Passionate Employees: Is ‘Passion’ the New ‘Engagement?’

graphic that says passionate employees - is passion the new engagement?

I’ve been working with companies for 15 years to increase employee engagement. I believe strongly in helping employees and organizations create environments where they can both give their best each day, where both parties are committed to their organization’s goals, values and success, while ensuring a sense of personal well-being.

But I find the idea of employee passion very compelling. Does passion transcend the idea of engagement? Is one more important than the other? In my opinion, passion doesn’t diminish the idea of engagement, but rather it takes it to a new level.

What is the difference between an engaged employee and a passionate one? Engaged employees are conscientious about their work, do everything that is expected of them and comply with policies and procedures to the letter.

Then there are passionate employees.

These people don’t just stick to the rulebook – they do whatever it takes to delight customers. These emotionally committed employees are passionate about their work, and the organization they work for. They love challenges, they are extremely agile, and they are constantly driven to develop new professional skills.

In my opinion, employee engagement is just the starting point. Passionate employees take your organization to the next level.

But whether it’s engagement or passion, the research tells us that we have work to do. A recent Gallup survey finds that just 30 percent of the U.S. workforce is “inspired” by their work. In addition, a new study by Deloitte Consulting’s Center for the Edge, indicates that even fewer – only 11 percent of the workforce – are truly passionate employees.

So where does this leave us? Are passionate employees born or made? It’s really a combination of both things. You can seek out and hire employees who exhibit passionate behaviors. But more importantly, as a business you can create a workplace that encourages passion and ignites a fire in your existing employees.

I will continue to explore this issue give you my insights about how you can ignite genuine enthusiasm and excitement in your employees.


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