Have you ever witnessed someone passionate about a product or service they were offering?
Perhaps it was a genuinely friendly smile and hello from the Walmart greeter or the unexpected follow up from the service/sales rep for a product you recently purchased. It doesn’t happen often, does it? It is oftentimes empowering, inspiring and motivating.
Rather than thinking of Passion as a Yes / No proposition, think of passion as a spectrum, say a rating of 1 to 10 – when it comes to the company you work for, what rate would you give yourself? Are you passionate about the product or service you offer? Why or why not? The answer to this question is often the single most important factor in a business’s success. If you are constantly pushing a boulder uphill, are you going to get there fast? Now apply this concept to a company. A little more complicated but certainly no less important. Passion in a company’s leadership filters throughout the entire organization. From how you present your company through advertisements to how you interact with customers, passion can be seen, felt, heard, smelled and even tasted. When it isn’t there, people know it.
Some may say that “Passion fades”. Sure you can come out of the gates confident and inspiring but for an individual or company to consistently deliver this is impossible. Really! Does this mean it isn’t worth trying to achieve? Should this not be our goal – to continuously strive for a product/service/company that embodies passion? Is this not a major reason why people leave their employers? Is this not a major reason why customers jump ship? Generally speaking, a fresh graduate from college/university will likely have more enthusiasm and passion than a 20-year veteran. Consistently and productively engaging employees (junior or experienced) in their workplaces should be the number-one priority of each company’s leadership. In addition, being open and receptive to people’s passion helps to fuel other members of the team, including yourself.
Have you ever noticed that some employees generally don’t care? Ever wondered why? One of the main reasons is that, over a period of time, employees typically lose their ability to care through a lack of incentives (tangible and intangible) or the presence of disincentives. At times, corporate structures and training programs are aimed to fill the one-dimensional positions that these people were hired to fulfill. Opinions, ideas, suggestions, comments, thoughts about matters which are not their immediate responsibility are neither wanted nor rewarded, no matter how invaluable. The larger the company, the more specialized the employee is. Granted you cannot have all employees working on all jobs. However, who best to recommend money-making or cost-saving ideas in your company? Your employees (the ones who are there every single day). Should it also not follow that the more employees – the more ideas you should get? Imagine the possibilities … and know that the more engaged your team, the lower turnover you will have, the more cost-saving ideas you will implement, the more money-making ventures (products/ventures) you will consider, etc …
Here are some suggestions on putting / maintaining Passion in the workplace:
- Evaluate how your audience views your brand. Does it reflect your position in the market?
- Don’t skimp on marketing but don’t throw your money away either. Focused and productive use of marketing dollars should be your mandate.
- Try to calculate your marketing ROI (return on investment).
- Do you have a regular newsletter going out to your clients and prospects? If so, does it contain relevant and valued information for them?
- Setup an intra-company suggestion box and assign the ideas, reward the ideas and provide regular status on each idea.
- Consistently and productively undertake performance reviews. Provide construction criticism not just criticism
- When hiring, gauge passion in the individual. Find out what drives them and ensure your workplace will feed that passion.
- Reward results: consistently and sporadically.
- Find out how much it really costs to for every employee turnover.
- Truly delegate authority and take ownership of the delegation, not the work.
- Embrace differences among the team: if we were all the same – we’d all be doing the same job.
- In today’s world – money is not the only motivating factor. A healthy and rewarding workplace is just as important.
- Engage your employees by understanding what their interests are. Set time aside for listening to employees.
Passion conveys a higher order feeling. Passion represents values and beliefs taken to a higher level. You don’t just care about it — you love it! Your values and beliefs are a starting point to identifying what you are passionate about. Values can be expressed as short statements that convey what your organization cares about. They are at the centre of your culture and ethics, and convey the personality of your business and its leaders. Obtaining extraordinary results on a sustained basis requires a passion that underpins your value proposition and motivates your people to incredible results.
Assessing your values can be a worthwhile exercise on its own merit, as it provides a context and foundation for governance, strategy and decision-making. Once you have identified your values and beliefs, you can focus on the aspect of your business that you care the most about.
In summary – Is getting the job done enough? In a lot of cases, it certainly can be but for these people or companies, the timeclock is ticking. A company (or person) with passion offering the same service or product as a company (or person) without passion will one day be taking your clients/business away from you.
Passion is 6P Marketing’s 6th P – it doesn’t advocate neglecting the other P’s (Product, Place, Price, Promotion, Positioning) – merely to consider it in relation to them. Are you, and/or your company, following your passion?
6P Marketing is a full service advertising / marketing agency. 6P Marketing strives to meet strategic goals and implement innovative and creative solutions to achieve the corporate objectives of our clients. Our professional skills are focused on developing the unique aspects of each project, building strong one-on-one relationships with all of our clients and serve as their partner in achieving success in the marketplace. For more information on 6P Marketing, please visit our website at 6pmarketing.com.
©6P Marketing 2008