Motivational theories

Managers can make use of a number of motivational theories to help encourage employees to work harder.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is represented as a pyramid that details from the ground up physiological needs, safety, belonging, esteem and at the top self-actualisation

Taylorism argues that staff do not enjoy work and are only motivated by threats and pay. Managers motivate staff by organising employees' work and paying by results, eg piece rate pay - payment per item produced.

Maslow suggests there are five hierarchies or levels of need that explain why people work. Staff first want to meet their survival needs by earning a good wage. Safety needs such as job security then become important, followed by social, self-esteem and self-fulfilment needs. Moving staff up a Maslow level is motivational.

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