abstractWe’ve talked a lot about the mission of your business, and driving employee engagement from that.

It works the other way around, too!

Your employees have a broad range of interests:  family, sports, social groups, hobbies, and so on. What do they have to do with job performance? Don’t they actually take time away from work?

Here’s how to think about it: Those are the activities that generate passion for each employee. When you eat, you’re building up physical energy for the day ahead. When you work out, you’re building endurance. And when you do something you love, you’re building up mental focus and resilience.

This is incredibly valuable.

Insightful leaders know that a good sleep rejuvenates the mind as well as the body. A weekend not worrying about work makes one more productive on Monday. And a great vacation rejuvenates the mind and soul.

Rejoice in each employee’s interests outside work, support them, and stay away from any guilt trips about this distracting from the job.

These interests can also have a more direct impact on your team’s productivity. For instance, I supported an organization where one of the workers was passionate about painting and had some great connections in the community. She organized a wonderful team-building exercise working together with the manager, and as a result:

  • Everybody else got to know her better in a more personal way
  • It was fun, engaging, and unique
  • She was able to demonstrate her expertise and passion
  • It wasn’t that expensive or complicated, yet customized to the needs of the group

How often do your employees have these kinds of great experiences? Let your workers shine and be passionate about what they do!

This article was first published in InnovatioNews.