“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” Confucius said. It is a quote that is still relevant, even in today’s context where people are easily disenchanted with their work and prone to switching their jobs. We live in a world where there is a huge variety of people – there are those who dedicate their lives to just one cause, and those who continuously experiment to keep themselves engaged and happy. What keeps them going in both the circumstances is the underlying construct known as ‘passion’. Wouldn’t it be good if people brought the same passion they carry in everyday life with them to work?
It is important that people’s passion are leveraged to achieve business objectives; if there is no alignment between people’s passion and business objectives, organizations can’t thrive for long.
For an organization, having a pool of employees who are happy and passionate about their work is crucial. Employees who bring an enormous amount of positive energy with them are the ones who have greater focus at work and never hesitate to go the extra mile. However, the question arises – is it possible to find such people who are ‘passionate’? The good news is yes! It most certainly is possible to identify passionate people. Let’s look at what some of the common traits or differentiators are:
Curiosity: People with passion are always brimming with curiosity and they never get tired of asking questions about their work, or any topics that are marginally related to their area of interest.
Effortless Learning: Passionate people drift towards things that interest them and they pick up on those things very quickly. They are keen to learn and master.
Achievement-orientation: This is a key trait of people who excel at things that they feel passionate about. They are always ready to walk that extra mile and willingly put in the discretionary efforts to achieve their goals.
Flexibility: They derive great satisfaction from their work and adapt to tough working conditions quite smoothly; long working hours don’t dishearten them, rather they look at it as fun and engaging!
Ready to Volunteer: Passionate people are always ready to volunteer in order toachieve success. They like to help and support others, and don’t believe in keeping things to them.
Identifying passion and leveraging passion at work
Within an organization, it is important that people’s passion are leveraged to achieve business objectives; if there is no alignment between people’s passion and business objectives, organizations can’t ensure sustained success. So, how can organizations select the right people, leverage their passions and also support them to fulfil their work-related goals? Many organizations use multiple approaches such as questionnaires, assessments, and interviews to find out if people are passionate. This process of identifying passion is relatively easier in smaller organizations or start-ups where it is easier to align people to a common goal or vision.
Once our passionate people are identified, an organization can then identify opportunities and let people own these passions by empowering them – give them requisite resources, guidance and opportunities to fulfil their passions. Organizations can also tailor their reward and recognition strategies according to this categorization. Rewarding people with what they value can prove to be a great retention strategy.
It is truly great to have as many passionate people as possible in the organization, however, it is not necessary the case that an individual’s passion will culminate into a group passion, and eventually as a culture. Culture evolves over a period of time, while individual passions keep on varying. It is an organization’s prerogative to identify, develop and empower more and more people in the organization who share common interests and feel passionate about organization’s vision, mission and values, so that together they can have a big impact on the entire organization.