Driving Passion in the Workplace

Don’t be disappointed, but the topic does not indicate that we are going to discuss office romances or how to ask a co-worker out on a date. This passion discussion is about work and productivity.

In today’s market place, many companies have cut expenses and gained efficiency in processes, but have failed to tap one of the biggest assets available that can have the most dramatic positive impact on their business…..human capital, employees, the workforce. Many books have been written about what drives passion and engagement, but I think that books written in response to surveys tend to hit the point more directly. One of the best books I have read over the years on the subject of the emotional temperature in the workplace was “First, Break All the Rules” by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. Both worked for the Gallup organization and the book was based on in-depth interviews conducted with over 80,000 managers. Twelve questions were asked of every manager with each question having a direct link to productivity, profitability, retention, and customer satisfaction….basic business outcomes. From the study, six questions surfaced as the most powerful.

  1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
  2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work?
  3. Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
  4. In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
  5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

 As we review, we can put a dollar cost to the actions, steps or resources necessary to generate a positive response to these questions. Get out your calculators! Ready? Zero, zilch, nada.  A big goose egg.

The costs associated with not having a positive answer to these questions are very expensive. Higher turnover, lower employee engagement and morale, lower productivity, lost customers, employment lawsuits, just to name a few.

At a recent tradeshow and education conference where I was a speaker, only 8 sessions out of almost 100 were exclusively dedicated to people or employee related issues….and I conducted 2 of them. All other sessions were about process oriented topics. Why is there such a focus on process over people? I contend that it is easier to add, revise, change or modify something that has no emotional attachment.

Want to drive passion in your workplace? Focus on the six questions. Let go of the need to control. Become more vulnerable as a leader. Get rid of the ego and grasp the compassion.

Imagine the results that can be realized from having an organization full of employees who work with passion to help others and the company be more successful.

To Your Success

Richard Davis
McClain Group, LLC
Twitter: @pipability


One response

  1. Nicely done, Richard.

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