There is no doubt that passionate employees deliver a better experience and create more sales than employees who aren't. Can you, as a leader, instill passion in others?
We'll define passion as "a strong fondness, enthusiasm or desire." Obviously, you're not going to instill passion in someone who hates his/her job but as long as an employee is a good hire I believe a leader can instill passion. Not only can you, it's a key requirement of being a leader.
Here are five ways you can instill passion in your team this week:
1. Focus on what you can control. You may be a leader in your business but you don't control the weather, the economy, nuclear power plant leaks, crazy world leaders, or the outcome of the NFL talks. If I'm wrong, please introduce yourself.
Passion begins by feeling empowered and knowing you have the opportunity to be successful. When leaders focus on what they cannot control the staff slowly takes on a "why bother" attitude. When the focus is on what employees can control, they are much more likely to be excited about the opportunities that are presented.
2. Avoid negativity, but don't be Pollyannaish. Employees want to feel good about their work and their day. While most leaders are naturally positive, there are some who inadvertently put a dark cloud over their store. I can tell how positive a leader is without even meeting them just by meeting with their team.
The more leaders focus on the positive aspects of people the more passion the employees will have. It doesn't mean you don't point out when things go wrong or what a person can do better, but it's not positioned as a negative. Compare asking an employee "Why did your sales stink yesterday?" with "In spite of your efforts I see yesterday's sales fell short. Why do you think that happened?"
3. Praise employee efforts and recognize successful results. Never, ever, underestimate the impact of saying "great job" and "thank you." It's the fuel that feeds most people's passion.
Most of us don't praise as much as we think. Your employees aren't mind readers. If you're not praising out loud or in writing, your employees aren't receiving it. The higher you are in a company the more difficult it is to discover the opportunities to praise, but that praise also creates the most passion in people. There is a small minority of leaders that overpraise. Believe me, the staff knows it's not authentic and it has the opposite effect. Stop it.
4. Keep raising the bar. Complacency is a passion killer. Boredom can drive talented, and potentially talented, employees to mediocrity. Expecting people to be little bit better every day keeps the staff fresh, challenged, and will result in more success. That in itself creates even more passion and enthusiasm.
5. Be consistent. Most passion comes about when an employee's personal values align with organizational values. If the organizational, or at least manager's/owner's, values change the employee's passion is lost.
While priorities may change based upon the needs of the business, key areas of focus such as customer experience, customer satisfaction, and making sales should remain constant. The more consistent you are about what's important, the more likely your employees will embrace and be passionate about those very elements.
So let me ask, how well are you instilling passion in your team?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies to improve their on-floor and management performance. Vist our website or call him at 866-535-6331 to discuss improving your company's customer experience and results.