3 Strategies to Help Leaders Ignite Passion in the Workplace (and Why It’s Important)

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It’s time to reframe how we look at work and view it through the lens of creativity. Because if we’re trying to help motivate our employees, once we understand that so much of our work is about creativity, passion becomes much more important. The most creative artists are deeply passionate about their craft. And the most successful employees are normally those with a similar passion for their work.

Employees who are passionate about their work are transformed from a group of people trying to get through a list of tasks to more productive, creative and happier professionals. That, in turn, leads to a better product, happier customers and more sales.

Related: How To Keep Employees Feeling Passionate About Their Work

Start by leading with passion

Company culture comes from the top, so it’s really important to hire leaders who openly display and role model passion in their day-to-day work. Managers who are enthusiastic, communicate transparently and actively engage with and support their team’s ideas will help them understand the true value of their work and how it’s helping the end users. This can then inspire a similar passion across the organization.

When team members see genuine passion in their management, they feel more connected to their work and motivated to contribute their best. Passion is infectious.

How to bring passion into the workplace

Steve Jobs once said that the only way to do great work is to love what you do. That’s all well and good, but as leaders, it’s up to us to create a work environment where people have the space to love what they do, and therefore do their best work. But how do you motivate your team and inspire passion? That’s the million-dollar question. Here are three methods I use to bring passion into the workplace:

1. Focus on passion from day one:

When you onboard new employees, don’t just tell them about your products and services. Immerse them in your company culture. They can’t feel passionate about what they are doing if they don’t feel a deep connection to the organization, its goals and how their role will make an impact. Excite them. Inspire them. Make sure they fully understand what is expected of them and how they fit into the big picture.

2. Connect everyone to the bigger picture:

By being transparent about the company’s business goals and sharing information, you connect your employees with the bigger picture. Your ultimate aim should be to make them feel that they’re an inseparable part of achieving the company’s goals, which will empower them to do their best work. They should easily understand the steps they need to take to reach their objectives and shouldn’t have to put unnecessary energy into irrelevant tasks.

3. Put the right person into the right job and set the right expectations:

Employees who are professionally suited to the work they are tasked with are naturally more passionate about what they’re doing. While it seems obvious to assign projects to people with the right skill set, a lack of resources or a failure to deeply understand the task can lead to a mismatch — and that’s a great way to kill passion and increase frustration. On the other hand, when projects are built around motivated individuals, with realistic and agreed-upon expectations, the sky’s the limit.

Related: 7 Steps to Building an Inspired Team That Achieves Amazing Results

Why does it matter?

Passionate employees have a direct positive impact on the success of a business. Engaged employees have a positive influence on everyone around them. Two teams with exactly the same skillset can have completely different results, driven by the level of their energy and enthusiasm.

The data confirms this. A huge Gallup study involving over one million employees found that the most engaged teams can outperform the least engaged teams by over 20%. A separate study by Deloitte found a direct connection between passion for work and better innovation and customer satisfaction.

This also extends outside of work. In the teams I work with, there are people who make music, record podcasts, write blogs; others who love to go hiking, surfing and climbing. We use these personal passions to recharge and come into our work with renewed energy.

But even more than that — when people have the time to develop their personal projects, it enriches their creativity by encouraging them to think differently than they would in their day job. It opens their minds to new ideas and approaches that they bring into work, helping them take on their tasks with a more creative and passionate mindset.

So, cultivating passion in the workplace results in employees who work harder to find solutions to challenging problems and deliver better results. In turn, I believe that passionate employees lead to passionate customers. Your team’s passion comes across in marketing materials, it’s felt in interactions with the sales and support teams, and it drives a better product. As I said previously, passion is infectious, and great experiences with your brand will turn your customers into passionate advocates on your behalf.

By giving your employees the freedom to think outside the box, implement innovative initiatives and find creative solutions to problems, you’re fueling their passion for your business. When they see that their ideas are transformed into action, and have a real impact, their passion and creativity will only increase. And your customers will feel the difference.

Related: 8 Ways to Motivate Employees Into an Unstoppable Team

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