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Understanding Your Team's Primary Needs

As leaders, we need to look out for our team's fundamental needs to help them succeed. Our team is more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal when satisfied at work. These psychological needs are simple, but you have to work to optimize them for the sake of your team and your company.

1. Value. Everyone needs to feel like they matter, and this is the case for all types of relationships – family, your community, or the workplace. People need to feel heard and cared about to belong and thrive in these communities.

2. Competence. Anyone who values their position needs to know that they can do their job well and be recognized for doing so. If people struggle in their role and don’t believe they can learn or achieve what the job demands, they will inevitably feel dissatisfied. Your job is to give team members a sense that they can be rockstars at their jobs.

3. Goal Achievement. People are, by nature, forward-thinking, and they have goals in both their personal and professional lives. If you want people to stay with your company, they need to understand how their role enables them to progress toward these goals.

4. Stimulation. Some people don’t view work as something that is supposed to be stimulating – as long as the job provides steady pay and sufficient attention to basic human needs. On the flip side, others expect to be challenged and engaged by the work they perform. Be sure to put the correct individuals in the right positions, consistently add to their competencies, and provide new learning and growth opportunities.

5. Freedom & Flexibility. Allowing your team to work where, when, and how they would like serves a growing need for freedom, flexibility, and a proper work-life balance. Serve this need by offering flexible work conditions as long as people meet or exceed expectations.

6. Vision Alignment. In other words, does the company's higher purpose serve or support the employee’s own? People who find meaning in their work lives will want to spend their time helping a company whose mission they believe in.

Remember, workforce culture can truly make or break a company. That’s why it’s essential to facilitate the needs of your team. It’s not enough to give them a paycheck – if you neglect to develop these needs, your company’s own need for a consistent workforce will suffer.