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Deficiency Needs or Growth Needs?

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs led to his book, Motivation and Personality.  Much has since been researched and written about Maslow’s theory on motivation but his work still remains intact and is used in studying motivation today.   Much of the motivational studies relate to workplace motivation.

Most people are familiar with Maslow’s pyramid of needs, but less known is that he further broke the needs down into two groups of needs.  They are:

  1. Deficiency Needs- also known as D- Needs
  2. Growth Needs- also known as “being needs” or B- Needs

Deficiency Needs:

  • Physiological
  • Security
  • Social
  • Esteem

Maslow called these needs “deficiency needs” because he felt that these needs arise due to deprivation.   The satisfaction of these needs helps to “avoid” unpleasant feelings or consequence.

Growth Needs:

  • Self- Actualization

These needs falls on the highest level of Maslow’s pyramid.  Growth needs do not come from a place of “lack”.  These needs come from a place of growth.

In order to reach full and healthy workplace motivation, leaders need to understand the basic tenets of human motivation.

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Judy W Bell

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