Passionate workers are the driving force behind any successful business. Employees who are passionate about their job are more productive and driven. They can even inspire coworkers around them to perform their best.
Yet a recent survey1 found that only 45% of American workers say they “love” their job, and 42% say they only “like” their job. And only six in ten workers who like or love their job say it’s because their work is “personally fulfilling and meaningful.”
When hiring employees, you’ll want to know if they’ll stay with your company for the long haul—and passionate workers tend to be more committed to their employers. But what makes employees passionate about their jobs in the first place?
This article will take you through five reasons employees are passionate about their jobs and how you can help drive their passion with a positive workplace culture.
Five reasons why employees are passionate about their jobs
Devoted workers aren’t as easy to come by as you might think. In today’s workforce and economy, many people remain at their job because they can’t afford to be unemployed2. However, truly passionate employees care about their work and their employer. That dedication can spread positivity throughout your company and even to your customers.
To help you understand how to identify passionate employees at your workplace, we’ll go over five indicators in the sections below.
1. They love the work they do
Employees who are passionate about their jobs love the work they do. Whether it’s their industry or the job itself, their passion drives them to be attentive and focused, learn new skills, and put in extra effort to complete tasks.
These employees take their job seriously and strive to get the best results, which can sometimes involve working late or spending more hours developing their skillset through certification classes or webinars. But because they care about their job, going above and beyond doesn’t feel forced or a burden—they simply enjoy it.
Not only are ambitious workers inwardly motivated about their job, but they’re also critical in motivating their teammates. Passion is a positive energy that can be contagious, so when you have a passionate worker at your organization, they may encourage others around them to become even better workers by just being around them.
2. They support your company’s mission, vision, and values
Most employees have a strong sense of purpose in their personal lives. So it’s not surprising that they want their company to have a powerful mission and vision too.
Starting from the initial interview process, potential hires judge your company. If they feel strongly about your corporate mission, vision, and values, they’ll feel comfortable working toward your company’s goals and be more passionate about their job.
Dedicated workers who believe in your company will go the extra mile for you. They’re more likely to stay at their job and advocate for your organization to others, such as referring prospective employees, sharing company posts on their social media, or leaving positive reviews.
Simply put, committed employees who are proud of your company want to see you succeed and will take steps to help you get there.
Revamping your mission, vision, and values statement to ensure it speaks for your company and employees doesn’t need to be a major overhaul. Small initiatives like volunteering in your local community, raising funds for nonprofit or charitable organizations, or reducing your company’s carbon footprint are great ways to show your current workers you care.
3. They understand how their contributions impact your company
Your staff doesn’t work in a vacuum. If an employee is assigned a project, they want to see how their efforts have affected the company once completed. When leaders are transparent about how certain tasks and projects impact the company, employees will feel their work is meaningful, which can breed confidence and passion for the job.
Highlighting successes and contributions can happen one-on-one, like an employee review session, or in a larger setting, like a company town hall. But taking an active role in reviewing results and wins from completed projects is an easy way to improve the employee experience and show them that the work they do—no matter how small—is key to overall business goals.
4. They feel like leadership trusts and appreciates them
Companies that micromanage or restrict their employees' growth are not only likely to experience a high turnover rate, but they’ll stifle their workers’ passion. Employees are more likely to feel excited by their job when they’re given a certain amount of autonomy.
By letting them use their expertise and skills in the best way that works for them, you show trust and respect for your people, which boosts employee engagement and productivity.
Allowing autonomy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set any boundaries. It’s about trust, encouragement, and letting enthusiastic employees flourish so they can try new things and work in a safe and supportive space.
Along with trust comes appreciation and reward. Organizations that have a positive company culture appreciate and celebrate employees regularly. Whether you choose a formal recognition program or an informal method of showing appreciation, ensure it’s meaningful and thought out to keep your staff satisfied, loyal, and engaged.
5. They have meaningful relationships with their coworkers
Sometimes employee passion doesn’t come entirely from a job. If your current employees have close relationships with each other, such as mentorships and friendships, they’re more likely to enjoy coming to work. It can also help them get through challenging projects and routine tasks by having someone to support them and keep their spirits up.
Valuable interpersonal connections across teams and departments should also go beyond the workplace. Companies that hold engagement activities like volunteer days, team building activities, and diversity and inclusion events help their employees learn more about each other and create a collaborative environment between their peers and leadership team.
How you can foster your employees’ passion for their jobs with a positive workplace culture
While you can’t force your employees to be passionate about their job, there are a few things you can do to keep them engaged and happy at work—which can go a long way toward instilling passion.
Having a positive work culture is one way you can boost productivity and satisfaction. When employees feel good about coming to work, whether they’re in the office or remote, they’ll be more energized and involved with the tasks and individuals around them.
One way you can create a positive workplace culture is by promoting work-life balance. Poor work-life balance can lead to burnout, stress, and chronic physical and mental health issues. But by encouraging your staff to take paid time off (PTO) to spend with their families and mentally recharge, your work environment will promote health, wellness, and stability.
If your company can do so, you can also include flexible work schedules, like a hybrid or 9/80 schedule, for an even greater work-life balance, showing your employees you trust them to choose the best schedule for them while still completing their assigned tasks.
Another way you can support your employees is by offering professional development opportunities, like training programs, seminars, or mentorships. Employees become more passionate about their jobs when they have a growth mindset. Providing additional opportunities for development shows your staff that you care about their overall career goals and want to see them succeed, reducing employee turnover and boosting company loyalty.
Lastly, consider overhauling your employee benefits package. How satisfied employees are with their benefits directly correlates to whether or not they’re likely to stay at your company3. Even if employees love their job, they may still leave for a company that offers better benefits.
You can create a more competitive benefits package by incorporating personalized benefits. Personalized benefits, like health reimbursement arrangement (HRAs), stipends, and other perks, gives employees greater flexibility and customization over their benefits.
If you’re unsure where to start, survey your employees to find out what benefits they want to see at your company. This includes them in the selection process and shows them you prioritize their feedback and well-being.
Desirable employees have many positive character traits—and passion is undoubtedly one of them. Employees who care about their job produce better results and drive business goals. Not only is this beneficial for you as an employer, but their passion can help motivate other employees and create a better business environment for everyone.
If you want to redesign your benefits package to build a stronger company culture, PeopleKeep has the right personalized perks for you. Contact our benefits advisors, and we’ll be happy to help you and your employees.
This article was originally published on January 8, 2015. It was last updated on May 31, 2023.