Experts find that the key to employee engagement isn’t performance, but passion
According to their latest Worker Passion study, global professional services firm Deloitte found that only 13% of the US workforce are passionate about their jobs. Among those inspired workers, however, they found that:
- 71% willingly work extra hours
- 89% feel energized by their work
- 71% feel encouraged to work across corporate silos
- 67% rate their company highly for collaborating with customers
- 68% of these individuals voice optimism for their company’s future
In a world of increasing performance pressure, getting workers to be proactively passionate—not just engaged—about their work is essential.
“An engaged worker shows up on time, follows directions, and feels good about participating, but may be just dutifully along for the ride,” the report stated.
“But a passionate worker is one who has a long-term commitment to making an impact through pushing boundaries, developing new tools, and connecting with others.”
It’s these workers that actively find ways to learn and improve faster, and who are capable of leading their companies into new markets and new opportunities as the business environment changes.
Experts at Deloitte’s Center for the Edge suggest four ways you can bring that 13% of passionate workers up to 100%:
- Lead by example. Enthusiasm is contagious, but it requires you to be authentically inspired yourself. Ask yourself how inspired you feel? What’s getting in the way of your own passion? And where can you, yourself, lean into more experimentation, more challenge, more innovation, and more collaboration?
- Provide focus. Having a team of self-starters is excellent, but only if they know what to focus on to help the organization go where it needs to go. Give them a vision, but also visibility into what others are doing and how their work supports others, a set of actionable values, and a collection of resources to help them achieve success. Most importantly, help frame the strategic challenge by helping them to ask better questions about what problem to solve. Then trust them to solve it.
- Create the environment. To truly make the jump from fearful, isolated, and reactive to fearless, collaborative, and proactive innovation, you must create an environment in which both successes and failures are openly discussed and celebrated. Help people who are really excited about taking on tough challenges connect with each other. Create experimentation platforms to encourage creative thinking, intelligent and constructive questioning of the status quo, and experimentation while managing the risk associated. Define not just the end results but also the behaviors and human attributes that will get your company there—and celebrate them publicly.
- Test your perspectives. Many business leaders think such a working environment sounds wonderful, but just isn’t possible where they work. No doubt, creating a culture of passion is difficult, or else everybody would be doing it already. But a second look may reveal that what seems an insurmountable obstacle is actually an open invitation to explore new opportunities.