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89% of US workers lack passion

According to a study by Deloitte LLP, just 11% of US workers demonstrate the attitude, attributes and skills to embrace new challenges and opportunities in their career, or in their words, are ‘passionate explorers’. And being passionate is apparently key to your success and theirs as it means you learn at a faster pace and deliver an improved performance for your employer.

This worrying indictment that we’re largely a passionless bunch is outlined in the Unlocking the Passion of the Explorer report from Deloitte Center for the Edge, which surveyed 3,000 full-time US workers from 15 industries and across various job levels.

The report found that the most passionate workers are in management and marketing roles (17% and 16% respectively) with accounting and finance lagging behind at a mere 7%.

But what is this passion we’re supposed to have and where do we get it from? According to the survey, it’s all about having three key attributes:

  1. Long-term commitment. Workers who maintain long-range goals and perspective despite short-term disruption.
  2. A questing disposition. Workers who embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and develop their skills.
  3. A connecting disposition. Workers who build strong, trust-based relationships essential for collaboration and feedback.

Whilst on paper it may not sound that ground-breaking as insight goes, Deloitte believe it has implications for the way in which firms recruit their staff.  They recommend organizations recruit on evidence of these attributes rather than over-focussing on traditional accounting skillsets. They also advocate employers have programs in place to create this passion in their existing employees.  So if you’re worried about not quite hitting the mark on some of the required technical skills, you might be able to wing it by demonstrating a good dose of passion!

But here’s a shock; the most passionate workers tend to be paid more. Well we didn’t see that one coming did we? 44% of those earning $150,000 or more displayed the most passion. And perhaps also unsurprisingly, passionate workers are more often found in smaller organizations, those with less than 1,000 employees.  Whichever firm you’re working for right now John Hagel, Director of Deloitte Consulting LLP underlines that the attitude and approach you adopt, aka your passion, is crucial.

"Faced with uncertainty and disruption, organizations must rely on workers at all levels. The optimism and willingness those with the passion of the explorer have to go the extra mile is a valuable quality to organizations. With exposure to new trends and developments that the passionate gain from participating in external groups or ecosystems, passionate workers are more likely to help organizations navigate challenges and identify new opportunities essential for learning in a fast-moving environment."