Ignite team members’ passion
Problem: Lately, your team members have been doing fine, but you know they could do much better. Employees are meeting goals, but they’re not exceeding them. They’re showing up at meetings, but they’re not contributing innovative ideas. No one’s had a particularly bad attitude, but no one seems excited about their work either. What can you do to fire up your people?
Solution: Strong leaders understand that passionate employees don’t just happen. It takes a conscious, targeted effort to ignite people’s passion for their work. Follow these tips to foster passion in your employees:
- Recognize real passion. First make sure that you’re not focusing on the wrong signs. If an employee doesn’t work late every night, it doesn’t mean that he hates his job. And if an employee logs long hours, it doesn’t mean she’s driven. To gauge employees’ passion, examine how they behave while they’re working and how they talk about their work. Are they in the zone and focused when they do their assignments? Are they eager to share their progress with the team or to explain your products and services to customers? If you can answer “Yes” to those questions, you probably don’t have a passion problem—even if your employees do head out at closing time. But if the answer is “No,” you have work to do.
- Assign meaningful work. No one likes busywork. If employees are spending hours using ineffective scripts with customers, entering data that no one ever uses or attending meetings that have no relevance to them, they will not be enthusiastic about their work. Eliminate or improve tasks and processes that are outdated, flawed, inefficient or useless. Additionally, explain why their work is meaningful. Employees might not recognize how their assignments affect co-workers, customers and the bottom line. Show them those connections.
- Be a thoughtful, trusting and just leader. Unfortunately, there are many ways to quash employees’ passion. If you don’t care enough to solicit their input or respect their ideas, then they will stop sharing them and they won’t be passionate. If you micromanage good employees and don’t provide them with any autonomy, they won’t be passionate. If you play favorites or blame others when things go wrong—you guessed it—they won’t be passionate. But if you are a good leader who cares about your employees, trusts them to do good work and treats them fairly, you are laying a foundation for passion.
- Support growth. Ask your employees what their long-term goals are, and do what you can to help them achieve those ambitions. Encourage them to attend conferences and workshops that will widen their skill sets and expand their knowledge. Share industry-relevant periodicals and articles with them. Praise them for taking risks and tackling new projects.
- Share your enthusiasm. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to express your excitement about your work, your team, your industry and your organization. When your staff members see how passionate you are, they will begin to pick up your fervor. It won’t happen overnight, so keep your energy level and optimism high.
Retaining Great Employees
Tactics for Hanging on to Your Best Talent
As a manager, so much is under your control. Even when your organization doesn’t offer the highest salaries, lavish perks or over-the-top benefits, you can keep your best employees on board simply by being a great supervisor.
The brand-new multimedia training tool Retaining Great Employees: Tactics for Hanging on to Your Best Talent will teach you the steps that you—the manager—should take to ensure that your employees are engaged, happy and with you for the long haul.
This product contains:
- The 60-minute audio conference presentation Building a Magnetic Culture: How to Attract Top Employees, Engage Them and Make Them Want to Stay.
- A 60-page workbook stuffed full of best practices, guides, tips, quizzes and more.
- Dozens of print-ready and customizable forms that team leaders and employees can reference again and again.
Click here to receive Bud to Boss: Take 5 once a month, delivered straight to your inbox!