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Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’s theory relates motivation to a hierarchy of needs. At the bottom are essential physiological needs such as air, food, shelter and clothing. As individuals satisfy one level of need, their motivations change as they aspire to reach the higher order needs. Therefore, to motivate an individual Maslow suggests that it is necessary to know where within the hierarchy each employee is placed so that these factors can be taken into account.  The following illustration states the levels of needs and explains each need as well.

The Maslow hierarchy of needs is way to determine motivation within the workplace as a manager, your personal lives, and other life situations.  The reason Maslow’s theory is so powerful, is because of its truths about the standard needs of the human race, which increase as the basic needs are met.

As a manager, it can be difficult to motivate a group of people in the same way.  We discussed in class various compensation motivators, which were different based on the type of career.  Understanding Maslow’s theory and the people you manage will give you a better understanding for what will motivate the individual rather than the group.

Case Study:  You are managing a team of 3 individuals in an office setting. The daily schedule is from 8 to 7 on Mondays and 8 to 5 Tuesday through Friday, with every 3rd Saturday mandatory.  The team is beginning to get restless in their daily duties.  Productivity is down, despite your efforts to bring breakfast in on Mondays and buy lunch on the Saturdays.  Here are the profiles of the individuals you manage:

–         Marty: A 32 year old, father of 2 boys [10 & 6] that play sports year round and a daughter [2 ½].   His wife currently works for an advertising firm as the VP of Customer Relations, where she makes a 6-figure income.  Marty has been employed for 7 years with the company.  He earns $42,000 a year, has full benefits, and 3 weeks of vacation a year.

–         Shania: A 24 year old, recent college graduate, with an MBA in Strategic Management.  She is single with no children and resides in Maine away from her family [live in Missouri].  She studied in Berlin, returning home for a week before going to Maine for graduate school & career.  She earns an entry-level salary of $31,250 a year, receives full benefits, and has 2 weeks vacation.

–         Karl: A 43 year old, widowed father of 2 adult children.  His son lives 20 minutes away, while his married daughter moved to another state 9 hours away.  Karl has been with the company for 25 years, starting his career directly out of high school.  He receives a salary of $63,900 a year, has full benefits, his own office, and accrues 6 weeks of vacation. 

Ownership has given you 4 options to use as motivation.  Each one of them can only be utilized once, so the individuals will have different rewards. 

–         A 7-day vacation of anywhere in the world (vacation & time off paid) & a 2% salary increase, & unlimited use of the company’s box for indoor football games.

–         A 3-day vacation in the lower 48 states, a 1% salary increase, 3% profit-sharing, 1.5% performance bonus, and a $250 monthly expense account.

–         A salary increase of 5%, clothing allowance, gas card, & an additional 2 weeks of vacation

–         6 days paid vacation, 3% pay increase, 2% profit-sharing, stock options, an unlimited gas card, $250 monthly expense account, & tickets to any indoor football games in the company’s box.

Choose which team member receives which motivating incentive.  Explain in detail why that motivator was selected for the individual.  Lastly, do you feel 1 motivation package would be sufficient to offer all the team members?

Directions/Grading: A minimum of 500 words with a maximum of 750 (5% deduction if short or over).  No more than 5 grammar errors (5% reduction if more).  Be specific on why you distributed them the way you did (5% deduction if not specific).  

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