Abraham Maslow defined need as a physiological or psychological deficiency that a person feels the compulsion to satisfy. This need can create tensions that can influence a person's work attitudes and behaviors. Maslow formed a theory based on his definition of need that proposes that humans are motivated by multiple needs and that these needs exist in a hierarchical order. His premise is that only an unsatisfied need can influence behavior; a satisfied need is not a motivator.
Maslow's theory is based on the following two principles:
• Deficit principle: A satisfied need no longer motivates behavior because people act to satisfy deprived needs.
• Progression principle: The five needs he identified exist in a hierarchy, which means that a need at any level only comes into play after a lower-level need has been satisfied.
In his theory, Maslow identified five levels of human needs. Table illustrates these five levels and provides suggestions for satisfying each need.
Self-actualization needs Creative and challenging work
Participation in decision making
Job flexibility and autonomy
Esteem needs Responsibility of an important job
Promotion to higher status job
Praise and recognition from boss
Lower Level Needs To Satisfy, Offer:
Social needs Friendly coworkers
Interaction with customers
Safety needs Safe working conditions
Base compensation and benefits
Physiological needs Rest and refreshment breaks
Physical comfort on the job
Reasonable work hours
Although research has not verified the strict deficit and progression principles of Maslow's theory, his ideas can help managers understand and satisfy the needs of employees