Motivation & Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Motivation acts like a driving force to achieve objective. The word motivation sounds quite positive and exiting to me. Because it is something which is a driving force to do something in your life. I get motivated by many things in my life but most motivating factor to me is food. Lol…

Your needs and desires are the major factors that motivate you to do something. Your needs may include basic needs (food clothing, shelter etc), education, health, safety, a part from your boss, an admiration from parents, fellows and family, self esteem, self actualization etc.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who gave a Need Hierarchy Theory. He actually explained the psychology of human beings regarding their needs at different levels or stages of their life. Motivation arises from unsatisfied needs. He has explained the needs which motivate human beings at different levels of their life.

Physiological Needs:

This hierarchy best explains the needs of human beings. As all of us know that food, clothing, shelter, sex and now education as well, comes under the head of basic needs (physiological needs) of us. These needs are must for sustainability of life. If we are getting these as fulfilled in our life, then we can go further but if we are deprived of these basic needs then only these are count as needs and rest of the things in life are considered as desires. So at the very basic level of the hierarchy, Maslow kept the basic physiological needs.

Safety Needs:

Once when your physiological needs are fulfilled, you can look for other things. These things may be security of your family, your own life, your job, health of you and your family etc. so Maslow put these need at the second level.

Social Needs:

Once your safety needs are met, your social needs arises. This may include need for belongingness, friends, love etc. because you need to share, you need to care and be taken care of, you need to give affection and get as well.

Esteem Needs:

When above three needs are satisfied gradually, then you need to feel important. You want to get the value you think you have. You want your self respect, esteem, recognition, appreciation and reputation. Some of these esteem needs are internal or some external. For instance when want to achieve a high level of Self-respect its internal esteem, but when you want recognition and appreciation its external esteem.

Self-actualization Needs:

Once you are getting all what you need, the four levels or needss are being fulfilled in your life, another need arises that is usually not satisfied. This is self-actualization need. It’s the struggle to reaching ones full potential and to achieve at highest level. Only a small number of people reaches this level.


If you are a manager then you can apply this theory and can motivate you team or employees to achieve organizational goals. For physiological needs, you can give them appropriate wages or salaries sufficient to get essentials of life, lunch breaks, rest breaks etc. In safety needs, you can provide then safe working environment, retirements benefits and job security. For social need, create a happy and healty community, friendly environment and have personal chit chat with workers. For esteem needs, give rewards and appreciation and offer job titles so they may feels importance about what job they are holding. For need of actualization, provide workers challenging tasks to reach their career goals.


Orthomentor said...

Nice to see your article on Maslow. You might also be interested in his Theory Z, which is at You will find some answers in his later works.


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