Passionate employees are naturally driven workers that persist through challenges and show up faithfully. Passionate employees can help your company to win excellence awards and achieve new growth levels. Unfortunately, according to a recent study by Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, only about 13 percent of U.S. workers are passionate about their jobs.
How do you know if your employees are passionate, though? Better yet, how do you identify passion so that you can hire more passionate employees in the future?
Look for Values Alignment
If an employee’s values inherently align with your company’s values and goals, they are more likely to sustain long-term passion for their job that’s undiminished by temporary challenges. People that are already dedicated to causes near and dear to your company are likely to be more passionate about their jobs than workers that aren’t. Values and goals cover a broad spectrum, but are often either compassion focused or growth oriented.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking the right questions can help you to identify passionate employees or candidates. Questions like “Why do you want to work for our company?” can help to stir up some emotion for employees that are passionate, but questions like “How do you stay up to date in the field?” can really help you to see the passion and drive. Questions like “What makes you feel most excited about your position?” can help you nail down the specific things they are passionate about.
Create an Environment that’s Conducive to Passion
Stifling growth and creativity may squelch the flames of passion. Even if an employee starts off with great passion for your company and their job, they may quickly become deterred if every suggestion is ignored and no recognition is given. Encouraging employees to make changes and try different things may add an element of unpredictability, but it will keep passionate employees excited and loyal.
Allow Employees to Control Their Development
Even the most passionate employee will become bored if there is no room or opportunity for growth and development. Setting up learning management systems through the HRIS and paying for external training programs can help employees to keep their knowledge fresh and up to date, while also opening up potential promotion opportunities. Giving employees autonomy to participate in these programs will help to keep passion alive while steering away from overwhelming them.
Recognize Employees as Individuals
Employees are all individuals with different needs, preferences, lifestyles, and drivers. Recognizing employees as individuals and working to make them happy with their lives and their jobs can help to not only keep passion alive, but to inspire it. If employees feel valued as individuals, it may inspire even greater passion for their work and workplace.
Recognizing individual achievements on a daily basis can also help to keep passion alive. A simple “good job” from the boss or a peer can make an employee’s effort feel worthwhile and inspire more hard work. Incentive programs may reward work on a regular basis, but shouldn’t be relied upon to make employees feel appreciated, as work that goes unrecognized for too long can make employees feel less valued, thereby undermining passion.
Most new employees exhibit a degree of passion, but this may not last. By following the above tips, you may work to identify lasting passion in new employees and keep that passion alive for veteran employees.