Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre Blog

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Posted by Administrator
Administrator has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, 22 September 2014 in Skills Centre Blog

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943. According to Maslow our actions are motivated in order to achieve certain needs. He suggested that humans move through five levels of needs. The bottom needs physiological and the top level self-actualization. The bottom need first needs to be satisfied before one can move on to the next need. So in other words one needs to satisfy the most basic needs before you can move onto the next.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is portrayed in a pyramid form where the largest, most fundamental needs are at the bottom of the pyramid. The most fundamental four layers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are called the “deficiency needs”; these layers are from the bottom up, physical needs, security, social needs and esteem. The most basic needs are at the bottom and the most complex needs are at the top of the pyramid which is self-actualization. The highest level of the pyramid is known as “Growth needs”. Growth needs are the desire to grow as a person. According Maslow one needs to first fulfill the basic need before one will focus motivation upon the secondary or higher level of needs. Because the human mind is so complex and mysteries it can satisfy different needs at different levels, at the same time.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is as follow:

1. Physiological Needs:

Physiological needs are the most basic need that needs to be satisfied. If the physiological needs are not satisfied then one’s body will start to weaken and then fail. Physiological needs are as follow:

I. Food

II. Water

III. Air

IV. Clothing

V. Shelter

VI. Sleep

These needs are vital for survival and once these needs are satisfied the human can move on to the next need.

2. Safety Needs:

We all have the need to feel a sense of comfort, safety and security. Safety and security needs will include:

i. Personal security

ii. Financial security

iii. Health and well being

iv. Steady employment

v. Shelter from the environment

Once this need is relatively satisfied one can move onto the next need in the hierarchy.

3. Social needs:

The third level of Maslow’s hierarchy is interpersonal and involves the feeling of belongingness. Social needs include:

a) Friendship

b) Intimacy

c) Family

All humans feel a sense to belong to a group, to be involved with someone, to have human contact, to be part of a social group. Social group consist of sports team, religious groups, clubs and co-workers. Social connections will involve family member, intimate partner, mentors and confidants. Humans need to love and be loved.

4. Esteem needs:

Esteem is a human desire to be accepted and valued by others. This will involve one’s self-esteem and self-respect. By engaging in a profession or a hobby a person can gain recognition. A person with low self-esteem often needs respect from others by seeking fame or glory.


Most people have a need for stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs: a "lower" version and a "higher" version. The "lower" version of esteem is the need for respect from others. This may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The "higher" version manifests itself as the need for self-respect. For example, the person may have a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom. This "higher" version takes precedence over the "lower" version because it relies on an inner competence established through experience. Deprivation of these needs may lead to an inferiority complex, weakness, and helplessness. (Source Wikipedia)


5. Self-actualization:

This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This level of needs is concerned with personal growth and interest in fulfilling their potential. This is the desire to accomplish everything that one can.


These five levels of needs are all part of the motivation process. One needs to be motivated before you can accomplish something. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can also be explained in the context of employees. Rewards, bonuses and holidays can be seen as a form of motivation. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the organization:

1. Physiological Needs (basic issues of survival such as salary and stable employment)

2. Security Needs (stable physical and emotional environment issues such as benefits, pension, safe work environment, and fair work practices)

3. “Belongingness” Needs (social acceptance issues such as friendship or cooperation on the job)

4. Esteem Needs (positive self-image and respect and recognition issues such as job titles, nice work spaces, and prestigious job assignments.)

5. Self-Actualization Needs (achievement issues such as workplace autonomy, challenging work, and subject matter expert status on the job)


Administrator has not set their biography yet


Please login first in order for you to submit comments