Inspiring Passion in the Workplace

Posted on June 27, 2015 by

What Is Passion And How Does It Apply To Work?

Passion describes all of the emotions surrounding love, romance and relationships; a deep, personal feeling most often associated with affairs of the heart. Passion can be said to be a key ingredient capable of exciting the energy which keeps us motivated in moving forward in our work and fills us with purpose and meaning. Passion, as defined by Merriam-Webster is; a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

Passion brings out true happiness, and excitement, and a high level of anticipation for the task at hand. Passion is the most powerful tool in your arsenal. With it you can accomplish anything and you will experience work and life in general, to the fullest extent possible. Passion is the driving force behind the most successful and happiest workers in any organization. It is what allows them to advance in their careers and ultimately to live better lives.

Passion for work brings with it a sense of belonging. Passionate employees understand how important their role is in relation to the direction and purpose of the organization.

They get more meaning – more personal satisfaction – from doing their job to the best of their abilities. They realize a more meaningful connection between themselves and the organization they work for through the work that they do.

Passionate employees are more resilient and capable of shifting gears to accommodate the needs of the organization better. They are more energetic about their work and have a stronger sense of well-being that translates to increased productivity. No wonder they are a hot commodity in every industry, in every company, in every country in the world – a passionate employee is an asset that companies are more than willing to put up a fight for.

Why Is Passion So Important In The Workplace?

Passion Drives Direction– Passionate employees understand the direction and purpose, not only of the organization, but their specific role within the organization. With a clear understanding of what is expected to happen in the future, employees are able to get behind the plan. A passionate employee will see that there is a need for their unique and valuable contribution in order for the plan to succeed.

Passion Encourages Creativity – Passionate employees are more innovative and show more creativity not just in terms of hobbies and the like, but creativity in their work. That means bringing new ideas into the workplace that will help increase productivity by eliminating repetitive and difficult tasks. It might mean pitching an entirely new way of selling an incredibly common product like toilet paper so enthusiastically that it not only goes over well with management – but with the buying public as well.

Passion Drives Excellence – Passion provides the drive to pursue excellence in every task, no matter how large or small. You’ve probably met a waitress that was so on-point, so dedicated to doing an excellent job that you were amazed. She had the passion to serve her customers, her employer and herself well by providing the best service possible. You don’t forget workers like that – you measure others by these passionate people and their contributions to the organization.

Passion Drives Energy – Passion creates a fun energy in the workplace bringing employees together to complete tasks more quickly. One passionate employee can drive an entire team with their energy, drive, commitment and encouragement. It also opens up opportunities for employees to learn and grow together, giving them even more reason to want to be part of the team. It’s as important to teach as it is to learn and the most passionate employees will soon become the teachers, leaders of the organization.

Passion Drives Dedication – Passionate employees understand the importance of their contributions to the organization they are a part of. In part, this is the manager or supervisor’s job – to listen, understand and truly care about the worker’s point of view and to take action when necessary.

Passion Drives Trust – It is the only real way to build trusting, long-term relationships that benefit both company and employee to the greatest extent possible. But the true passion comes from within the worker – it’s what makes them want to stay in their jobs and contribute.

Passion Drives Changes – A passionate employee will notice that the tools and resources needed to complete the job are lacking. They very often will find a new, innovative idea to avoid this problem in the future and affect the immediate reality as well. Listening to and acting on the requests of these key employees will keep production, morale and energy high for all your workers.

Focus On Passion before Profit

Working at a job for which one has no passion is like living an empty life and all- too-often, it leads not to profit, but to poverty – and not just financially.

Running a business that you have no passion for, that you care nothing about except the potential for profit is a recipe for disaster. Being passionate about profits is not the same as being passionate about the work itself.

Focusing on profits alone will not make a successful organization no matter how big or small it is. There has to be a passion for the work, a deeper, driving force that is more important than money. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t seek profit in our business endeavors – that’s one of the reasons we do what we do.

There are always bills to be paid and things that we want – and it all takes cold, hard cash. But… and this is a big BUT…. chasing profits cannot be everything that you do.

So your mission then, as a leader, is to evaluate yourself and your behaviors – make adjustments that are in harmony with your passion. If you love a particular activity above all others, do that more often. Delegate activities that you are not skilled at or you simply dislike doing – to a person that is passionate about that activity. It is a win-win situation for both you and your employee and the results will be staggering.

Get To the Heart of Your Employees Passion

Each and every one of your employees has a passion burning inside them – it may not be for their job, at least not directly, but there’s something deep down that motivates them. If you want to bring out the very best in them, you’ve got to find out what drives them, what makes them want to work for your organization. The only way that you can find that out is to ask – and then – listen, hard.

You may find out that your best salesman has no real interest in making a huge commission on each sale – his passion is closing the deal no matter how small. He pursues each lead like it were a million dollar deal and gets the same rush from the attainment of the goal – true passion at work. Conversely, he might absolutely despise making cold calls and setting up appointments to make a pitch. This guy is a closer and doesn’t necessarily perform as well as the lead man.

Your employees may be passionate about the environment, certain charities and community service. Again, listen and then figure out ways to incorporate these passions into the workplace – as a part of the overall mission of the company – and to encourage them to pursue these passions outside of work as well.

Creating a Passionate Work Environment

It may seem like insurmountable odds to overcome, but you can create an organization of passionate workers working for the same common purpose. As business leaders, it’s the most important thing we can do. We must build a culture of trust, commitment and understanding, one that encourages employees to learn and grow. Focusing on what makes employees tick – what they need and want – gives them confidence that the organization values them and not just to get the tasks completed.

When leaders are passionate, it creates an environment in which everyone is working for the same excellence. When this happens employees pass the passion on to customers by delivering true value and outstanding service. Customers in turn become more passionate about the organization – they spend more money more often and, most importantly, they will tell others how they feel. When that happens – higher profits are a natural result.

Although financial rewards are nice, and we all appreciate a little extra cash – it’s not the only thing that will motivate your people. On a deeper, core level, we all want to feel appreciated, like we are doing a good job and that our efforts are not in vain. Seeing and feeling that progress is being made – not just on an individual worker’s level, but in the organization as a whole – is more motivational than a token bonus.

You Have The Power To Ignite The Fire Of Passion!

Take stock of yourself – your own behaviors, focus on your passion, share it with your people and watch them thrive. It’s very difficult, if not impossible to beat a finely tuned, passionate team in terms of production and customer satisfaction. It’s up to the leadership of every organization to not only encourage this, but to nurture each and every worker – to capitalize on their individual talents.

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