Compensation Cafe: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Is More Fluid than You Think

January 7, 2015 Derek Irvine

Recognize This! - Frequent, timely, and specific recognition and appreciation are integral to achieving personal, team, departmental and organizational goals in 2015.

Every new year brings about a time of reflection, especially on what we want, need and desire in the coming months. As a fan of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the terms "wants, needs and desires" always makes me think of him and how he presented the basic human requirements beginning at the bottom of a pyramid with base physiological needs of solving for hunger and thirst, moving up to self-esteem and self-actualization at the pinnacle.

By the hierarchy is not so, well, hierarchical. Earlier this week, I shared on Compensation Cafe Maslow's own opinion, "We have spoken so far as if this hierarchy were a fixed order but actually it is not nearly as rigid as we may have implied.”

As I discuss, I see the needs illustrated by Maslow as very real, but perhaps appearing more in a virtuous circle in reality. Check out the full post for more on this, including commentary from Psychologist and Organizational Consultant Susan David and supporting research conducted by LinkedIn on the importance of acknowledgement of everyday achievements.

How do you view Maslow's Hierarchy?

About the Author

Derek Irvine

Derek is senior vice president, client strategy and consulting, at Workhuman.

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