Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a significant theory in psychology, which was postulated by the noted American psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation.” Even after receiving criticism for being western in nature, the theory is still relevant and a significant part of management studies. At the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, we find safety needs, which encompasses the second most basic needs, such as job security, health, and safe environments.
Definition of Safety Needs
“Safety Needs” is referred to as the sturdy desire of humans for safety and security to remain secure or safe from any harm.
Significance of Safety Needs
Once physiological needs are satisfied, our safety needs come into play. This level is more significant for children; as they generally are in greater need to feel safe. If a person doesn’t feel safe, he would not strive for any higher level of need.
Let’s have some daily-life examples of safety needs, which can be discussed under three main headings, i.e, Physical Safety, Financial Security, and Emotional Safety.
Physical safety is related to the outside safety of our bodies. If we don’t feel safe physically then it increases our stress level, insecurity, and affects our concentration power, ability to think, and overall quality of life. Physical safety requirements like Insurance have become a necessity to fulfill the safety needs of humans. Similarly, the safety of different resources like electronic devices, cell phones, vehicles, property, etc.; security from war or external threats, etc. are also part of physical safety needs. Let’s discuss a few examples of Physical Safety Needs:
1. Insurance Policies
Today, insurance is considered an essential requirement for physical safety due to the uncertainty of the future and our lives. Different types of insurance facilities like life insurance, health insurance, vehicle insurance, disaster insurance, etc., are daily-life examples of physical safety needs as per Maslow’s need hierarchy. A health insurance policy ensures safety against any health issue that may occur in the future. Similarly, life insurance comes handy in case of the sudden death of a person. Besides health and life insurance, there are many more insurance types, such as general insurance, which covers properties, valuables, vehicles, etc. These insurance plans boost mental health so that one can concentrate on other important things.
2. Interior Designing & Other Safety Measures
Physical security is one of the important aspects of interior design. Interior Designers ensure the health and safety needs while designing the interior of home or office, where they provide features like door locking system, the biometric system in offices, proper air quality, fire safety, and proper lighting system to avoid accidents. Also, they design interior in the way that safe evacuation can be ensured from interior spaces in case of emergency.
3. Security or Safety Features of Gadgets & Vehicles
In this era of technological advancements, most cell phones are equipped with high-security features, like fingerprint lock, face recognition, pattern lock, and more. Moreover, many other software and apps are there, which provide high security to various electronic gadgets to protect them against malware or virus or any other threats. Similarly, safety features are there in cars to ensure physical safety, like safety belts, airbags, auto emergency braking system, child safety locks, anti-theft security, and many more. We wear helmets for road safety.
4. Security Agencies & Armed Forces
Different government-bodies are there, which ensure our physical safety and security in case of adverse situations like wars, disasters, riots, etc. Armed forces are real examples, which work for our physical safety and security needs.
5. Job Security
Job security is also an example of the security needs of Maslow’s hierarchy. Everyone wants a safe and secure job. Employees won’t be able to work with their full potential if they feel unsafe for their jobs.
6. A Healthy & Safe Work Environment
A safe workplace or work environment is related to security and safety in office premises in terms of fire breakdowns, safety instruments or safety measures in factories, security systems like CCTV, emergency exits, ergonomic furniture, etc. Bio-metric scans ensure the entry of employees in the office premises and not strangers.
Financial security is also part of the safety and security needs of Maslow’s theory. It refers to being financially independent so that one can pay their necessary utility bills and can bear other unavoidable financial burdens.
Different examples of financial security are as under:
7. Various Financial Schemes
Banks and other financial institutions offer different products and services to provide financial security and stability to their customers. Apart from saving accounts, many more investment and saving schemes like fixed deposits, recurring deposits, mutual funds, and insurance plans are there to boost financial safety and encourage savings for future financial security.
8. Government Policies for Labour & Cyber Laws
Different governments across the world come out with various plans and policies to provide financial safety to their citizen, like minimum wages act, compensation act, and labor laws, which ensure the basic financial needs of employees by making provision for bare minimum wages or compensation to employees. Similarly, Cyber laws are there to protect against financial frauds; adding value to financial security.
The next part of the security and safety stage of Maslow’s theory is safety in terms of emotions. One can feel emotionally safe if the environment and people in his/her surroundings are trustworthy, friendly, cooperative and an open environment to share thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
Let’s have a few examples of workplace-related emotional safety needs:
9. Informal Groups
Different informal groups satisfy the emotional safety needs of people, like clubs, different social events, parties, informal get together of employees and families, etc.
10. Friendly Environment at the Workplace
A friendly and healthy work environment is one of the most significant aspects related to emotional safety needs. Organizations are required to provide an open and friendly work environment to fulfill the emotional safety needs of employees in which they can interact with each other and can share their views, ideas, suggestions, and become a part of decision-making.