The secret to building employee engagement is creating emotional connections between an organisation and its people, as a new study reveals just how dramatically passion boosts both productivity and business outcomes.
Employees who are passionate about their companies are the best performers, regardless of industry, tenure or gender, according to a study by Philadelphia-based consultants PeopleMetrics.
The survey of more than 5,095 workers across the United States found that Fortune 500 companies in the lowest quartile in company profitability had 50 per cent fewer engaged employees compared to those in the top quartile.
"There's no doubt - passion and profits mix," said Kate Feather, PeopleMetrics Executive Vice President.
In terms of individual performance, the study found high performing employees were twice as engaged as their low performing counterparts.
While pay, benefits and resources to do one's job are necessary for a certain level of employee engagement, Feather said that these are not sufficient to drive the highest levels of employee engagement and performance.
"We found that creating emotional connections to employees is what truly matters because this is where organizations can dramatically boost employee productivity and business outcomes."
Building an emotional bond with employees, she continued, requires organizations to create a "sense of meaning and purpose" among employees by connecting them to the "higher vision and purpose" of the organization.
Equally, organizations need to build trust and confidence through regular dialogue with managers and senior leadership as well as celebrating successes, having fun and showing individual appreciation.
"The concept of feeling love or passion for one's company is gaining ground because a passionately engaged workforce is a becoming an important differentiator in the marketplace," Feather concluded.