Set the Bar High

Workplaces that fulfill the need for achievement can ignite human potential and equip people to impact business results.

Office employees inside of a conferene room with bench seating and Setu chairs.

Most organizations want to encourage employees to do their best, but 52 percent of workers say they aren’t engaged at work, and 18 percent report that they are actively disengaged. Even more concerning is that 70 percent of Americans say they aren’t working to their full potential—a problem that’s actually slowing economic growth.1

How do organizations motivate people at work?

The need to achieve is one of six fundamental human needs, which also include security, autonomy, belonging, status, and purpose.2 While it’s critical for organizations to fulfill all six fundamental human needs, achievement may be the highest priority for organizations because of its potential to drive crucial business outcomes, and, ultimately, spur financial growth.

Our research shows that when organizations provide the leadership practices, places, and tools people need to set goals and reach them, people tend to be more productive and innovative, and stay with their jobs longer, helping the organization reach its goals.


2. Herman Miller, “Fundamental Human Needs,” company confidential, March 2015.