Helping Employees Fill the Passion Gap at Work
Are deadlines and production quotas casting a shadow over your team’s enthusiasm on the job? Are you asking the right questions along the way? A lot has been written about a leader’s role in helping employees tap into their passion on the job, yet a 2014 Deloitte study suggests lack of excitement is a big weak spot in America’s workforce. Researchers found up to 87% of workers aren’t achieving their full potential due to lack of passion for their work.
Connecting employees to the big picture, finding out what drives them, and knowing when to let go is a challenging puzzle for many leaders. Finding those intersections between daily tasks and individual passions is key to helping your team tap into greater satisfaction and consistently high performance standards that can endure tight deadlines and market challenges.
Develop Your Servant Leader Mindset – Take a step back from the immediate deadlines and problems to assess where you can serve your employees. Ask what can you do to help them grow, become healthier, autonomous, and more likely to adopt that same service mindset with their colleagues.
Find Natural Check-In Points – Whether in the beginning, middle, or end of a project, hit the pause button and ask your employees to reflect on the parts they find most rewarding. Revisit these areas during performance reviews and career development conversations.
Develop the Sweet Spot Between Passion and Contribution – When you’ve discovered what motivates an employee to excel at different parts of his or her job, move those tasks up the priority chain. Give them a chance to become a leader in these areas and instill a sense of pride and ownership to outweigh any mundane elements of the job.
Know When to Let Go – You can’t always find the sweet spot for every member of your team. Sometimes an employee simply outgrows a role and needs to shift to another position or to another company entirely. Know your limits and know your employees’ limits. Being a respectful leader involves honoring these changes and offering your service to help colleagues grow regardless of your immediate returns.