When an employee tells me that they love their job, I am not too impressed. You always seem to hear these words when the employee is being questioned about their behavior. It seems as though using the word love would ultimately save them or excuses them from their behavior. This is similar to a person in an abusive relationship and the word love seems to always surface right after the abuse.
Since February is the month of Valentine’s Day, the word “love” is being professed around the U.S. a lot more than average. If you have ever been in love with something or someone, you would immediately know how that love presented itself, evolved and manifested over time. Whether it started slowly and eventually grew or it came quickly and took you by surprise, it all began with an initial attraction that led to passion. Love can be difficult to understand as it can easily transform into something uniquely different. It can blossom, invert, dwindle, die or become quite the opposite. This can relate to practically anything, including the work we do on a daily basis.
There is an urban legend that love solves problems, helps with weathering the storms and keeps people together. Reality displays something quite different. Love does not really solve problems but being in love can create them. It can also make the storms longer and more intense. In reality, love does very little in keeping people together. Whether people are willing to reveal or not, there are various reasons for people staying together. Love is not always at the top of the list. Studies show that some of the common reasons for people staying together are financially related, security, comfort, familiarity, fear of the unknown, starting over again, accepting new flaws of someone different, fear of hurting others, or not willing to make changes unless forced to do so. Again, this can relate to every situation we declare our love, including our work.
The key to sustainment is not about love itself but something more. In the beginning, prior to love, I mentioned that there was an initial attraction which led to passion. The key to sustaining love is really about the passion. Without passion, love can be routine, lifeless and boring. The most powerful component of sustainment is actionable items which include finding ways to sustaining the passion.
This reminds me of how people with an extreme level of passion about the work they do, out-perform others who are less passionate. If you have been employed in a certain job or profession for a lengthy period, what motivates you to continue? Do you remain in that role due to the reasons stated above or do you really want to be there? How do you sustain the passion over time? Is the passion still strong even in periods of uncertainty and distress?
Passion creates a high level of energy and excitement. It drives and catapults people into a higher level of thinking and productivity. Passion actually separates good from great! It elevates love into something actionable and more defined. If someone tells me that they love their job, the words alone are just not enough. I would look for the action behind the words. If you love your job and passionate about the work you do, the work will surely reflect it.
If you happen to work in health care, passion is the driving force of the organization. Providing competent and compassionate care is really our business! Every role and every position, whether directly involved in patient care or supporting patient care indirectly, we need passionate people in every capacity that are contributing to the overall patient experience. It is the essence of the care we provide.
If you are passionate about providing patient care and it is reflected in your work, you are the candidate we are seeking to recruit. It is great to love your job but we are looking for passion!
Joseph Conrod Sr. SPHR