Leadership and Motivation

Leadership and Motivation

Motivation refers to an internal process of an individual that energizes, directs and sustains the behavior of the person. Abraham Maslow gave one of the best explanations of why motivation occurs in his theory called Maslow’s theory of Motivation (Miner, 2015). The psychologist believed that all people have needs that are to be satisfied and they work towards fulfilling those needs. The theory has since found focus in organizations since it proves how motivation in the workplace occurs. In his argument, Maslow implied that people are motivated to fulfill a need when they are deprived of it. People do not get driven because they have achieved one need, but because they have not reached the higher needs (Miner 2015). Managers use this theory of motivation to improve employee performance by satisfying the basic needs first and then working towards getting the higher needs of the hierarchy.

Managers monitor the progress of the employees and assess the level in the hierarchy they are on as a way of determining what will motivate the worker best. In a study conducted by Hall and Noujaim, it was found that the primary needs in the hierarchy have little motivation than love and belonging needs. It implies that the manager does not have to provide the necessities first to motivate the employee. In assessing the level the employee is at, the manager focuses on the challenges that the worker experiences in the workplace (Miner 2015). For example, a worker who stays alone talks less to others and has asociality behavior is likely to miss the love and belonging needs. The best intervention by the manager is focusing on the immediate needs required before going back to the hierarchy.

Working to achieve the bottom phase needs first in Maslow’s hierarchy does not indicate the quality of an employee. Managers should understand that workplaces become conducive when the basic needs are met then safety and security need up to self-actualization. Enjoyment of work is dependent on the level in the hierarchy the employees are. For example, those employees struggling to achieve self-actualization are motivated more as a result of peak experiences. Employees with only physiological needs are more motivated than the others because they have much to accomplish in their career.


Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational Behavior 1: Essential Theories of Motivation and Leadership.