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How would you apply Abraham Maslow Theory in Developing Human Resource Programs?

Hierarchy Theory of Needs

What Is Hierarchy Theory of Needs

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, all of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy." Maslow studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population.

Hierarchy Theory of Needs in Human Resources Management

Self-Actualization Self-Esteem Belongingness

challenge, new experiences, etc

competition, achievement, recognition team sport, team work, club 'family' and relationships between

employee and employer


order and structure needs met for example by some heavily organized,

structural activity , Security


health, fitness, energizing mind and body, etc.

1. Self Actualisation (a) in Maslow Theory

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According to Kurt Goldstein's book The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man, self-actualization is "the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, individual capacities" in the world. The tendency to self-actualization is "the only drive by which the life of an organism is determined." Goldstein defined selfactualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one's abilities and determine the path of one's life; compare will to power. The term was later used by Abraham Maslow in his article, A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow explicitly defines self-actualization to be "the desire for selffulfillment, namely the tendency for the individual to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." Maslow used the term selfactualization to describe a desire, not a driving force that could lead to realizing one's capabilities. Maslow did not feel that self-actualization determined one's life; rather, he felt that it gave the individual a desire, or motivation to achieve budding ambitions. Maslow's usage of the term is now popular in modern psychology when discussing personality from the humanistic approach. A basic definition from a typical college text book defines self-actualization according to Maslow simply as "the full realization of one's potential" without any mention of Goldstein. A more explicit definition of self-actualization according to Maslow is "intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately of what is the organism itself. Self-actualization is growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated." This explanation emphasizes the fact that self-actualization cannot normally be reached
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until other lower order necessities of Maslow's hierarchy of needs are satisfied. While Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving force, Maslow uses the term to describe personal growth that takes place once lower order needs have been met. Self-Actualised person according to Maslow "He possesses an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake, and the dishonest in personality and in general to judge the people correctly and efficiently" Common traits amongst people who have reached self-actualization are:

They embrace reality and facts rather than denying truth. They are spontaneous. They are interested in solving problems. They are accepting of themselves and others and lack prejudice.

Self Actualisation (b) in Human Resource Programs

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Maslow's work and ideas extend far beyond the Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow's concept of self-actualization relates directly to the present day challenges and opportunities for employers and organizations - to provide real meaning, purpose and true personal development for their employees. For life - not just for work. Maslow saw these issues fifty years ago: the fact that employees have a basic human need and a right to strive for selfactualization, just as much as the corporate directors and owners do. Increasingly, the successful organizations and employers will be those who genuinely care about, understand, encourage and enable their people's personal growth towards self-actualization - way beyond traditional work-related training and development, and of course way beyond old-style X-Theory management autocracy, which still forms the basis of much organized employment today. The best modern employers and organizations are beginning to learn at last: that sustainable success is built on a serious and compassionate commitment to helping people identify, pursue and reach their own personal unique potential. When people grow as people, they automatically become more effective and valuable as employees. In fact virtually all personal growth, whether in a hobby, a special talent or interest, or a new experience, produces new skills, attributes, behaviors and wisdom that is directly transferable to any sort of job role. The best modern employers recognize this and as such offer development support to their staff in any direction whatsoever that the person seeks to grow and become more fulfilled.
2. Self Esteem (a) in Maslow Theory

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All humans have a need to be respected and to have self-esteem and self-respect. Also known as the belonging need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be accepted and valued by others. People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others. Note, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels. Most people have a need for a stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The higher one is the need for self-respect, the need for strength, competence, mastery, selfconfidence, independence and freedom. The latter one ranks higher because it rests more on inner competence won through experience. Deprivation of these needs can lead to an inferiority complex, weakness and helplessness.

Self Esteem (b) in Human Resource Programs

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The business world is in a constant state of change. Organizations are constantly upgrading, downgrading or deleting work positions. Supervisors and workers cannot afford to remain stagnant. There must be constant training and retraining to remain a vital asset to the company. The company must have a strategy to make workers into productive work. With the training arranged by the company, employees can improve their work. Employees should be competitive in a healthy way to succeed. Awards should be given to employees who show improvement and the contributions made in the company. Symbolic recognition in many cases has been replaced with lifestyle choice only programs creating a disconnect with the recipient by not capturing the true essence of the desired outcome. Todays trends show that a comprehensive recognition program includes a cross-section of incentives, rewards, awards and recognition. Recognition in all forms is positive for a companys culture and growth. Every recognition program promotes self-esteem and value, which is a common aspiration-to be acknowledged for a job well done. Symbolic recognition serves as a constant reminder of the individual accomplishment. In many cases that individual accomplishment will motivate others, creating a ripple effect throughout the organizations culture. Companies can utilize symbolic awards to help brand their recognition strategy by providing daily visible and tangible reinforcement that their company acknowledges the efforts of it most valuable asset; its people. To appreciate the workers who contribute to the company, the employer may give gifts to their employees how to organize an excellent program, providing a family vacation, bonus and others in the improvement of their work.
3. Social-Belonging (a) in Maslow Theory

