*That’s my one-word, arguably cynical answer. Though my footnote elaboration is that it’s very difficult to convince an employee to be passionate about their job. It’s like telling someone they should love a certain piece of art. Either your eyes are drawn to the art or not; either you are passionate or you are not. At best, you will have a B-player and depending on the job that might be OK with you. But this is a major problem for any organization, as dispassionate employees suck the energy out of the room the same way a passionate employee inspires colleagues and customers. So next time you’re hiring, ask questions that might clue you into what makes them tick, whether they’ve given 110% to a project, what volunteering activities they partake in and why. Read between the lines of the thank-you note they send post-interview. In today’s economy, where people not machines are what separate great from good companies, it is more important than ever to identify, nurture, promote and encourage passionate people. As for those who are not passionate but also not dispassionate, they might keep the engines running but they won’t take you as far you need to go.
What do you think – can you train an employee to be passionate?
— Diane Schwartz