Variety and Autonomy Towards Self-Actualization

(Part II of V)

Under Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, “human beings aspire to become self-actualizing” and are “motivated by the desire to achieve or maintain the various conditions upon which these (physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization) basic satisfactions rest and by certain more intellectual desires” (Ramlall, 2004, p. 191).

Employees are wired to satisfy these needs toward realizing their best potentials. Part of that is their appetite for challenges and creativity.

Human beings have the tendency to get lost in the midst of a monotonous routine or worse, get tired of it easily. They are not like robots that can repetitively do the same exact functions every single day.

Ramlall further explained that the task itself is key to employee motivation and “a boring and monotonous job stifles motivation to perform well, whereas a challenging job enhances motivation” (p. 192). Team leaders must provide for variety, autonomy, and decision authority as ways of adding challenge to a job.

Practical Application: Hire the best people for the job, challenge them, and leave them alone! Let them expand their wings and soar into greater heights of their jobs. (JAN)


Ramlall, S. (2004). A review of employee motivation theories and their implications for employee retention within organizations. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 5(1), 52-63.


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