Is your workplace gratifying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

What is it that if changed, nudged or tweaked can make you feel empowered at your workplace? What is it that really helps drive your motivation level through the skies every day? Can we apply Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs at the workplace & enrich our professional experience? Why not.

We make actions to survive: sowing, plowing, harvesting crops or simply going to the grocery stores. Moreover, we want to feel loved and cared for at the end of the day, and most of all we want to feel good about ourselves - that is we want to feel capable and enriching at the same time. These are the most basic ways to explain our three needs - generic, basic and our higher needs.

So, in 1943 humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow devised a theory of human motivation also called as the theory of needs and popularly known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This theory includes five levels of human needs. Within these levels are needs that when gratified, leave us with a sense of fulfilment and motivate us to achieve the next level.

The Need Levels are

  • 1. Physiological needs
  • 2. Safety
  • 3. Love and Belonging
  • 4. Self Esteem
  • 5. Self Actualization

This theory can be quite effectively applied to the workplace

Physiological needs refer to our basic needs for survival like food, shelter, clothes: At the workplace this translates to having access to clean and hygienic work desk/space, access to drinking water, restroom, breaks for meals and snacks, recreational space/prayer room and a sound working environment. Remunerations, and rightly so, do come under the most basic need as well.

Safety needs refer to our physical and mental sense of safety: At the workplace this literally means to be in an environment that does not threaten you. Neither physically nor mentally. Being at a workplace that challenges you is ideal, this ensures growth, but one that overwhelms isn't. You should not have to put up with conditions that hamper your mental or physical safety.

Love and Belonging needs are rather self-explanatory! At the workplace however, these needs are quite underrated yet most vital. One can have all kinds of amenities, opportunities and still not be satisfied. We humans are social beings. We thrive when warmth, care, belongingness is felt.

Self-esteem at the workplace transmits to being able to contribute to the organization in an impactful way. Our self-esteem spikes, skyrockets even, when validated for our efforts, dedication and hard work. An employee's self-esteem affects her/his productivity and engagement at work. Offering regular words of appreciation, encouragement and constructive feedback certainly positively enhance performance. The momentum of motivation here is intrinsic, the best kind!

Self actualization at the workplace translates to maximising an individual's potential at the workplace. We yearn to feel empowered, trusted, credible and capable.

These are only brief explanations of how our needs motivate us to not only earn for a living but help create a world which is finessed, advanced and one that we desire. To know how to become effective, productive in everyday life and at the workplace keep an eye out on this space. We come up with fresh, engaging and helpful content every week.

Now, take out a pen and paper, ask yourself if your needs as laid before are being met. There is no need to hesitate. Your needs matter. They determine how efficient and productive your resultant work will be.

Being able to assess our needs is a fundamental right- to be able to ask for them to be met is also! Changing minor routines in professional life can create a healthy, engaging and effective workplace and help you create the ideal work ethic.