6 Ways to Motivate Employees Using the Maslow Pyramid

6 Ways to Motivate Employees Using the Maslow Pyramid

looking for Ways to Motivate Employees? Here are 6 ways to motivate employees from entrepreneurs on how to better motivate your staff

Motivating employees is one of the demands that challenge human resources professionals, the task can be challenging, but the results are beneficial for both the company and the employees.

Motivated employees work happier, tend to be more productive, participative and creative. Likewise, the organizational climate of the company has everything to be healthier.

But, What are The Ways to Motivate Employees using the Maslow Pyramid?

In the mid-50s, the psychologist  Abraham Harold Maslow coined the concept of Hierarchy of Needs , through a pyramid divided into five categories, representing human needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-realization. 

In that order, Maslow argues that the individual begins to perceive other needs when the previous one is met. When it comes to motivation, we can easily bring the Pyramid into the context of working relationships. 

Also Read: 5 Keys For Optimizing Business Performance To Drive Success

Here are some practical examples in each category:

  • Physiological: Related to working hours, healthy environment and appropriate equipment.
  • Security: Compatible remuneration, stability in the company and work in a safe place.
  • Social: Relationship with co-workers, customers and leaders.
  • Esteem:  Career progression, awards and recognition.
  • Self-realization: Challenging work environment, opportunity for learning and growth.

Now that you have seen how the Maslow Pyramid can interact with the work environment, check out the 6 ways to motivate employees that we will mention in this article:

  1. Do not neglect essential needs
  2. Ensure a healthy work environment 
  3. Be flexible
  4. Recognize employees 
  5. Offer career plan
  6. Invest in training
Ways to Motivate Employees - inipatrick.com

1- Do Not Neglect Essential Needs

Ensuring that the basic needs of employees are met is essential to start thinking about motivation mechanisms. Without fulfilling essential responsibilities, it will be difficult to move on to other stages.

Thus, seek to have equipment that promotes physical comfort, updated and modern devices. Likewise, invest in an environment where employees feel encouraged. Ensure that rooms, cafeterias, bathrooms and other spaces are cozy.

Essential needs are also linked to health and food, so ensure that the health of employees is preserved and offer benefits that safeguard quality food. 

It is not for nothing that the Maslow Pyramid puts physiological needs at the base, without guaranteeing them it is very unlikely that you will be able to motivate employees. 

Therefore, another essential point is the working hours and workload. It is necessary to align schedules that are not boring and also provide time for rest.

Also Read: Working IN Vs ON Your Business – Striking The Right Balance (Infographic)

2- Ensure a Healthy Work Environment

A survey published by Exame shows that 33 million Brazilians suffer from Burnout Syndrome, which is an emotional disorder caused by professional burnout, stress and overwork. It is a high number, so it is necessary to look for ways to make the work environment healthy. After all, health is essential for any task, and is part of the base of the Maslow Pyramid, in the category of physiological needs.

Occupational health goes far beyond performing periodic examinations. Of course, they must be made, just as PPE’s must be guaranteed. But that alone is no longer enough. Over the years, people have increasingly sought jobs that offer a plus in this regard. 

On a daily basis, promoting interaction events, happy hours, having spaces for decompression, among others, can contribute and help motivate employees.

A healthy work environment prevents the emergence of new diseases, sick leave and improves productivity. 

Ways to Motivate Employees using the Maslow Pyramid

3- Be Flexible

Being flexible is a necessity that can fall into the category of the physiological and social aspects of the Maslow Pyramid. 

Flexible schedules, possibility of home office and dress code are some alternatives for a more malleable climate. The relationship with management also falls into this category. A closer relationship, which promotes autonomy and freedom are some characteristics of flexible management.

Generation Y or Millennials who are already 50% of the workforce in Brazil are increasingly looking for jobs that offer flexibility. And the benefits are not only for employees, companies also reap the rewards of flexible work. Check out some examples:

  • Strengthens employee accountability
  • Creates a partnership relationship between the company and the employee
  • Working hours can be better used

Also Read: How To Create A Buyer Persona For Your Business In 5 Steps

4- Recognize Employees

Recognition is crucial to motivate employees, and Maslow already pointed out this need back in the 1950s, when he showed how much we need esteem and self-realization.

The feedback culture can be a good start to recognizing employees. It is important to pay attention to them not only when they are negative, if the objective is to motivate, it is essential to set aside time for positive feedbacks, they are a way for the employee to see the value of their work and realize their results. In addition, recognition can help to generate a sense of belonging as well .

Offering awards to the best employees is an excellent way to recognize them. Awards do not necessarily have to be expensive or luxurious. Often, an award event is enough for employees to meet their need for esteem and feel more motivated. 

Career advancements are also welcome to make individual recognition more tangible. On this subject, continue reading the next topic to understand a little more about career plans. 

5. Offer a Career Path to Motivate Employees

The need for security is another category present in the Maslow Pyramid and in labor relations, one of the applications is the guarantee of having a job. Similarly, esteem and self-realization are also used for this item. 

Have you noticed how important work is in our society?

When we introduce ourselves, for example, one of the first things we talk to our interlocutor is our profession. But, besides the guarantee of having a job, to motivate you need to go further, you need to think about a career plan.

The career plan is a medium and long-term planning of paths and goals that an employee must follow to achieve progressions in the company. It is important for employees to feel enthusiastic about following their goals and to realize that the company values ​​them.

The career plan is also beneficial for the organization, as it can reduce staff turnover, retain talent and save costs with new hires. 

What are The Ways to Motivate Employees using the Maslow Pyramid?

6. Invest in Training

Last and not least (not really) it is relevant to invest in knowledge. 

Remember the need for self-realization of the Maslow Pyramid?

A challenging work environment that offers the possibility of new learning helps to motivate employees and make them feel fulfilled.

Realizing that you managed to learn a new task and achieved results with it, raises self-esteem and stimulates. But, for this it is necessary that the work environment offers challenges and invests in training, this helps to stimulate the development of new leaders, contributes to deliveries to have more quality and improves productivity.

Also Read: Your Business Purpose: How To Discover Your Organisation’s Compass

Motivate Daily and Search

Motivating employees is an exercise that should never be overlooked. This should not be done only by HR professionals, leaders are also important in this process.

One way to know how to make decisions to create new motivational actions is to conduct organizational climate surveys. They help to identify gaps and understand each other’s demands.

Do research, execute your ideas and then leave a comment telling us how it went!


While there is nothing like one-size-fits-all way on how to motivate your employees, pick some of the ideas we mentioned here and see how they can benefit you and your business.

What are the different ways you keep your team motivated? What have work for you? What’s failed?

Let us know in the comments below.

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