The human fundamentals of a productive workplace

The fundamental human needs for a productive workplace

The 5 needs of humans at work

Humans are human. When they gather for work, humans become part of a tribe with a purpose. At work, each person feels these five basic needs:

The five needs of humans at work

Why these 5 needs are shared by all workplaces

When you join a company, you become a contributor to a team on a mission. This creates five personal needs: you need to believe the mission is worthwhile; you need to feel like a part of the tribe; you need to have the information/tools required for your task; you want your teammates to recognize your contributions along the way; and you want to be a respected part of a trusting team.

These five needs are personal. They’re the same regardless of company type or management style. Structured hierarchy or self-managed collaborative, each employee shares these same five needs. Strict boss or no boss, the basic needs as an employee remain the same.

As a human at work, you need to feel you’re a productive member of an extended team that’s accomplishing something together. Once you feel that, you’re well on your way to becoming an engaged employee and teamwork will flourish.

Creating engaged workplaces

These five human needs in the workplace are not new. Since ancient times, great leaders delivered purpose, culture, clarity, recognition, and trust to their workers. These five workplace needs map 1:1 to the five human needs:

The five needs of the workplace and the five needs of humans at work

Helping leaders create great organizations

An organization that satisfies the five workplace needs is vibrant. Its employees are engaged, its teams are aligned, its culture is alive, and its successes are celebrated.

Creating and sustaining an organization with purpose, culture, clarity, recognition, and trust is not an easy task. It’s something leaders have always struggled with. It’s what separates great organizations from mediocre ones.

Traditionally leaders have tried to satisfy the five workplace needs by setting a foundation of purpose, a plan, and a set behaviors and then walking around to explain them to their workforce.

But the “walk-it-and-talk-it” approach does not scale well, particularly in today’s busy world of dispersed, global operations and mobile employees. Jostle’s People Engagement platform was created to solve this problem by making it easy for employees and leaders to:

  1. Communicate PURPOSE. Roll out initiatives in NEWS. Link to program details in LIBRARY. Gather feedback and dialogue via DISCUSSIONS.
  2. Reinforce CULTURE. Share stories that exemplify values in NEWS. Plan team-wide EVENTS. Share a sense of a vibrant team working together via ACTIVITY.
  3. Provide CLARITY. Keep go-to information current and organized in LIBRARY. Clarify who is doing what in TEAMS. Uncover hidden expertise with PEOPLE.
  4. Deliver RECOGNITION. Celebrate accomplishments in NEWS. Recognize workplace anniversaries in ACTIVITY. “Shout-Out” the contributions of employees and teams in real time.
  5. Solidify TRUST. Create a safe, employees-only place to discover and share information. Make it easy to share the right content with the right people.

“We got our mojo back. Thanks Jostle.”

Lisa Hughes

Lisa Hughes
Director of Change & Transformation, Cottsway Housing Association

The Jostle® intranet directly addresses the five human needs in the workplace, which is why our platform is achieving such high employee participation rates, as measured across all our customers:

Jostle is more engaging than competitors

5x higher participation

Jostle’s People Engagement platform consistently engages over 85% of employees. That’s more than 5x what traditional intranets or enterprise social platforms achieve.

More importantly, the Jostle intranet is helping companies transform into great workplaces. Our case studies provide real examples of how a wide variety of organizations have used our People Engagement platform to deliver the five human and workplace needs.

We help make extraordinary workplaces.

Jostle Intranet Software

Mapping the 5 human needs in the workplace

The 5 needs of humans at work map exactly to The 5 needs of the workplace — they are the same things from different viewpoints. Here’s how:

  1. I matter PURPOSE Each person needs to feel that their organization has a worthwhile purpose. And they need to understand how their tasks contribute and matter to this.
  2. I belong CULTURE Each person needs to feel part of the tribe. They must see workplace values that ring true and that are widely shared as the foundation of a vibrant workplace culture.
  3. I’m enabled CLARITY Each person needs easy access to the tools, information, and processes they require. They need clarity on how to find help, get work done, and make decisions.
  4. I contribute RECOGNITION Each person needs to have their accomplishments recognized. They need to know that their teammates appreciate their values and contributions.
  5. I’m respected TRUST Each person needs to feel respected. Their organization needs to provide an environment of trust where information can be confidently and appropriately shared.