Passion at work

Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development

​By cultivating the traits of worker passion in their workforce, organizations can make sustained performance gains and develop the resilience they need to withstand continuous market challenges and disruptions. Explore our latest report and video series below.

    Executive Summary: Unlocking the Passion of the Explorer

    Up to 87.7 percent of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have passion for their work. Less than 12.3 percent of America’s workforce possesses the attributes of worker passion. This “passion gap” is important because passionate workers are committed to continually achieving higher levels of performance. In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies need passionate workers because such workers can drive extreme and sustained performance improvement—more than the one-time performance “bump” that follows a bonus or the implementation of a worker engagement initiative. These workers have both personal resilience and an orientation toward learning and improvement that helps organizations develop the resilience needed to withstand and grow stronger from continuous market challenges and disruptions.

    This report uses new survey data to debunk five myths about passionate workers and offer predictive evidence of how companies can cultivate passion in the workforce. Specifically, this report reveals the unexpected profile of passionate workers, their motivations, and the reasons they are so important for a resilient workforce. It also identifies tactics for finding and developing these qualities within the workforce, including tangible steps for how companies can create work environments that unlock worker passion at all levels of the existing workforce.


    Unlocking the passion of the explorer

    Report 1 in the 2013 Shift Index series

    Times of great and constant change require companies to be flexible and to grow stronger. We explore how organizations can cultivate and engage the right dispositions and talent. By adopting new ways of working focused on eliciting and amplifying the passion of certain workers, organizations will benefit from the sustained performance improvement that these individuals create.

    Explore our latest report and video.

    HR Times blog posts

    How do you find passion?
    February 9, 2015 | posted by Tamara Samoylova and Maggie Wooll


    Passion in need of a champion
    November 13, 2014 | posted by John Hagel III

    Related Content


    Employers that stop at engagement may fail to foster a passionate workforce
    Bloomberg BNA Human Resources Report | vol. 32, no. 41


    Behold the entrenched - and reviled - annual review
    NPR interview | Yuki Noguchi


    Debunking myths about worker passion
    Forbes | Steve Denning


    Birds of a Feather: Cultivating Worker Passion
    HRO Today | John Hagel and John Seely Brown

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