Developing Passionate Employees

Passion: Powerful emotion, boundless enthusiasm, something that is desired intensely

What would your company be like if your employees showed up with passion and boundless enthusiasm each day? What if they intensely desired to work hard and make a difference in your organization? Would it make a difference and increase your bottom line? I believe it would.

Passionate employees are more effective. They're more fun to work with. They get more done on a daily basis. They work with greater accuracy and they inspire excellence in others. Passionate employees directly affect the bottom line and influence the company culture in a positive way. So how do we tap into the passion our employees possess?

First and foremost - we must be passionate! If we're not passionate about our work and how we carry out our role as leaders, we can't expect others to be passionate. As leaders we're the role models. If we show up each day with passion and boundless enthusiasm - it will be contagious. Our employees want us to be passionate about our work. They want us to be enthusiastic and have an intense desire to succeed.

When I was in the construction business, I was passionate about our work, our clients and our employees. I showed up each day with passion and enthusiasm even when I didn't feel like it. As leaders we don't have the luxury of being negative, unengaged and unenthusiastic. We must show up with passion and enthusiasm each day or we will pay the price.

Engaging our employees and helping them to tap into their passion and potential is a full time job. It's a job we must take seriously. As leaders we can help our employees ignite their passion for their work and be more enthusiastic on a daily basis.

A few years ago I spoke about my passion for the business at one of our weekly meetings. I shared why I was passionate about my work and what my personal vision for the future of the company was. As I spoke, my employees listened with interest. Even the employees who lacked passion seemed to be very interested. They watched and listened. They were truly engaged.

I believe my employees engaged that day because hearing about someone else's passion is engaging. We can't help but listen to someone who is passionate, even if we don't agree with them. Passionate people motivate others to be passionate. Passionate people are inspiring and draw others to their cause. Passionate people are energetic and just plain fun to be around.

In addition to sharing our own passion with our employees, we can help them develop their passion at work in various ways. Below are ten ways to increase passion at work.

10 Ways to Increase Passion at work:

  1. Hire smart. When hiring look first for passion and attitude and then for skill. People can learn the skills needed for any job - passion is harder to teach.
  2. Get a good fit. Take the time and energy to match up your people with their skill sets. We often have the right people in our organizations - we just have them in the wrong job.
  3. Train. Give your employees the training needed to be excellent at their work. The more competent employees feel - the more engaged they often are in their work.
  4. Communicate with passion. Communicate your goals and vision with passion. When making changes or implementing new techniques - communicate it with enthusiasm. Just how we talk to our employees can have a huge impact.
  5. Set goals. Take the time to set goals with each of your employees. People who have goals and have a vision for their future are naturally more passionate. Goal setting was a big factor in the success of our company.
  6. Recognition. Use recognition and praise often. You can not over praise if you are genuine. Employees who are recognized and appreciated feel better about their work and are more likely to engage.
  7. Use surprise. Employees love surprises. Surprise the team with fun activities on a regular basis. People who have fun at work are more likely to be engaged and passionate about their work.
  8. Ask. Ask your employees what they need in order to feel more passionate about their work. Sometimes it is something very simple and easily obtained.
  9. Care. Show your employees you care about them. People who work for a boss who truly cares are people who work harder and more enthusiastically.
  10. Take risks. We get way too comfortable with how we have always run our businesses and with our leadership style. We make excuses for not making changes or doing things differently. Take a risk, do something different. Think outside the box.

We must take action and take it now. One of my favorite quotes by Hebbel is, "Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion." Or in other words - nothing great will be accomplished in your business without passion.

About the author
Michelle Neujahr is a business consultant, national speaker and author. Michelle currently works with businesses who want to develop excellent business practices. Prior to beginning Neujahr Development Company, she owed a large construction firm, specializing in both residential and commercial construction. She can be reached at michelle@michelleneujahr.com or via her website at www.michelleneujahr.com.

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