At a Glance


  • Social sciences
  • Psychology

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Workplace Psychology

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Analyzing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • In-person: projector for PPT slides; whiteboards for student presentations / virtual sharing platforms (Padlet, Miro, etc.)

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Inclusivity & Accessibility

  • Variety of action & expression

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building


The goal of this activity is to explore Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the workplace.

Industrial/organizational psychology offers valuable insights into workplace dynamics, and so this activity will help students identify the needs that motivate workplace behavior/thoughts/emotions.

In groups of 3-4, students analyze work-related statements and organize them into categories that, eventually, will reflect Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. By organizing items into categories and creating names for these categories, students engage in inquiry-based learning.

Instructional Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Define each component of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Apply each component to a workplace-related statement
  • Optional: Create a personal hierachy of needs

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Maxim Salonine

Maxim Salonine

Vanier College, Montreal

  • Engages students in a variety of settings (individual, small group, large group)
  • Encourages students to apply theory to authentic situations
  • Stimluates creativity and critical thinking
  • Some students might be shy to share their hierachy with the class – they can record their presentation or post it on a shared platform (e.g., Padlet)
  • Some might find it difficult differentiating between Social and Esteem needs – it might be advisable to spend some extra time discussing the differences between these two categories “when presenting Maslow’s theory”
  • As with most group work, random group assignment may reduce off-task behaviors
  • Time-permitting, you can have a discussion about the relative importance of each need in Maslow’s hierarchy and whether such a hierarchy even exists

Applied Strategies


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