Is your workforce passionate? According to a Deloitte study, the answer is likely, “no”: 64 percent of all workers report being neither passionate nor engaged at work – including 50 percent of executives and senior management. That’s a staggering number, especially when you consider the many benefits of a passionate workplace culture.
Modern workers want fulfilling careers. They often look to their jobs to provide them with purpose and meaning. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on. It’s up to business owners to figure out how to create passion in the workplace and build an exciting, innovative culture that attracts and retains top talent.
Why is passion in the workplace important?
According to a study, passionate employees are more likely to seek out challenges, pursue new opportunities and connect with others in order to learn new things. These three traits are deeply connected to creativity and innovation – and as Tony likes to say, the only two things that truly matter in business are innovation and marketing. Constant and strategic innovation is the only way to stay ahead of your competition and continue to grow your business.
Passionate employees are also more committed to making an impact on their company and on the world. That could be why passion in the workplace increases work engagement and job performance. Increased engagement can indicate greater employee happiness, and happy employees are more likely to stay with your company. They also spread their passion to others, igniting an unstoppable spark among your workforce.
Ultimately, employee passion is inherently related to the gift of drive: that deep, inner hunger to do more, be more and contribute more. When you learn how to improve passion at work, you create a workforce that is driven, creative and resilient – and a business that can crush the competition in any economy.
How to create passion in the workplace
Business owners and entrepreneurs play an enormous role in creating a passionate work culture. If your culture is feeling lackluster, you can learn how to create passion in the workplace, no matter your industry, size or stage of the business cycle.
1. Create a strong vision
Your company vision is the foundation of everything you do. It is your biggest dream. Your reason for being. Your north star. It defines who you are as a company and informs how you make decisions. But most of all, it must inspire your employees, create a common goal and ignite a sense of purpose.
2. Set ambitious goals
Your vision is the ultimate objective of your business, but you’ll need goals to get there. Setting ambitious goals will tap into the drive of your employees, so dream big. Incorporate the input of your team. Then make a plan to work together to accomplish those goals. You’ll build teamwork and passion throughout the process and beyond.
3. Improve your communication
In leadership, business and life, communication is always key. Your employees will never know your vision or goals if you don’t have the right communication channels in place. Improving your communication skills can also help you get to know your employees and build rapport. When employees feel understood, a passionate work culture follows.
4. Ask better questions
To know how to improve passion at work, you may just need to ask. Encourage an open dialogue about what inspires your employees to give their all. If there’s a specific problem to solve, ask open-ended questions that encourage your employees to find their own answers. As Tony says, “When you ask better questions, you get better answers.
5. Build trust
Communication and rapport are stepping stones to building trust in the workplace. A team that trusts each other will be more open, allowing ideas and passion to flow without boundaries. That will make for more productive and innovative employees. And there’s nothing like some friendly competition to create a “spark” of passion across teams and departments.
6. Encourage failure
Fear of failure is one of the biggest limiting beliefs that business owners hold. While encouraging failure may sound strange, the truth is that if you want to be innovative, you must fail. The key is to fail in smaller ways and recover quickly. Be open to every idea, no matter how big or crazy it sounds. Open dialogue and the freedom to fail will foster innovation – and passion.
7. Choose the right managers
Understanding the three business identities – artist, manager and entrepreneur – and how to leverage them is key to how to create passion in the workplace. Your managers are closest to their teams and play a vital role in building passion, yet true managers are one of the most rare business identities. They love processes, efficiency and operations, and most of all, they are excellent with people. Choose them wisely.
8. Provide professional growth
Creating passion in the workplace is about more than ping pong tables and beer in the fridge. It’s more than a 401(k) and unlimited vacation time. Today’s employees want professional development. It’s no surprise – one of Tony’s mantras is, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” and that includes career growth. Offer the opportunity to learn new skills, attend conferences and build mentorships within the company. Your employees’ passion will grow along with their career.
9. Highlight the impact of your work
While 70 percent of employees say their sense of purpose is defined by their work, only 18 percent feel they get as much purpose as they want from their jobs. There’s a massive opportunity for business owners to close that gap by communicating the good they are doing for their communities, industries or the world.
10. Take on pro bono projects
Great leaders lead by example – and know how to create passion in the workplace by giving back. If you are able, donate your products or services to a good cause. Every human being craves contribution and significance, and giving employees the ability to fulfill those needs through work will certainly inspire passion.