How to Ignite Passion in Your Team in 6 Effective Steps
As an employer, it’s in your best interests to hire motivated employees and harness their passion for your company’s benefit. Here are six tips that can help you do that.
Step 1: Honestly Assess Your Workplace Culture
Your business might perform engagement studies that aim to track your employees’ passions. But if engagement scores are tied to their performance ratings, this isn’t necessarily an accurate assessment of your employees’ motivation levels. Unfortunately, unless you have a degree in psychology, tracking employee engagement and leveraging their passions might seem like a daunting task.
If you’re noticing a decrease in morale and employee productivity, look inward first. Consider your internal policies and workplace culture. Is your leadership team relying on outdated methods to engage and motivate your employees? Do you encourage goal planning and employee development? Do you encourage collaboration and open discourse?
If you’re placing shareholder interests or profits above your employees’ growth and development, they’ll notice.
Step 2: Articulate Your Employees’ Value
Today’s employees want jobs that are imbued with meaning and purpose. Unfortunately, many employees simply don’t understand how their job contributes to their employer’s overarching goals. When you don’t think you’re contributing value to your team or employer, it’s easy to lose passion and motivation.
Make sure you and your leadership team can express your business’ goals clearly as well as each team member’s value proposition. Investing in your employees’ future through education, coaching, and clear career trajectories can also foster loyalty and spark passion.
If you don’t already have a goal-setting program, it’s time to adopt one.
Step 3: Hire the Right Team Members
When you’re adding on to your team, look for people that truly fit in with your workplace culture. This means assessing more than their technical or educational qualifications. You need to dig deep and identify their passions and values in order to assess if they align with your company as a good fit.
For this reason, many high-performing employers use panels of employees to assess job candidates. Your top talent should understand your business’ Purpose, Values and Mission specific needs. When they interact with job candidates, they can identify big-picture issues that might derail an otherwise impressive candidate at your workplace. They also may be able to identify competencies and passions that you couldn’t, due to their intimate understanding of the role you’re hiring for. This may involve communication styles, willingness to collaborate, and an underlying passion for your industry.
Step 4: Create a Culture of Gratitude
If you delivered exceptional work, but no one seemed to notice or appreciate it, would you continue to be motivated to perform at a high level? Or, if your leaders lacked enthusiasm, would you look forward to going to work? Leaders need to harness their own passions and build a culture that recognizes truly exceptional work.
Recognition goes beyond an annual bonus, compensation structure, or job titles. Similarly, your employees are savvy enough to understand when a “thank you” is half-hearted. While it takes some practice at first, you’ll be surprised how much gratitude can bolster productivity and employee engagement.
Start sending thank notes to high-performing employees. Many businesses have digital bulletin boards and chat channels that you can use to voice appreciation and honor your employees’ hard work. You’ll also notice that gratitude is contagious. Your employees will probably follow your lead and start recognizing other contributors in your organization.
Step 5: Be Responsive and Respectful
Even in the best workplace environments, issues and conflicts can arise. High-performing businesses encourage open communication and are responsive to their employees’ needs. When your employees have concerns, listen to them. Then, empower them to make improvements in conjunction with key stakeholders.
It’s also important to respect your employees’ personal needs and interests. Demanding 24/7 access to your team can create burnout. Give them space to breathe and time to pursue their individual passions. And when an employee is going through a difficult time personally, show compassion. Small acts of kindness, whether it’s a personal phone call or a hand-delivered meal from the team, can be a powerful tool that shows your appreciation.
Finally, offer opportunities for team building. When you take your team outside of the office, you give people a chance to relax and show other facets of their personalities. You might learn a lot about your team and build a deeper appreciation for them when you see them working together in different (and fun) ways — and vice versa.
Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Show Your Own Passion
You love and believe in your business. Don’t be afraid to show your passion to your employees. Like gratitude, passion is contagious. If your team sees you digging in and committing wholeheartedly to your organization, they’ll follow suit.
This can take some willingness to be vulnerable, but it’s worthwhile. When you get an opportunity, share your goals, dreams, and passions with your team. If you’re excited about something, share it with your employees.
If you’re looking for help igniting your employees’ passion, Elite Entrepreneurs would love to hear from you. We help small businesses attain even higher performance and drive results through our coaching and mentoring programs. And we’d love to hear your innovative techniques for fostering employee passions.
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