Abraham Maslow of needs theory can be applied in social and occupational settings in the sense that it touches on the whole person. Personality of people at social places is shaped by different factors at work or any other social places. Abraham Maslow developed a theory which proposes that human beings needs can be arranged in hierarchical order starting from lower order needs to high order needs.
Abraham Maslow classified these needs in order ranging from physiological, security and safety, love and belongingness, self esteem and self actualization. The theory of Maslow suggests that needs can be arranged in order of priority, once a need is satisfied, it no longer motivates behavior, needs are interdependence and overlapping and that man is continually in a state of want hence all needs are never fully satisfied; when one need is satisfied, another high order need becomes operative. According to Maslow, these needs affect the development of personality (Maslow, 1997).
Physiological needs are those needs that are basic for continued existence. They are basic biological functions of human organisms. These kinds of needs are natural in the sense that they are not learned and more so, they are most potent and powerful human needs. They include; food, water, air, sleep and sex. According to Abraham Maslow, these needs must be fulfilled first at any social setting like work before letting employees do their work. If the manager becomes too harsh and denies employees a chance to fulfill these needs, they will not perform their work efficiently (Maslow, 1987). They will develop negative attitude towards the manager and finally work. On contrary, if these needs are fulfilled to the maximum, employees will work well because of positive attitude towards those around them and work. Once these needs are satisfied, the safety and security needs become operative.
Safety and security needs are both mental and physical security. These needs are mainly concerned with maintaining order and security in any social setting. In an organization, workers desire to in a peaceful smoothly run and stable environment. Workers will need an assurance that security and safety will be guaranteed and their standard not lowered at any time. Anything that threatens the orderly life in an organization is viewed as a threat to an individual security and safety (Maslow, 1997).
It is only when these needs are met like removing any threats that workers feel safe enough and are able to do their work without any fear. Worker will develop good personality towards those people he or she is interacting with. When at work place, it is the responsibility of the management to ensure that workers are provided with both mental and physical security. For instance, they should be promoted to top level of management, their salary increased and gates are put up. One these needs are satisfied, a person moves to the next level of needs.
Social needs also known as love and belongingness emphasize the basic psychological nature of human beings to identify with group life. These needs lead to desire to have innate relationship with other members of society. For example at places of work, Workers should be encouraged to belong to unions and societies to avoid isolation (Maslow, 1997). When these needs are satisfied, the person moves to the next level of needs. Every individual in society must belong to a family where he or she feel loved this will make a person feel like they are loved and they belong in social affiliation thus the person builds up strong personality. For instance, this people will view life as interesting and have positive outlook towards life. Using theory of hierarchy of needs it is possible to understand those people in society who are not well socialized especially when it comes to love and belonging since they look at life as unfair and regret why they were born.
Self esteem also known as ego needs. This category of needs can be divided into two; those that deal with self and those that deal with others. The self esteem needs includes; positive self evaluation, self respect, positive self regard and feeling of adequacy and confidence. On the other hand, those that deal with others includes; reputation, social success, status, power and fame. In any case, failure to fulfill these needs can result in personality disturbance in an individual. For instance, inferiority complex, mistrust, doubt and despair. Work place should create a conducive environment for workers to fulfill their self esteem or ego needs through; managers should encourage members to actualize their potentials to the highest level, allow workers to work independently, recommend individuals to high positions like promotion, new jobs opportunities and training (Maslow, 1987). The employer should also give workers new opportunities for further training and equal opportunity to participate in seminars and workshops.
Self actualization is the highest category of Maslow hierarchy of needs theory. At this level, man becomes what he is capable of becoming. One actualizes their potentialities and capabilities. At this level, one fulfills his life goals like becoming a chief executive officer of company. Those who are self actualized will demonstrate certain features which includes; having a sense of humor, appreciating the best good things of life and demonstrate an efficient perception of reality and acceptance. At work place or in wider society those people who have reached this stage will need recognition because they feel they have done their part and reached where they deserved. In most cases, people who well actualized will show some sense of maturity in dealing with common life problems as compared to those who have not reached self actualization stage.