Dr. Abraham Maslow classified alt human needs in order of their importance to the individual and presented them as a pyramid of the five levels. This is commonly known as Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs a theory of human motivation.
Small business managers should attempt to motivate employees under him rightly identifying the status of the individuals on the basis of these hierarchies of needs.
Motivating tools and incentives be selected and applied after the individuals are identified on the basis of their need status.
Maslow hierarchy of needs
According to Maslow, we, as human beings, strive to satisfy these needs in ascending order. Once a lower level is satisfied, we try to satisfy the next level of need.
Note that the first level is the satisfaction or physiological needs-air, water, and food. One these needs have been satisfied, we need protection from hostile forces, such as criminals and cold weather. These needs form the second level, safety and security.
|Needs||Ways to satisfy needs|
|Safety and Security||
|Belongingness and Love||
The third level, belongingness and love, refers to our need for attention and the acceptance of others. The fourth level, esteem, refers to the need for self-respect, self-esteem, and the esteem of others. Hoe fifth and highest level has to do with self-actualization.
Activated only when all other needs have been satisfied, this level of needs reflects only when all other needs have been satisfied, this level of needs reflects our desire to fulfill our highest potential as individuals.
Self-actualization refers to our need to do what we are best suited to do, just as athletes must compete and entrepreneurs must create. Everyone needs to be motivated, even entrepreneurs.
The difference is that the typical entrepreneur’s motivation comes from within (i.e., the internal drive for growth, power, or money), while the typical employee is not so internally inclined. His or her motivation must come from without.
Enter the entrepreneur turned motivator
There are a number of motivational tools available, all of which are necessary for small business survival and all of which are entrepreneurially unfriendly.
But to the entrepreneurs who are willing to spend the most time and money motivating his or her employees will go the most committed team. Those motivational tools include:
- The organization chart: Employees need to know where they stand today and where they can potentially stand tomorrow if they chose to expend the effort.
- Job descriptions: Employees need to know what is expected of them.
- Compensation plans: Employees need to be compensated. Compensation plans should be designed to motivate as well as to reward.
- Accountability: Employees must be held accountable to achieve those goals.
- Performance review: Employees need feedback on their ongoing performance.
- Positive reinforcement: Employees must be publicly appreciated and recognized when their performance deserves it.
- Goal setting: Employees need defined goals to pursue
- Negative reinforcement: Sometimes the bleeding must stop. Think about it. If our machinery squeaks, we oil it.
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