Passionate people. Don’t we love them? People who can take on purpose in their whole being, ignite it, and bring light to the entire space? That’s what passionate people do! One things for sure, it isn’t just a switch that can be turned on. Those who put their heart and soul into work, have a steady fuel that keeps the passion moving. They are “all in.” Not only do they become good at what they do, but they also have an emotional attachment to their work. And that’s not bad! According to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, workers who feel emotionally attached to and identify with their work have better psychological well-being. So what keeps these powerhouse people revved up on the job? And what environment encourages this?
I’d like to suggest 4 things that Passionate people (or those that just may become that way) rely on in the workplace.
Passionate workers are given the opportunity to make decisions. Those delegated decisions match the skill and level at which he/she operates. They have aligned themselves to the vision of the company, and they emotional attach themselves to that vision and it becomes their own.
Help your employees succeed by letting them catch the heart and soul of the company. Then, give them the resources to accomplish what they are tasked to do to fulfill that vision. An ownership mentality comes to those who are allowed to believe, given a task to help fuel the vision, and have the freedom, tools, and space to contribute.
Passionate people know where they fit into the picture, and because of this engagement, they feel compelled to accomplish something. Sometimes learning how a team member best fits in the company takes some research. Personality and motivational tests are super helpful to place team members into their most fitting role. Self-discovery in the workplace allows employees to feel they can give from their strengths, and gain confidence to contribute.
As a Psychology Student, I was fascinated by Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of Flow. If you’ve ever sat through a tennis match and watched the perfect rally, one that seems to go on and on… you’ve seen Flow in action. Flow is the state of concentration and engagement that can be achieved when completing a task that challenges one’s skills. But not only that, the skill of the individual matches the challenge presented. When this happens, time flies. You become astoundingly productive, incurring a sense of effortless execution of the task at hand.
The company can foster this culture of productivity by helping the team have a clear understanding of who they are in the job and how their passions align with the objectives in the job, but matching up a “good fit” for each task allows each team member to contribute in their own perfect “Flow.”
Passionate employees contribute to the way things work. They are given the opportunity to bring ideas to the table and implement new processes that serve the company.
Allowing employees to contribute builds both confidence and competence in the workplace. A supervisor can encourage competence by bringing the team into the process of goal setting and when something isn’t working, letting them come up with solutions. When an idea belongs to you, you are far more committed to the process.
Passionate workers feel valued. Who doesn’t love a reward! Rewards can be as simple as a hand shake, a shout out, or a thank you note. Reasonable deadlines and challenging work with rewards are great incentives for productivity. And when one job is well done, be willing to include your employee in the next logical direction for them. If it’s the same work, make sure they know they are valued. Passionate employees feel their work matters and is appreciated. So going above and beyond should always be thanked. Consider offering an incentive program, or arranging a corporate outing where everyone is thanked and elevated for their individual contributions. Provide branded apparel, or branded leisure items that supply that connection to the company’s core values and mission. What a great way to build and reinforce culture!
(And if you’re in need of a little help with swag for your team, you’re in luck! #stgmarketing)
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. "Feeling emotionally attached to work leads to improved well-being." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151020141546.htm
Bock, Halley, et. Al. “3 Ways to Create an Ownership Menality within your Team.” The Muse. https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-ways-to-create-an-ownership-mentality-within-your-team
(Photo Quote Credit: Randy Ross, Remarkable!)