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The 4 Human Needs At Work

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

At work, several necessities need to be met for all employees, when thinking of these, most leaders will turn to physical needs which yes they are crucial but mental needs are just as important to keep workers healthy and happy. The four human needs, to be valued, to be safe, to belong and to be in control are what can help to keep our employees in happy healthy mindsets where they feel free to express themselves as well as perform at their best during work. 1. To be valued Being at work should increase an employees self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. A valued employee will consider their work a positive aspect of life and has been linked to better physical and mental health, leading to a healthy and productive relationship with work and between employer and employee. Often valuing an employee seems so simple that managers may overlook it as an important topic and so they end up undervaluing their employees even when thinking they are valuing them. This can happen when an attempt to express gratitude is completely inauthentic and is simply a generalised compliment. There is a vast difference between “thank you for your good work” and “this certain contribution in this specific area of work helped us achieve so and so, great work!” To value your employees you will want to stress all growth opportunities, prove to them that you see their potential whilst providing feedback to continue improving to reach a greater level than they have already achieved. 2. To be safe Psychological safety is one of the most important needs in any workplace, your employees should always feel comfortable and heard without question, so what is it? Psychological safety is when someone has all the mental comfort needed to feel confident and happy expressing their ideas and opinions without fear of backlash or being ridiculed. This is an incredibly important state of mind that all employees should look to give their employees because, without it, companies fail. Workhuman's new study found that 26% of workers felt psychologically safe during the pandemic and experienced higher levels of burnout. When employees aren’t fully committed, the business loses many opportunities for newer and better ideas, strong teams and the advantage of unique skills and talent. For specifics on how to create psychological safety in your establishment, you may find our other article “6 Questions To Create Psychological Safety Within Your Team” a useful tool. 3. To belong An employees perception of acceptance within a given group comes from intentional inclusivity, diversity, socialisation and feedback loops, which all stems from humans being social creatures no matter if you are introverted or extroverted. So when 40% of workers claim to feel isolated at work, you can imagine the negative impact not only on the business but on the individual as well. Exclusion is a difficult issue to find a fix for although it is not impossible, so if you find your workplace may not have had the best start with making sure everyone feels they belong, Harvard Business Review discusses the reversibility process for feelings of exclusion. 4. To be in control Without control, employees may fall victim to being overwhelmed by their workplace as a whole. Allow space for employees to make their schedules where possible, be able to say no and have an open space where opinions are accepted and always considered at the very least. With the events of 2021 and 2020, it is all too easy for employees to feel like they aren’t in control of anything in multiple aspects of their lives, by eliminating work being one of those aspects you are allowing your employees to focus on gaining control in other aspects without losing productivity at work.


The Modern Mind Group are emotioneering human performance not engineering it.

As people operations and performance consultants, we work with your business to identify and improve performance gaps so that you can be more profitable and professionally develop your people. Over 12 years of expertise in people operations and performance with results to back it all up. Why settle for the average when there is a world of possibility when you know how to achieve it? Untapped potential - Let's go get it!


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