What are the 6 core human needs?
Certainty. What is the income I can be certain about? Will I be paid the correct amount on time? What are promised benefits like holidays, insurance? Is the bonus scheme transparent? Is my work evaluated fairly and am I treated with respect? Do I feel safe at work so that even if mistakes happen, it won’t make me lose my job?
When there is enough certainty, it empowers employees to gain motivation from uncertainty:
Uncertainty / change. Are there any occasional changes that make my work more exciting? New goals? New challenges? Do I get a chance to do different things? Or do things differently? Do I get new experiences?
Significance. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? Do people at work care about me as a person? How do people perceive me and how do I perceive myself? At work, does my opinion count?
While so important, significance as a need is often underestimated in Asian cultures. We tend to confuse humility with underestimating ourselves and others. Therefore, we miss the opportunity to contribute by giving recognition to others, and giving it in the right way! Addressing the need of significance by employee recognition is so powerful and it’s free to give. That’s why we want to address it in more detail here.
Connection amplifies positive feelings and security (certainty). Some key questions are: Do I feel connected to my boss? To my coworkers? Do I feel proud of my company and my team? Does understanding the company mission/vision make me feel more connected to the company? Do my team goals help me feel more connected to my team?
Growth. Do I have an opportunity to grow at work? Do I receive feedback that helps me to improve? Do I see any future opportunities in my organization? Has someone at work talked about my progress and development in the last 6 months?
This is where the leader must ensure that the employees understand their opportunities to grow in the team: their career path, the opportunities to grow new skills. It is the leader who must notice and acknowledge the progress of each employee especially when they don’t realize it themselves!
Just like everything else in nature – when we stop growing, we die!
Contribution. Do I know why my work is important for the entire organization? Am I empowered to contribute to others at work? Does anyone ask for my opinion? Am I empowered to contribute to our society and the environment?
By asking team members’ opinions, empowering them to share their ideas, the leader builds a growth culture which further supports the company’s performance.
It’s important to remember that the role of a leader, and also every coworker, is to see value in others (significance) so that we can add value to them (contribution).
By noticing and recognizing people’s value, we motivate them to reach their full potential – not where they think they can go but where they can actually go!