Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Building culture using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Simply put, the culture of an organisation is the critical success factor to the execution of a company strategy. The habits and values of the individuals that work for the company define the execution of any action plan. This means that culture matters, and therefore behaviours matter too.

Thus, in our quest, as Workpoints, to have a positive influence on behaviour at work we must have a clear understanding of the following two aspects. Firstly, we need to understand the variables of human behaviour at any given point in time, and secondly, we need a platform that can manage, monitor, coordinate and facilitate a change in behaviour.

So to make this happen, our team of Behavioural Specialists have compiled a model of general behaviour and how to influence it. While there are many theories underlying our Workpoints platform, the one that we are going to unpack a little bit in this post is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Maslow’s theory, or often referred to as the theory of motivation, explains how people experience needs according to five levels (Maslow, 1943). Maslow (1943), stated that any behaviour - anything that an individual takes action on - is an expression of basic needs being addressed or satisfied.

What we have found is that these human needs play a vital role in individual motivation at work and when a holistic reward and recognition programme is initiated within a company – one that ensures all individual needs are met - an organisations’ culture thrives.

To illustrate where we have applied a little bit of the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory, firstly let’s take a peek inside our Workpoints Voucher Store.

Here you can see that our rewards speak to two levels of individual needs, primarily the Physiological & Safety levels.

Secondly, let’s jump to the Self-Actualisation level, where tangible rewards will almost always fall short. However in this case, our team of Behavioural Specialists will guide you on how to best set-up your personalised Workpoints programme to ensure this level of needs is accounted for.  

And lastly, the Belonging and Esteem levels are met by our recognition programme through the use of our social timeline, leader board and our peer-to-peer recognition elements. Stay connected for more on these topics in our upcoming posts…


Estée Roodt (MCom Industrial Psychology)

Estée is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our keen researcher, our problem-solver and our number one sports star.

Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology) 

Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.

Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit for more info and a free trial!


Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(13), 370–396.

1 comment:

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