Hiring the right team is imperative for building a strong foundation for your startup. It may seem like a no-brainer to find talent with the most experience or highest degrees but this criterion doesn’t show you they’re passionate about their work.
In fact, 88 percent of employees don’t have a passion for what they do, according to Digitalist Magazine. Without passion for their work, employees become disengaged and disconnected, which leads to poor work ethic, low productivity and more. The passion of your employees also feeds into the company culture. One “bad egg” can be detrimental to the whole bunch.
Whether you’re a first-time business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, passionate people can be the key to your successful startup.
The importance of hiring passionate employees
Passionate employees are necessary in a startup, where you have minimal market power, small budgets and long hours ahead. Here’s why:
They are loyal: Passionate team members are crucial for a startup’s success early on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Passionate people don’t give up in the midst of obstacles because they truly care about what the company is doing. It’s more than a job to them, it’s “their” startup too. They’re invested and excited for what’s to come as much as you are.
They advocate for your business: When employees truly believe in what they’re doing, they tell everyone they know. They’re proud of their work and want to see the company succeed. When someone asks, “What do you do?” their response is energetic and excited.
This translates to more conversation and sharing on social media, as well. Passionate employees are more likely to share awards your startup has won and updates about funding or hiring needs. They become tireless advocates, which every startup needs.
They work hard: Passionate people don’t see their job as a regular 9-5 position. If they have to stay two hours late to complete an important project, they will. On the flip side, they take advantage of days when they can leave early, making them happier and more refreshed for the inevitable days when they clock 10 hours or more.
Finding passionate employees
How do you find these passionate employees? Modify the interview questions to focus on a variety of factors outside of experience and degrees. These questions should address emotional intelligence or hobbies, for example.
Business News Daily suggests keeping the following ideas in mind when writing your interview questions, all of which provide insight into the passions of these potential employees:
- Hobbies and interests outside of work: What are they? Why do they like them? If they’re driven by passion, they’ll have a quick answer for this one.
- Work-life balance: Do they believe in the “work hard, play hard” mantra? These people are passionate about work and life, an important quality in good employees.
- Growth interest: Where do they see themselves within the company in three years? Look for signs of interest in growing with the company in their answer.
- Capacity for generosity: Do they like to see other people succeed? Passionate people like to work with others toward a common goal, completing it whatever way is best.
- Challenging themselves: What was the last thing they did that required courage and hard work? Passionate people overcome obstacles all the time to do what they know is necessary.
- What thrills them: What do they love to do, at work or otherwise? Truly passionate people will light up when talking about this.
Once you’ve built your tribe of passionate employees, you’ll be on the path toward a flourishing startup. Your employees will take pride in their jobs, which will in turn attract even more employees who are passionate about what they do, leading to the growth and development of a successful startup. If you’ve already done your hiring, without these ideas in mind, you can still help employees become more passionate.
Nurturing passionate employees
Turn your current employees into a more passionate team with these simple ideas.
Invest in them: “Pick great team members, then develop and invest in them. Provide them with an environment they can flourish in,” says Ted Rollins, global entrepreneur. Provide your team with professional development opportunities and flexible working schedules, and acknowledge and take advantage of the things they’re best at. This allows them to provide the most value to your company, which makes them happy and the company successful.
Show that you care: If you don’t show you care once employees are hired, you risk losing them. A recent study from The Office Club supports this theory: “66 percent of respondents who said they were ‘totally satisfied’ with their job also strongly agreed that management within their organization recognizes and rewards strong job performance.” Keep this in mind as you work to build a passionate team. Set milestones and goals that are challenging but attainable. Reward each member and celebrate as a team.
A passionate team of employees is the foundation of a successful startup. They become natural advocates and work tirelessly to see the shared company vision come to life. As in life, anything that starts with a weak foundation will struggle to grow – don’t let that be your startup.