Maslow’s hierarchy of needs dates back to 1943 when Abraham Maslow identified five sets of needs that we need as individuals to function and then to flourish.
It’s mapped out in a pyramid structure with each level needing to be fulfilled before moving onto the next. For example; the base level belongs to basic physical needs like shelter, food and warmth. I’ve found a useful illustration that applies Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to employee engagement.
Level 1: Survival (Physiological)
These are the basic physiological needs required for “survival” – if they are not met then the human body cannot function and fail. That’s why they are deemed the most important and should be met first.
Level 2: Safety (Security)
The next level relates to the safety and personal well being. Everybody needs to have a certain level of security and safety in the workplace. This comes in the form of job security, safe environment to work and working for a well run and managed company that will be able to offer long term employment.
The first two levels of the hierarchy is essential in motivating staff. If they are not met in any way they will act as DE-MOTIVATING factors and lead to very poor engagement of employees. The usual traits in this case be employees who clock-watch, will leave the company when they can or the “im here just for the money” attitude.
Level 3: Belonging
Once the first two basic levels are met the next element relates to “Belonging” and hacing the sense of community in the workplace. This can come in two forms; firstly it could be the social aspect of the company and having close friendly relationships with your colleagues. Secondly, it could come in the form of really identifying with the common goal of the company and having the sense of belonging to the cause.
Level 4: Esteem and Importance
Nearing the top of the pyramid is the Esteem. All humans and employees have the need to fill respected – once a person satisfies the sense of belonging they will be looking to feel respected and important in the workplace. This is a real motivating factor and will lead to the step of the hierarchy of needs
Level 5: Self-Actualisation
Scaling the top of the pyramid is the Self-Actualisation factor. Maslow identified this level as a desire to accomplish everything that one can. Then the employee will look towards how I can help others achieve their goals too? However, to really fulfil this need the individual needs to have “mastered” the previous four levels of the pyramid.
Understanding of the above hierarchy will help students pass their CIMA exams in the enterprise pillar of the CIMA syllabus.
If you have any additional reading then feel free to leave a link in the comments section below.