How a Culture of Giving Back Inspires Something Better than Engagement

By Ryan Scott

41330 / Pixabay

A culture of giving back is not only one of the most inspiring ways to engage employees, it also offers something even better than engagement: worker passion.

Every business leader is well versed in the benefits of employee engagement, with one study showing a 21% increase in productivity if employees are engaged in their work. But Deloitte leader John Hagel argues that employee engagement is a distraction and we should instead be focusing on employee passion.

Why? Employee engagement has a limited impact, versus the sustained increased performance improvement that comes from a worker who is passionate about what he does. Hagel lays out employee passion as embodying these principles:

  • A long-term commitment to achieving an increasing impact in a domain
  • A questing disposition that creates excitement when confronted with an unexpected challenge
  • A connecting disposition that motivates the individual to systematically seek out others who can help them to get to a better answer faster when confronted with an unexpected challenge

“People with the passion of the explorer are never satisfied or happy with what they have accomplished,” Hagel writes. “What excites them is the next challenge on the horizon – it’s an opportunity to achieve more of their potential and take their impact in the domain to the next level. They are constantly seeking out those challenges and connecting with anyone who can help them address the challenge….What drives passionate people is the opportunity to do better – constantly.”

I think we can agree that any company would seek out and reward these qualities in employees. But Hagel revealed that his research center’s latest survey of the US workforce confirms that employee passion levels are remarkably low, at about 13%, which is much lower than employee engagement levels.

Hagel posits a number of theories for why even the higher levels of employee engagement remain so relatively low despite so much widespread attention by companies in recent years to improve engagement. But as for what to do to improve employee passion (beyond the basics of employee engagement), one of Hagel’s suggestions is to set the proper stage. “We can do a lot to create environments that will help catalyze and nurture passion,” he notes.

Indeed, a separate set of research from Deloitte has found that creating a culture of volunteerism may boost morale, workplace atmosphere and brand perception.

According to Deloitte’s “2017 Volunteerism Survey,” nearly 9 out of 10 (89 percent) working Americans believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those that do not. In fact, 70 percent of respondents say that volunteer activities are more likely to boost employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours, and 77 percent say, “volunteering is essential to employee well-being.”

But companies by and large aren’t doing a good job of leveraging the benefits of employee volunteering. Only 38 percent of employees think their company provides access to employee volunteer programs, with a 69 percent saying they’re not volunteering as much as they would like to, and two-thirds stating Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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