Work Passion: take an individual approach

We just published the latest installment in our ongoing research on employee passion.  The focus of this latest paper was to look at the process people go through in deciding whether their current company deserves their full commitment or just enough to get by.


We found out something really interesting to keep in mind as organization’s look at ways to create a more motivating environment for their employees.  It’s not necessarily what’s happening in the work environment that you need to focus on.  It’s how individual employees perceive it.


Let me give you an example.  Recognition is one of the eight factors that we have identified as a component of a motivating work environment.  (It’s also ranked notoriously low in the surveys we’ve conducted.)  How would you go about meeting the recognition needs of the people in your organization? 


You might decide the answer was to create some sort of company-wide recognition process culminating in an employee of the month award. You implement the program, but are later disappointed when you find out that the Recognition scores on the latest employee satisfaction survey haven’t budged at all. 


The problem? Recognition means different things to different people.  For some people, recognition means choice assignments, extra compensation, or maybe a small perk like movie tickets.  For others it just means some heartfelt thanks from an immediate supervisor for a job well done.


The same holds true for all of the eight factors, which in addition to Recognition include Meaningful Work, Autonomy, Collaboration, Connectedness to Colleagues and Leaders, Fairness, and Career Growth. 


As you think about ways to create a motivating work environment, don’t forget that the best approach is an individual approach. Make sure that any new policies, procedures, and strategies are the things that people really want. 

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