Your Passion Plan at Work..
Leadership and Diversity Expert, Jody Urquhart,
Passion is the single most powerful competitive advantage and inspiration an organization can claim in building its success
Many organizations possess the same technology, resources, equipment, and expertise, but it is the organization that runs on diversity and passion that thrives. The passion-driven organization inspires its diverse employees, invigorates its customers, and reaps the benefits of their shared enthusiasm in its success. Authentic morale boosters boast passion.
Need Inspiration? Passion Matters
Both employees and customers have feelings that compel them to act the way they do. Employee’s performance can be directly linked to their feelings toward their work. Customers do not buy just anything. They make their decisions based on emotional responses to products and the organizations that provide them. We all operate on emotion, we make decisions on emotion.
Passion is something deeper than policies and practices that give an organization meaning, life and inspiration. A passion for what you do makes every day invigorating and rewarding.
A recent study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal Leadership Edition revealed that customers gravitate toward companies that appeal to them on an emotional level (Alsop, 1999).
To attract customers and employees, compete solely on price the relationship has no loyalty the relationship ends when a better financial reward is found. To have people committed during the ups and downs of business you need to build loyalty with passion. Passion builds advocates for your business.
Passion is uncommon. Not many people jump out of bed fueled by their passion to go to work. More often in organizations people are disengaged, cynical and cranky.
Many leadership methods alleviate the symptoms that afflict the modern company; few treat the disease that causes them, lack of passion.
Benefits of Passion
Provides direction and focus
Attracts employees and customers
Unites the organization
Provides a critical edge
Brings the organization to a higher plane
The benefits of passion are obvious, so why don’t more organizations harness it? At some level there is passion present in most organizations, but it does not form the framework. Leadership may feel it, but not understand how to communicate it. Employees may sense it, but be uncertain or confused as to how to act on it. Customers may detect it in products and services, but may not feel it is consistent or compelling.
Somewhere along our journey we lose sight of what inspires us. We compromise our passion to get the job done. Unbridled growth, increasing technology, multitasking, fierce competition, labor shortages all have forced business to do more with less and what suffers is passion.
Define passion and have a way to sustain it. What is the core thing that people can be proud and passionate about? Link this to your overall business operations. Communicate it often.
(IDEA- Have regular team leadership workshop“huddles” where employees communicate what they are most proud of)
Brainstorm- What specific acts communicate passion? (i.e. - going out of your way for a customer, recognizing other team members, celebrating success, smiling, skipping down the hallway….( as one CEO does)
Keep overall enthusiasm and energy high. Strive to increase overall energy in your work environment. You need this energy to fuel passion. Smile, laugh, and engage in fun activities to keep energy levels high.
Fake it until you make it. The trick is to act passionately even if you aren’t, eventually it becomes a habit and in the meantime your energy will lift everyone up. Fun at work will follow, like it or not.
Everyday our body language comes through loud and clear. Is yours the inspiration that fuels confidence and energy in others or is it tired or just uptight?
Be innovative. Try new and different approaches to your work to fuel passion
Sharpen your skills.
What are you insanely great at in your Work? Recognize people for their contribution to your organizations purpose.
Stay Tuned for More ideas on keeping passion alive in further articles.
Downsize or Invest in People?
If an organization is trying to cut budgets investing in people is usually not their first course of action. Often it is the opposite; let people go, leaving more work spread among fewer people. Those left behind have to work harder, become burnt out and cynical resulting in even more turnover.
We Need Each Other
Organizations need people (for their energy, effort, and talent); and people need organizations (for the many intrinsic and extrinsic rewards they offer), but these needs are not always well aligned. When the fit between people and organizations is poor, one or both suffer: individuals may feel neglected or oppressed, and organizations sputter because individuals withdraw their efforts or even work against organizational purposes. Conversely, a good fit benefits both: individuals find meaningful and satisfying work, and organizations get the talent and energy they need to succeed.
Remember work like all relationships are give and take, both sides need to feel satisfied or one side pulls out.
1) Oh Lighten Up! Your quick, easy lighten up idea for the month
Use laughter and humor in the workplace throughout the day. Laughing with others is a great way to promote peace and fun in the workplace. It takes 16 muscles to frown and only 3 muscles to smile. Which would you prefer?
2) Game Spot - a fun quick activity you can use this month at work
Ask participants to stand in a circle and introduce themselves by first name and one adjective that begins with the same letter as their name—for example, “I’m brilliant Brad.” He than adds a simple movement or gesture, such as a bow, a two-handed wave, or a dance step. Go around the circle and keep adding on until people can’t remember.
3) Inspiration Station. A way to recognize, celebrate and appreciate people
Try creating an award for people who aren't usually in the limelight. This award can be any form of recognition that you choose, but it needs to have a specific name and be given to people whose work is usually out of sight or low profile. Call it something like the Backroom Award, make a big deal about it, and present it on a regular basis (once a month or quarter).
The company newsletter is the ideal place to recognize employees. Submit employees’ names, inspirational quotes and photographs to the newsletter with a story about what they have done really well. Be as specific as possible, tell the story about what they did, what qualities they have
4) Art of the Unexpected- Some funny simple tasteful pranks and other unexpected things you can try if you dare to throw people off guard and keep it fun
- Verbally Abuse your office furniture
- Walk franticly down the hallway
- Cut out photos and paste them on Popsicle sticks and have a puppet show
- Give Inspirational Speeches
- Fake an accent
- Laugh out loud for no reason