Companies stretch people to their limits today. I recently heard someone comment that he cannot get all of his work done for the first time in his career. In many companies, unanswered emails, missed deadlines, late projects, and stress grow. Most employees do not complain because they are glad to have a job. However, one might surmise there is a capacity limit that will eventually result in either less work completed or more people hired. Coupling the current economic realities with unemployment fear is one way to leverage all of the capacity in a workforce. This strategy will not work for long-term productivity. Even the casual observer can predict burnout and engagement losses. When that day arrives, a significant shift will occur in how companies view “human resources.”
The question may be, when the shift occurs, how to grow productivity in a burnt-out workforce? Many companies will (and are) attempting to address this issue at the corporate level. This is appropriate as it creates an environment that supports change. The real change that has to occur, however, is at the supervisory level. If the leaders who directly manage a person maintain the same practices, no program from an organizational level will make any significant impact. The team is where individuals connect to an organization. The group leader can be the determining factor in both improving the work context and increasing productivity. If that is your role, there are real steps you can take.
The goal is to tap into the hidden resources in your team. Passion is one example of the many personal resources that are available to the individuals you work with. Passion intrinsically motivates when brought to the workplace, becoming a resource. It results in activity that rewards an individual in ways others do not understand. When people bring passions to work responsibilities, both motivation and productivity grow. Take the time to guide your team through the exploration of individual passions to discover those interests that ignite a fire of motivation.