Employee Motivation and Maslow’s Pyramid

Employee motivation and Maslow’s Pyramid


Employee motivation plays a crucial role at the workplace and can directly impact organizational success. Motivating your employees needs to be a regular routine.

Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation is commonly separated into two different types based on the nature of the motivator:

Intrinsic (arising from internal factors) or extrinsic (arising from external factors).

Incentive theory argues that behavior is primarily extrinsically motivated: people are more motivated to perform activities if they receive a reward afterward, rather than simply because they enjoy the activities themselves.

Intrinsically motivated behaviors are performed because of the sense of personal satisfaction that they bring, and they tend to last longer and form a stronger bond between the individual and the purpose.

Extrinsically motivated behaviors are performed in order to receive something from others—such as a promotion, praise, candy, money, or attention.

Studies have shown that intrinsic motivation will decrease over time if extrinsic incentives are introduced for behaviors that an individual already found motivating.




Maslow’s Pyramid

The link between employee motivation and Maslow’s Pyramid

While it is clear that the workplace is not a mediation chamber for employees to relax, understanding the pyramid of motivation can help employers understand how they can make their employees more effective.


It is becoming better understood that the experience employees have working for your company directly influences the experience your customers receive as well as your employer branding.

Therefore, motivation starts with the employer and here are the five steps.

  •   Allow free speech and communication in the workplace

Everyone appreciates to have their voice heard and their opinions taken into account. Allow your employees to speak freely and feel psychologically confident in the work environment

  •   Use your voice 

This is due to intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic rewards such as cash, tickets, coupons, a car etc.…will not keep the individual motivated after the reward is removed from the equation.

Verbal Recognition on the other hand, has been directly linked with intrinsic motivation and should be practiced daily. Every employee appreciates a “pat on the back” after they have done a good job. This is a more efficient and cost effective way of maintaining motivation levels high.

Provide flexible deadlines

Managers need to start providing their employees with flexible deadlines. An employee will put a lot more effort and detail on a deadline they have agreed on, as opposed to one set by the management team

Encourage Teamwork

Teamwork increases productivity, innovation and cross functional collaboration. Managers and employees should encourage teamwork culture within the organization as it leads to higher employee motivation rates.

Engage to motivate your employees

In order to keep engagement and motivation high, companies need to be sensible towards what motivates their employees, to make sure they are interested and effective in their current role.

Align Management to accept and encourage changes

The management should have a clear understanding of what they need to do in order to keep employees motivated as well as implement the necessary changes.


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