Engagement and the Four Human Needs

To get your team inspired and engaged, to foster loyalty, and get the most out of people under your care, you need to work with them to meet four fundamental needs.

  1. People need to feel safe. They need to feel physically and psychologically safe. They need to know it’s safe to tell the truth, be honest, and be themselves. They need to know that they can bring their whole self to work, and don’t have to leave who they are at the door.
  2. People need to feel supported. They need to know you care, that you have their back, and are concerned for them at work and away from work. They need to know that you know the names of their kids, what interests them away from work, and what’s concerning them when they get to work.
  3. People need to feel significant. They need to know that their work makes a difference and contributes to the success of the organization. They need to know that their gifts are valued and their goals are important, and that they can make these an integral part of their work.
  4. People need to be stretched. People need to be challenged to grow and have an opportunity to bring all they can to their game. Set the bar high and model the way. Be clear about your expectations. Give lots of support and help people be all they can be. Growth, after all, lives outside the comfort zone.