This is number four in a series of six articles where we explore leadership in a changed world.
In this article we explore:
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
- Why do people work?
- Positive and negative motivators
- Using motivational analysis to create a high-performance environment
The more motivated and engaged your workforce is, the greater your organisation’s potential for success. Motivators can differ widely depending on the individual and so assessing for motivation allows you to understand what really drives your team to excel.
Understanding and assessing motivation helps you to;
- Understand the link between individual motivation and employee engagement.
- Identify and manage an individual’s strongest motivators and demotivators.
- Improve employee motivation and engagement.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
A well-known theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1954 paper, “Motivation and Personality”1 explored human motivations, i.e. what motivates us, or what makes us tick. Maslow aligned our human motivations against a 5-point hierarchy.
The scale starts with our need to satisfy our basic human survival requirements including thirst and hunger, ending in the highest level of motivation which is to fulfil our full potential.
Maslow’s theory works on the concept that you must more or less fulfil one stage before you can move on to another. For example, you can’t achieve security, stability and protection if you have not yet satisfied your basic needs of hunger and thirst. Or, you can never reach your full potential if you don’t first have self-respect and self-confidence.
Outside events and influences can mean that where we place ourselves on the hierarchy can shift, especially when we think of the COVID pandemic - people’s attention shifted back to fulfilling their psychological and safety needs over and above self-actualisation.
Additional to Maslow’s theory, Peter Saville and Roger Holdsworth, (co-founders of Saville & Holdsworth Ltd) identified 18 motivational factors relating to what motivates us in life and in the workplace.
While most people can immediately identify with one main motivational factor, there are usually between four and six that would be predominant in each individual. While all motivators have pro’s and con’s the unique combination of motivators can influence the overall motivating nuance.