Monday, April 1, 2013

Hearts and minds

Increasingly these days private and even public sector employers want their staff to be passionate about their jobs. Being passionate about the environment is great if you work for Greenpeace or the Environment Protection Agency; being passionate about animals is handy if you work for the RSPCA; being passionate about ensuring excellent service for the customer is great if you work in Maccas (though I haven’t seen that in evidence much lately).

Unfortunately we can’t all get jobs in areas that we’re passionate about (especially if we’re passionate about Starfleet). I worry (but not overly much) about how many people who are passionate about X there are in the workforce. Not, I suspect, enough to fill all the roles in industry X. This means unless they want a lot of empty work-stations, organisations are going to have to employ folk who aren’t as passionate about their widgets as that organisation might want.

In that case the organisation needs to do stuff to make people passionate about being there. A good starting place is to have managers and leaders who can – by their knowledge, expertise, empathy, vision and communication skills – engage employees who are ‘not particularly passionate’ and rally them to the organisational cause.

So, big organisation, next time you say you want passionate people working for you, maybe make sure it’s not just lip service to the latest recruitment buzz word and that you’ve done the groundwork to inspire that desired for passion.