Employee's Hierarchy of Needs

Inspired by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

  1. Physiological
  2. Safety
  3. Love and Belonging
  4. Esteem
  5. Self-Actualization


Physiological needs are the most basic human needs. These include:

  • A good salary (financial stability)
  • Work/home office (shelter)
  • Lunch time or catering (food)
  • PTO and work-life balance (so employees are not sleep deprived, overworked, and can spend time with their loved ones)


Safety and security needs are important but not as vital as physiological needs. These include:

Love and Belonging

Also known as social needs, these include a desire to be loved, to belong, to feel accepted, and not to be lonely. These needs can be satisfied by:

  • Workplace relationships
  • Team-building activities
  • Social events
  • Company meetings


All employees have a need to be respected, valued by their colleagues, and have a sense that they’re contributing to the organization. High self-esteem leads to confidence, whereas low self-esteem leads to feelings of inferiority. Employees can feel valued and have high self-esteem by:

  • Getting bonuses, promotions, and/or salary increases
  • Receiving praise from their manager/coworkers
  • Hitting their goals
  • Being on top of the leaderboard (performance)
  • Participating in professional activities


At the top of the pyramid is the need to realize one’s full potential. In other words, an employee must become everything he or she is capable of becoming. All other needs must be met before an employee reaches this level. Here, the employee has the desire to be the best worker in his or her team, company, or profession.

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