I had a disagreement with someone I met at an event a few weeks ago. A rather vigorous one. The conversation had turned to the idea of companies bringing someone in to help management and employees tap into the power of passion.
"Companies aren't interested in that," she said. OK, I admit, that was a bit like waving a red flag at a bull for me. "They're afraid if employees figure out what they're passionate about, they'll leave. Now if you can come in and say, 'I help people be passionate about what they're already doing,' companies would be interested."
I had to call bullshit. I had no quarrel with her comment about the need to help people figure out how to feel more engaged where they currently are. I absolutely agree with that. But the notion that companies don't get the long-term value of helping people tap into what really lights them up seemed at best ludicrous.
Are there companies that are afraid of that? No doubt about it. Do I think they're going to be competitive - or even around - ten or twenty years from now? Probably not.
That may have been the case in the past, but I'm seeing more and more companies out there who really get how important that element of employee engagement is. The forward thinking companies are already asking, "How do we maximize the engagement our employees feel about their work?"
It's like tuning your engine. Any company runs on the power of its employees. If the collective energy of those employees is misfiring and sputtering, you're not going to be able to get the most out of them.
If, on the other hand, an effort is made to tune that engine, making sure that what employees are doing is in alignment with what makes them tick, then more of that potential is going to be transferred into forward motion. Because the best results aren't going to come because of a carrot or a stick, they're going to come because each individual feels internally motivated by what they're doing.
Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM