What are the causes of complacency in the workplace?
Before we answer that, lets look at what causes unhappiness and worry in the workplace. I think that the list below covers the major reasons:
- co workers getting out of work because they refuse to do the work
- being given more work because you are a hard worker (while the lazy workers don’t have nearly as much)
- being constantly criticized
- feeling like it does not matter what you do or how hard you work
- unfair treatment by management and co workers
- feeling that you will not be able to improve your position in the company no matter how hard you work
- management having unrealistic expectations
- Bullying in the workplace
I have lived this list. Luckily, I was put under new management. But I still see the above happening everyday. It is frustrating, and discouraging.
Because I try to be an optimist, I have tried to learn as much as I can from this situation at work.
In order to change the situation at work, it is important that you bring the issues to the attention of management. Make sure that you discuss what is going on with a manager or coworker that you trust. You don’t want what you have to say to fall on deaf ears, or worse get twisted around in order to make you look like the bad guy!
Try to keep your attitude positive. I know how difficult that can be, especially if your work environment is bad. Just remember, know one can choose your mood or your attitude for you.
You have complete control over that.
Keep your chin up, and be patient. Most of the time, change takes time. Keep a diary of how you were wronged so that you can refer to it if requested by HR or management.
We can all do our part to eliminate dissatisfaction in the workplace.
Now back to complacency…
Dictionary.com defines complacency as the following: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.
There is nothing wrong with feeling contentment, satisfaction, and peace of mind – as long as you are aware of what is going on around you.
Don’t allow yourself to be lulled into a kind of naive, or ignorant place where you think everything is fine, but things really aren’t.
Learn to be attentive to your work, and those around you. Complacency is often caused by the following:
- employees not being corrected when they should
- management not paying attention
- management allowing workers to cause trouble without punishment
- workers losing their drive and ambition
- too much repetition - nothing changing from day to day
Again, there is nothing wrong with satisfaction at work. I think we all strive for that.
But don’t allow yourself to get so comfortable that you are not aware of what is going on around you. When you allow complacency to set in, performance suffers.
A coach once told me that nothing ever stays the same: things are either getting better, or they are getting worse.
When you are not striving to do your best and improve in an area, you are losing more than just time. You are developing bad habits that might be hard to break.
These habits could be anything from failing to stay up to date in your given field, failing to recognize opportunities when they present themselves, or allowing your network of clients and/or business associates and contacts to dwindle away.
These bad habits are the true danger of complacency.
Another danger of complacency is the tendency to avoid taking risks. When everything is going so great, why take a risk? God forbid, you might just fail! Wouldn’t that be terrible? NO!
Failing when taking a risk is not such a bad thing. Thomas Edison is quoted as saying that he failed numerous times at inventing the light bulb. Did that discourage him? Nope!
He understood that during each failure, he was learning something. And of course, he eventually succeeded. Aren’t you glad that Edison didn’t allow complacency in his previous accomplishments stop him from taking multiple risks of failure?
Only you can decide whether or not complacency sets in
Don’t allow yourself to settle for average, middle of the road, status quo. Dare to take a risk, think of new ideas, make new contacts, search for more clients, and push yourself to the higher standard!
Get out of your comfort zone, and push yourself to greater things! The thrill you feel from the challenge will most likely be even greater than the comfort of complacency!
For more information about how to deal with workplace issues and complacency, please see the following articles:
- The Importance of Enjoyment
- How to Motivate Your Employees
- How To Handle Annoying Conversation Habits
- How To Deal With a Bully
- Strive To Control Yourself Not Others
- How To Improve Your Self Image