldwell holds a bachelor's degree in marketing and communications.