“At Zappos Adaptive our passion is to make our customer’s life easier, we completely focused on a market that has been underserved, all because of one amazing customer interaction.”
– Saul Dave, Senior Director of Enterprise Systems, Zappos.com
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, you need passionate people because such people can drive extreme and sustained performance improvement.
What does a passionate person look like?
- They bring noticeable energy to their work
- Searches for new, better, solutions to challenging problems
- Takes meaningful risks to improve performance
- Cuts across silos to deliver results
- Are happy to go to work each day, which translates to less sick time off
- Are loyal to their employers
- Work as needed to get the job done; and, perhaps most important
- Performs at a higher level with each passing year
In addition to the above, passionate teams:
- Inspire others around them because passion begets passion.
- Willingly create a team-oriented atmosphere.
The following five strategies are designed to instill more passion into your workplace:
Make it a priority
Look for passion at every step, particularly at the beginning. Include questions about passion in the interview process and be willing to prioritize it over experience and credentials to find people who share your passions and interests.
Connect to emotions
People need to know that their work matters and see how it all comes together. Encourage them to engage with customers and other ecosystem partners. The more that they feel that they’re innovating and making a difference the better.
Break down barriers
Sometimes the biggest obstacles to passion are barriers that prevent people from “making it happen.” Silos, real or imagined, exist in almost every workplace, particularly larger entities. By encouraging people to work cross-functionally, you tap into their connecting disposition and keep them from feeling confined, which can drain their passion and sense of possibility.
Craft the job around their interests
The sign of a good coach is that s/he develops a system and game plan around the players. Teams that have a particular type of personnel do best when they take full advantage of the talent and abilities on the roster.
Build their capacity
Offer training and educational opportunities to help your people grow and become more confident in their work. Nothing drives passion like a profound sense of ability and aptitude. Also, encourage your people to connect with others in their industry. This will offer many benefits, including new insights, stronger connections, and leads — and, perhaps most important, an outlet for folks when they need advice or someone to talk with.
Try putting passion all around what you do. Work with people who are engaged and passionate about helping others, in the end, only passion will create passion.