increasing employee engagementYou’re not like every other manager out there, are you?

Where most managers have to deal with employees that are just going through the motions and not caring anything about the quality of their work, your employees actually DO care and give their absolute best.


As it turns out, that’s what ALL managers think.

But…did you know that only 13% of employees worldwide are actively engaged – or, passionate – about their work (and their employers)?

Seriously, only 13%! Even after all the efforts on increasing employee engagement most companies put in.

So unless you’re the best manager in the world, probably only 1 out of 10 team members is as passionate as you would like them to be.

Of the entire workforce it appears that 63% of workers are not committed at all. Meaning they force themselves to work everyday, not bringing any energy and not giving any energy either.

And worse, another 24% actually actively hates their jobs.

Think about the costs in productivity, quality and general level of customer satisfaction that comes along with these statistics!

Let alone your own level of happiness…

So given all these statistics (and the fact that you want to make sure your workforce is of course highly engaged):

How do you get to that point where your employees wake up whistling and commence the workday filled to the brim with ideas and contagious enthuse?


Branson and Semler: Two Great Roles Models for Inspiring Passion (And Increasing Employee Engagement)

These giants of the entrepreneurial world have shown that it is possible to be highly successful without following the standard corporate rules.

They’re the inspiration for many entrepreneurs who wish to ‘do business’ differently; with more wisdom and passion, and with more heart and humanity.

And they’re all the more successful because of it.

Richard Branson

Apart from creating a structure that is both flexible and build on the sense of ownership of his employees, Richard Branson encourages people to think for themselves instead of just following orders.

He argues that his people are his number one asset and treating them properly will positively impact everything else in the business in turn.

His definition of being a good leader involves always trying to bring the best out in people by listening, trusting, believing and respecting them and letting them have a go.

Ricardo Semler

The remarkable Ricardo Semler at Semco understands that passion does not simply show up when invoked but that the conditions for it need to be created.

Semler is therefor ruthless in cutting out all the waste, hierarchy and distraction that comes from running a ‘normal’ business and instead pushes his business to the point where it is not the company controlling the employees but the employees controlling their most important asset – their own life’s and destiny.

He is able to do this because he irrevocably trusts that people have a natural drive to be productive, build toward the future and to contribute to something larger than themselves.


increasing employee engagement


The success of these leaders, though rare in larger organisations, is not necessarily surprising. Much of their tactics resemble the culture of a startup where often all the founders have is the trust in their own abilities, their flexibility and a passion to make it all happen.

It is sheer proof of the power of passion when it comes to innovation, productivity and profitability.

In other words, if YOU want to make a serious effort on increasing employee engagement in your business you’d better take notes from these guys!


What Can You Do To Ignite That Same Kind Of Passion?

Though going the Semco way might be a bit drastic, there are still common denominators that you can apply.

  1. Pay for Life Coaching For Your Employees

    Semler makes sure that the jobs and projects his people do are also in line with their personal passion.Giving employees the opportunity to figure out what their passions are – for example through life coaching – and matching that passion in your business will give them the opportunity to indeed work on their life’s goals and you the benefit of truly committed personnel.

  2. Encourage Your People To Screw Up

    As Branson says, believing in your employees and letting them have a go at projects they are passionate about – even when these are just over their heads – will create a level of energy that is unparalleled with that of the ‘must-do’ projects or keeping your employee stuck in the daily grind.Providing for a continuous safety net by coaching them all along the project will make sure they don’t fall too hard when they do slip and give you insurance for a positive outcome.

  3. Stop Double-checking Your Employees’ Work

    The current business world is geared towards NOT trusting their employees and this shows in heavily controlled environments with lots of stress and anxiety.As a manager you will have to let go of some of your own anxiety around control and truly trust your employees will give it their all as long as they get to feel passionate for what they do.

  4. Go Beyond The Spreadsheets And Show Yourself

    To inspire others, you will need to be inspiring yourself. Your employees will need to look up to you and be able to trust you as much as you should them.That means that your relationship will have to become more open and that you will have to go beyond being a manager.

    You will need to become a mentor.


By creating a safe and inspiring environment, you will encourage people to learn and grow at a rapid pace. Knowing that there is that high level of trust and support will raise an employee to new standards out of loyalty to you and your business.

All this takes time, patience and some soul searching on your own side.

But seeing the spark light up in someone’s’ eye…

To uncover hidden talents and being able to let that flourish over time…

To hear a valued employee talk about her work with such an enthuse that it is hard not to get excited yourself…

The sense of pride you can feel when a person has the guts to not only find their passion but to follow it without any restraints…

Isn’t that worth the investment?