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After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs are social and involve feelings of belongingness. This aspect of Maslow's hierarchy involves emotionally based relationships in general, such as:

Friendship Intimacy Family

Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example, may ignore the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of control and belonging

Social-Belonging (b) in Human Resources Programs

To establish a good working culture in an organization, the company should teach or inform employees about the importance of cooperation within the group. Provide programs that can unite workers and employers as well as family days, annual
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dinner, and so forth. Team work is very important in the organization to improve collaboration among workers, and if it is effective communication among employees can help improve profitability. Fostering teamwork is creating a work culture that values collaboration. In a teamwork environment, people understand and believe that thinking, planning, decisions and actions are better when done cooperatively. People recognize, and even assimilate, the belief that none of us is as good as all of us. Its hard to find work places that exemplify teamwork. Workers are rarely raised in environments that emphasize true teamwork and collaboration. Organizations are working on valuing diverse people, ideas, backgrounds, and experiences. We have miles to go before valuing teams and teamwork will be the norm. However, company can create a teamwork culture by doing just a few things right. Admittedly, theyre the hard things, but with commitment and appreciation for the value, you can create an overall sense of teamwork in your organization. To make teamwork happen, these powerful actions must occur :

Executive leaders communicate the clear expectation that teamwork and collaboration are expected. No one completely owns a work area or process all by himself. People who own work processes and positions are open and receptive to ideas and input from others on the team.

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Executives model teamwork in their interaction with each other and the rest of the organization. They maintain teamwork even when things are going wrong and the temptation is to slip back into former team unfriendly behavior.

The organization members talk about and identify the value of a teamwork culture. If values are formally written and shared, teamwork is one of the key five or six.

Teamwork is rewarded and recognized. The lone ranger, even if she is an excellent producer, is valued less than the person who achieves results with others in teamwork. Compensation, bonuses, and rewards depend on collaborative practices as much as individual contribution and achievement.

4. Safety (a) in Maslow Theory

With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual's safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. These needs have to do with people's yearning for a
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predictable orderly world in which perceived unfairness and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, this safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, reasonable disability accommodations, and the like. Safety and Security needs include:

Personal security Financial security Health and well-being Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts

Safety (b) in Human Resource Programs Management and employees need to understand safety fundamentals in order to ensure a safe workplace. An effective safety, health and environmental management system, coupled with sound leadership can pay rich dividends in the form of reduction
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in accident rate. The close co-operation between the employer and employee will play a fruitful role in any safety endeavor. Both management and employees must be knowledgeable in the techniques of safety, health and environmental management so that they can contribute efficiently towards a safe and healthy workplace. A safe and healthier work environment is one of the minimum requirements which is both legally and ethically desirable. However, this will not happen by chance but concerted effort should be made on the part of everyone in the company to work towards this end. A safer and healthier work place is not only desirable but it also minimizes cost and improves productivity. By making the work environment safe, the job and the people safe, an organization can achieve its ethical, legal and financial goals. The programs organized by OSH (Occupational Safety and Health Network) , NIOSH (National Institute Of Occupational Safety and Health ) is good to organization. This training programmed is designed to provide a professional and comprehensive exposure in all aspects of occupational and industrial safety and health management, especially for all those who supervise and manage an enterprises operations. Importance has been given to practicality in this management programmed, designed to enhance industrial safety and health in the working area, while reducing the incidence of occupational related losses, risks, hazards, deaths and other human suffering.


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5. Physiological (a) in Maslow Theory

For the most part, physiological needs are obvious they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function. Physiological needs include:

Breathing Nutrition Homeostasis


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Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements. The intensity of the human sexual instinct is shaped more by sexual competition than maintaining a birth rate adequate to survival of the species.

Physiological (b) in Human Resource Programs

Among the promise and potential of health promotion initiatives based at the worksite, some restrictions apply. Employee rights are imperative and any workplace health program initiative must have their interests first and foremost. This includes reassuring and taking steps to guarantee that employee confidentiality is respected and protected. The majority of people have these needs met, and simply do not think about them constantly. Within the organizational framework, there are several examples of basic needs: rest periods, work breaks, lunch breaks, and wages.


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Hygiene factors basic human needs at work do not motivate but failure to meet them causes dissatisfaction. These factors can be as seemingly trivial as parking space or as vital as sufficient holiday time, but the most important hygiene factor is finance. A manager should try to fulfill staff members financial needs. People require certain pay levels to meet their needs, and slow income progression and ineffective incentives quickly demotivated. Fear about lack of security in a job also greatly demotivates staff.


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