How to Encourage Passionate Employees

June 19, 2013 Thad Peterson

Yesterday, we talked about the dangers of having employees who “quit and stay”, and I posed the question: “How can we ensure that employees sustain their passion for their job and their company?”

One answer is a formula from the Ken Blanchard Companies—a renowned coaching and leadership development firm. The formula consists of the “12 Employee Work Passion Factors.”

The 12 factors that drive passion break down into three buckets:

Job Factors

  • Autonomy – Empowering people to make decisions about their work.
  • Meaningful Work – Making sure employees know that their work matters.
  • Feedback – Offering timely, relevant, and specific information about performance.
  • Workload Balance – Having enough time to do tasks well.
  • Task Variety – Giving people the variety of work that motivates them (which differs wildly from one person to the next).

Organizational Factors

  • Collaboration – Fostering cooperation between coworkers.
  • Performance Expectations – Being explicit about what is expected of people in terms of both quality and quantity.
  • Growth – Fostering opportunities for career and job growth.
  • Procedural Justice (Fairness) – Making decisions—and applying rules—fairly and equitably.
  • Distributive Justice (Rewards) – Distributing compensation and rewards in a fair manner that correlates with people’s achievements and contributions.

Relationship Factors

  • Connectedness with Colleagues – Creating an environment where people have strong interpersonal relationships with their coworkers.
  • Connectedness with Leader – Having strong relationships between employees and managers.

Chart of the correlation analysis between employee work passion factors and intentions in the workplace

In reviewing the list, It’s immediately clear that having a true culture of recognition can play a significant role in enhancing the majority of these factors—and at least two factors in each major bucket.

Will recognition on its own solve the passion problem in every organization? No. Can it be one of the major pillars of ensuring your employees stayed engaged and enthused about their jobs? Absolutely.

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