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Understanding Motivation using Maslow and Herzberg Theories

One of the major challenges facing many managers is how to motivate each individual member of their team. One person may want a higher salary whilst another is looking for opportunities to grow. Whilst we must view each person as an ‘individual’, there will be some common factors that motivate everyone. In this article, we explore these top motivators using the well known Maslow and Herzberg theories.

Understanding Motivation

Several motivation theories work on the assumption that given the chance and the right stimuli, people work well and positively. As a manager, it is important to be aware of what these ‘stimuli’ or ‘motivational forces’ are. Abraham Harold Maslow (1908 –1970) was an American psychologist and theorist, who was best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualisation. Maslow grouped the needs into five areas as shown below. According to Maslow, the needs are tackled in order; as you draw near to satisfying one, the priority of the next one becomes higher. Also once a need has been satisfied; it is no longer a stimulus.

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