Don’t Lose the Spark!

When a business is born, the founders are invariably passionate go-getters who are prepared to work like maniacs in order to build a successful company. As a business grows, however, it can be easy for that spark to fade. If you find a way to keep that spark alive (or bring it back to life), you’ll be able to work more effectively and you’ll have more fun doing it. Some ideas to keep your passion alive in your company:

Operate on principle, not on rules. While some very specific directions need to be formalized, creating an excessive amount of regulations, rules, and inflexible policies only encourages employees to follow the letter of the law and ignore the principles that really matter. The heart of your company needs to be your common culture and sense of purpose, not your ability to follow orders. The best way to empower your employees is to give them creative leeway. Let them solve problems and take advantage of opportunities—don’t script every step they take, but achieve the results.

Keep the paperwork where it belongs. Don’t bog your employees down in paperwork (unless that’s the focus of their job). If you have a visionary creative director, the quickest way to burn him out is to force him to spend time battling piles of paperwork. Let your employees solve problems and do their jobs—don’t make them fill out forms and reports that don’t add value.

Acknowledge high achievers. If you acknowledge and reward the efforts of your best workers, you’re sending the message that performance counts. Whether it’s a promotion, a raise, a bonus, or an award… provide some sort of incentive for each of your high achievers.

Take a moment and honestly evaluate the state of your business. Are you excited to come to work each day? Why do you do what you do… is it because that’s what you’ve always done, or is it because it’s what you’re passionate about?

If you love what you’re doing and you are excited to get into the office each morning, good for you! If you think that the passion has started to fade, take steps to rekindle the excitement that you once felt. Not only will your company be more productive, but you and your employees will be able to truly enjoy what you do each day.