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Being a leader is not achievable without having followers (I’m not taking about social media followers only 🙂 . For people to get submerged into your agenda, you have to understand how to be a source of motivation to people. Motivation is what makes employees serve your cause in a given and expected manner. So, how is this achievable? To be a good leader and an icon for your followers or employees, understanding their reasons for performing an action is the key.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is one of the main theories relating to motivation. Everyone has needs, something we want to put to use at certain points in time. Hence, satisfying those needs becomes our priority.
Maslow’s theory is a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.
The Hierarchy of Needs
The Hierarchy of Needs states the following:
- Physiological Needs (fundamental problems relating to survival like salary and fixed employment).
- Security Needs (fixed physical and emotional environment problems like boons, pension, safe work environment, and fair work practices).
- “Belongingness” Needs (social approval problems like friendship or cooperation on the job).
- Esteem Needs (positive self-image and respect and recognition problems like job titles, pleasant workspaces, and prestigious job assignments).
- Self-Actualization Needs (achievement problems such as autonomy, challenging work, and subject matter expert status on the job).
Good Leaders Understand People Are Different.
Everyone who has mounted the mantle of leadership must possess this level of comprehension to inspire their staff. To showcase a good leader’s characteristics, you are required to understand that people are more ardent about their works than others. Some see their job as a means to earn a living without any passion for having tender relations with people or getting promotions. Some work to meet new faces and have a sense of achievement. Others work to acquire experience to win promotions. For others, it may be a combination of those above. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a Plus in the Leadership Equation. Read my blog post Advantages of Female Leadership and Obstacles you will Experience to have a more depth understanding of how to apply EQ in your personal and professional life.
How to apply Maslow’s Theory in your Business or Workplace
Lower Level Needs
The physiological needs are usually the topmost priority of an individual at the inception of their career. Needs which include sufficient earnings and consistent income and guarantees such as fore-deals and a secure work environment. Undoubtedly, everyone desires the good pay to cater to family demands and comfortability and work in a safe, unruffled, and conducive environment.
The priority of an employee is his survival. Trying to motivate a hungry man is near to impossible, except you offer him food on his table, then the motivation can follow suit. Managers are extra obliged to show compassion and concern when making critical decisions like staff layoffs. Other employees left in the organization will be perplexed about the organization’s competence to continually meet their physiological and safety demands when heartless implementation of difficult decisions are made.
As soon as an employee’s fundamental demands are met, the employee will want his social demands to be met. The employee personality (introvert or extrovert) will determine the degree of social interaction an employee demands. The baseline is that employees prefer to work in a place where they feel accepted or welcomed and have a certain degree of rapport with the others. In this case, effective interpersonal relations are essential. One way to foster interpersonal relationships is to create a workplace where staff association for mutual benefit doesn’t go unrewarded by the Manager.
The latest managerial developments in the organization about operational affairs are yet another way to meet employees’ social demands. Employees shouldn’t be left unaware of ongoing operational matters; they should be briefed on the trend of things to feel like outsiders.
Pay, benefits, and job security are very important, but if you want to motivate your team you’ll still need to do more.
Higher Level Needs
Human wants are insatiable; having fulfilled employees’ basic needs, an employee will yearn for higher-level self-actualization and esteem needs. Esteem needs are attributed to an employee’s perception of himself and his passion for others’ reverence. As time goes by, employees get bored with repeating the same set of duties; therefore, they tend to seek greener pastures by undertaking new tasks, expanding their obligations, or accomplishing a unique task as not everyone fancy moving to management.
Adding value to jobs, undertaking special tasks and cross-training are common means for making work more gratifying. Furthermore, permitting employees to partake in decision-making on operational affairs is vital for meeting an employee’s esteem demands. Ultimately, emblems of success such as significant job titles, business cards, awards of excellence, befitting office, et al. are also weighty to an employee’s esteem.
Managers should ensure they satisfactorily reward the accomplishments of their employees. For work rewards to exhibit tremendous significance, rewards must be balanced to have a max effect; they must be from both the organization and the work itself. Ultimately, while work assignments and rewards are significant considerations to making certain worker esteem needs are met, workplace equity is also important.
With self-actualization, the worker will be fascinated by personal growth. He will also be required to exhibit professionalism in what he does. He may yearn for a more demanding job, a chance to finalize further education, little or no supervision and autonomy, the capacity to make decisions about his actions without interference. At this elevated position, managers concentrate on establishing an environment where an employee can meet their self-actualization needs.
Finally, never forget that Maslow’s Theory is always working behind the scene. It doesn’t immediately become apparent once you satisfy an employee’s or yourself demands. Our needs are transformed with time! To encourage motivation, you need to become an influential leader and incessantly adapt to the ever re-modifying demands.
Until the next time. Be Quality. Be Agile.
Embrace Your Uniqueness.