In a survey of US workers, only 35% of respondents showed the mindset to seek out challenges. Even among engaged employees, only 38% reported a willingness to do this. And the number of employees who not only seek difficult challenges, but also want to make an impact and focus on building the skills required to do so, dropped to 13%. The flip side of this – almost 70% of employees lack the drive to push through obstacles and conquer new territories. Does this matter though?

Yes, because organizations are doing their best to engage employees and are investing in their growth to improve productivity and innovation capabilities. If the result of this investment is reflected in the above-mentioned statistics, there’s a problem. Especially since the skillsets required for the future of work are vastly different from what we have now. The need of the hour: the passion to persevere and tackle the unknown future.

What does worker passion mean?

It’s the quality that determines an organization’s ability to respond to daunting performance pressures. The world is changing too swiftly to predict the next challenge or forecast the skills your employees will need to meet it. But, by cultivating worker passion, you might develop people who can spot new opportunities and quickly acquire the skills needed to pursue those opportunities. 71% of such workers put in extra hours even though they are not required to. 89% of these employees report feeling focused, immersed, and energized in their work. This is said to be a state of flow.

All said and done, what does such passion entail?

Researchers from Deloitte say there are three components to worker passion:

  • Commitment to making an impact. This is about going deeper within their domain – learning all that is new, understanding the existing, and connecting the dots to innovate. This commitment provides structure and direction to people’s efforts.
  • Actively seeking out new challenges. This refers to experimentation – of knowing what exists in their domain and then pushing the boundaries to see what can be created. This attribute is about seeking challenges, so one can learn. This learning rests outside our zone of comfort.
  • Building trusted relationships. This attribute speaks to one’s ability to build trusted relationships that can help navigate challenges. These connections could be inside or outside one’s workplace/ sphere of work, and support an individual with career advancement.

Most employees have one of these attributes. But a combination of all three is the magic recipe. Come back for the next post in this series to find out what stops our people from developing these attributes.

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