One of the objectives of labor welfare is to achieve self-actualization at work. To deal with this concept, we cannot forget one of the main founders of Humanistic Psychology, Abraham Maslow.
One of Maslow's great affirmations is the innate tendency that the human being possesses to enhance their talent and virtues, trend that I designate "self realisation".
That was how he created the Maslow's pyramid.
Many of us are familiar with this pyramid, where he carries out his theory and formulates a hierarchy of human needs. In addition, he defends that as the most basic needs are satisfied, human beings develop higher needs and desires.
In this psychological theory on human motivation, Maslow classified these needs in relation to the following five priority levels:
- At the lowest level are the most basic needs. They are those that are related to survival. Physiological needs like eating, breathing, drinking, sleeping…
- At a second level are the needs that are related to the personal, physical and occupational safety. Everything related to income level, family security...
- The third level consists of all the needs related to friendship, affection, social acceptance, etc., that is, what encompasses feeling part of a group.
- At the fourth level we find personal goals, success, confidence... In short, recognition.
- And at the last level, after personal growth and acceptance, are the needs of self Realisation. It is the highest psychological need of the human being, it is at the top of the hierarchies and it is through its satisfaction that a justification or a valid meaning to life is found through the potential development of an activity.
The pyramid is bottom-up structure, that is, a level cannot be accessed if the previous level has not been covered. Self-realization is accessed when all previous levels have been reached and completed.
Now, if we go to the scope of work, what is the purpose of Maslow's pyramid? This pyramid helps us to identify and prioritize our work needs in order to achieve our work self-realization, that is, to reach our professional goals in a successful way.
How to apply Maslow's pyramid at work?
La Maslow's psychological theory It has a very simple application in the work environment. To achieve job self-fulfillment, the employee begins by covering his lower needs of the pyramid.
Once the physiological and safety needs are covered, the worker will seek to satisfy his membership needs. Getting to have good interpersonal relationships at work are necessary to achieve work self-realization.
In this way, if the company enhances the cooperation between your employees, you will be helping to ensure that your workers achieve this self-realization at work, and as a consequence, better performance.
Subsequently, the employee will look for the success at work, and will fight for job recognition. If recognition by the company and colleagues becomes effective, confidence in the professional will grow and they will have a positive image of themselves, leading them to success.
Finally, if you have completed all the above needs, the employee will seek to prosper. Here we find the self-realization of professional work in its splendor. At this time, the company must be aware of the worker's abilities to promote and create ideas and provide him with the right situation to enhance his abilities.
For Maslow, every human being is capable of achieving their own work self-realization having previously satisfied their basic needs at work.
Some experts consider that Maslow has not taken into account all the variables that affect the order of priority of the needs to achieve work self-fulfillment. But what is indisputable is that since this theory is known, it has had great success in different fields.
It has been nuanced and completed over the years to adapt to the new times.
Possible qualities to achieve work and personal self-realization?
Abraham Maslow considered historical figures like Lincoln, Gandhi, Einstein as referents to achieve work and personal self-realization, since they fulfilled a series of common qualities that he deduced from their biographies. According to Maslow, these were people:
- focused on reality, who knew how to differentiate what is false or fictitious from what is real and genuine.
- Focused on problems, who confront them by virtue of their solutions; with a different perception of meanings and ends.
- in need of privacy, feeling comfortable in this situation.
- Independent of the dominant culture and environment, based more on experiences and own judgments.
- Resistant to enculturation, since they were not susceptible to social pressure; they were nonconformists.
- With non-hostile sense of humor, preferring jokes about themselves or the human condition.
- With good acceptance of themselves and others, just as they were, not pretentious or artificial.
- With freshness in appreciation, creative, inventive and original.
- with a tendency to live experiences more intensely than the rest of humanity.
Do we consider professional and personal self-realization as the development of these qualities?
Therefore, if we consider these qualities as the means to achieve work and personal self-realization. The answer may be, probably. But adding the definition of values that guide us in our development, over time and finding meaning in life.
As Viktor Frankl put it in his book, Man's Search for Meaning, those people who had a reason for being, a meaning, survived in a concentration camp.
The truth is that Work self-fulfillment is given both by our growth in the work process and in the personal, and we can all achieve it. With age, most people come closer to those qualities that Maslow describes and find more meaning in life. We just have to put ourselves to it and demand ourselves every day, but demanding reasonable and achievable things.