• .Effective motivation requires the employee to have an unsatisfied need and be able to identify a goal and determine the action to achieve the need. Feedback helps to monitor progress

Maslow’shierarchy of needs



  • Maslow said that all workers have needs


  • These needs can be arranged in a progressive level


  • Once a need is satisfied it is no longer dominant


  • A manager attempts to satisfy these needs.


Maslow put forward a theory on motivation based on 5 levels of basic human needs that must be satisfied in sequence, starting from the lowest and working up to the highest. As one need is satisfied then the need immediately above it on the pyramid becomes the dominant motivator. The needs in ascending order are as follows:


  1. The need for Food /Shelter (Physical Needs)


  1. The need for Security and predictability. (Safety/security Needs)


  1. The need for love and friendship. (Social Needs/Acceptance)


  1. The need for status, respect & appreciation by others. (Esteem needs)


  1. The need to realise one’s full potential. (Self­Actualisation needs)


How can a manager satisfy each need?


A business can meet Maslow’s five needs in the following way:

Physiologial needs

The firm should pay over and above the legal minimum wage to ensure that the worker can afford to pay for basic food and shelter for their dependents.

Safety needs

A firm should ensure that the worker feels safe from the fear of redundancy. The firm could offer a guarantee of employment to the staff e.g. a letter of guarantee.

Social needs

The firm should provide time for social interaction both in the workplace and outside working hours e.g. rotating seating arrangements in the work canteen and free meals after work on a Friday.


Esteem needs


Management should recognise the employees efforts and praise them when necessary. The firm could promote staff as a reward for their efforts and offer them visible rewards e.g. a bigger office. They should also be included during the decision making process.


Self ­actualisation


Management should recognise that workers are the best at what they do and have reached the pinnacle of their career. These employees should be encouraged to train and develop new staff and be rewarded for doing so.



This answer is deliberately very long

You are often asked to apply the theory to a business