However big or small your organisation, the one thing that makes you successful is the people who work for you – and every one of them has a passion. Those passions can bring a wealth of knowledge, skill and experience to your brand – even if, on the surface, they seem to have no connection to your industry.

Are you embracing, supporting and encouraging those passions?

People differ in so many ways, and every quirk and unique attribute in your team comes together to create a whole that connects with your clients and service users. Every relationship built, both internally and externally, creates a network which, over time, cements and grows.

If you make a great connection externally, provide a great service, or stand out from the crowd, the person you’ve connected with will recommend you to others who might be looking for the same services.

And if you make that great connection internally? Well, all the better.

If you have a workforce who feel that they are appreciated as individuals, that their unique interests, passions and personalities are embraced, celebrated and supported, they will give more in return.

A culture which supports and nourishes the workers who make up the team is proven to perform better, to achieve more, to grow and expand, to develop new skills, and to retain the skills and experience of long-term members of the team because they are far less likely to move on to employment elsewhere.

Happy people make you more successful.

We talk a lot about how you can support the development of skills and experience in the workplace, how to tap in to someone’s unique skills and innate talents and draw them out, how to support learning and development which mean someone can climb the ladder, achieve more qualifications, or strive for promotion, leading more people and encouraging the same from them.

But what are you doing to support what matters to them outside of the workplace?

In our team we have a passionate photographer. His work decorates our office, and is proudly displayed for visitors to enjoy.

Our MD is an astronomer outside of work, and has given talks to the team sharing his passion, and displays some astro-photography on his desk.

We have a number of voracious readers in the team, and we swap and discuss favourite books regularly, sharing our passion for both fiction and non-fiction, not only sharing great stories but discussing new theories and research in our industry and implementing that new knowledge in how we work.

We support several charitable projects that members of the team selected, each with some special meaning to one of our people, and we make sure we support local causes because we care about our community, and developing bonds within it.

These are just small examples – but they matter. The passions of the people you work with matter – and supporting those passions can enrich your office, spark new ideas, develop the way that you work, or even open new doors and develop into thriving business relationships.

If your focus is only on the daily grind, and the people who work for you are nothing but cogs in a machine, there is little reward in the work – but enriching the experience of working in a thriving, vibrant and supportive environment means that people are more engaged, more productive and – at the end of the day – it’s more interesting for everyone involved – leaders included!

Not only that, but developing relationships with organisations, charitable groups or community projects in your area is incredibly rewarding. This may not be a relationship which brings income to your organisation, but supporting a local cause not only helps someone in need, but adds a human – and humane – face to your brand which enhances the culture in your offices, supports a worthy cause, and builds on your network in a way that is mutually beneficial.

What can you do today to learn more about your team, about what makes them tick, and how that makes them who they are?

What can your organisation do today to build a relationship in your community?