Do you have people with the magic asset?

By Carole Burman, MAD-HR

Founders and entrepreneurs tend to have it in spades. Leaders often discover or develop it throughout their journey. What is it? Professional passion.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22

Human Resources: MAD-HR

It’s an underrated personal asset, which, when applied in a career, can be the key to businesses scaling inexplicable heights of success. But how do you, as a leader, find the potential employees who possess passion, and how do you seek to light the flame of professional passion within your existing team?

We talk time and time again to frustrated employers who feel they’ve recruited the perfect candidate on paper, but then feel disappointed when that individual appears lacking in the desire which motivates them and results in greater performance. 

So, why does this happen? Well, perhaps you need to give yourself a good hard talking to, if you’re a founder who believes you can instantaneously (or ever) get a team member to feel as passionately about your business ‘baby’ as you do. Yet, that said, there are definitely things you can do.

Here are our top tips to both recognise and generate passion in the workplace.


Don’t fall into the trap of formulaic questions or focusing on their list of experience/exam results:

  • Use recruitment as a ‘passion test’. Ask for perspective on an industry issue they feel strongly about.
  • Find out what that person enjoys doing out of work and see how they ‘light up’ as they discuss it.
  • Look at what voluntary work your candidate is doing or has done.
Existing team members

Instilling and enhancing passion among your existing staff can be achieved in a number of ways:

  • Remind yourself that passion can be something of a contagious persona, and then lead by example as someone who shows passion in all you do.
  • Look at those who have enthusiasm and an infectious ability to motivate and excite others, rather than just those who can demonstrate their technical ability.
Power of words

Creating conversations is a key element of promoting passion.

  • Look at the company culture and whether you’re doing enough to create a ‘buzz’ about what’s happening.
  • Can you improve the way you share successes, community initiatives and industry updates with the workforce?
  • Are you disseminating news in a regular fashion, keeping staff passionate about their contribution and their long term career?

Get the team involved – seek ideas, and perspective.

  • We feel passionate about something in our work or home life when we know our ideas are heard.
  • Consider a feedback mechanism or promote suggestions and ideas for brand and business improvement and then do something with it. Don’t just canvas ideas, revisit some of those with potential, and if they don’t work, communicate the reason and encourage the team to go again!

Give your team the purpose and empowerment to go and do, and watch their passion ignite and their contribution soar.

Carole Burman is the Founder and MD of MAD-HR. To discuss how MAD-HR can help inject some passion into your business, contact:
T: 01603 791256
E: or visit

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