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How to Spark Passion in Your Employees

by Ashley Miller

In a 2007-2008 Towers Perin Global Workforce study, only 21% out of 90,000 respondents reported being engaged in their work and willing to go the extra mile. It's an unfortunate fact, but many employees feel that their employers don't care about them and that their managers are only operating out of self-interest. If you want to spark passion in your employees, your motivation should come from a genuine desire to improve the morale and well-being of your entire workplace, not only from a desire for financial or organizational success.

Make it Worthwhile

Employees need to feel that their contributions are meaningful and that there's something in it for them. Employees won't be engaged or passionate about their work if they feel it's only going to benefit stockholders or upper management. Let your employees know that their work counts and will be rewarded. If your company makes a good profit for the year, share your success with employees through year-end bonuses. Engage them in the process of building future success. Listen to their feedback and take suggestions for improving morale and the overall work environment. If your employees feel they have some level of input, they will have more passion for their jobs.

Focus on Employee Strengths

Gallup surveys have found that employees who are allowed to demonstrate their strengths experience a greater sense of passion for their work. This is largely because recognizing employee strengths can give them a chance to do the work and jobs they like best. It's important to give your employees the opportunity to shine in the areas in which they excel because they will feel passionate about their work and a desire to perform their best.

Be Flexible

Supporting your employees' needs outside of work can be another effective way of sparking passion in your employees at the workplace, Jill Morin, executive officer at Kahler Slater, said in an article for CBS News MoneyWatch. Morin points out that employees who are preoccupied with external concerns such as family issues, and aren't allowed to attend to those needs, aren't going to feel very passionate about their work. Consider allowing your employees to work from home a few times a month or allow for a more flexible schedule. If your employees believe you care about their lives outside of work, they are more likely to feel passionate about their jobs.

Praise Accomplishments

Everyone likes to receive acknowledgment for a job well done. If you don't acknowledge your employees' contributions, they aren't going to feel like going the extra mile for the company and they certainly won't feel passion for their work. A well-timed compliment for stellar work on a recently completed project can go a long way toward improving morale. Your employees will appreciate your attention and feel inspired to continue to achieve. Praising employee accomplishments is one of the most effective methods for sparking passion in them, according to the Ivy Sea Online Leadership and Community Center.

About the Author

Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.

Photo Credits

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