Motivation in Motion: How to Fight Complacency in Your Organization

One of the biggest issues organizations face is complacency in the workplace. Whether due to bad leadership habits, the absence of competitive spirit, or a lack of goal-oriented productivity, complacency can cause turnover and cost your company money. The biggest cause of complacency is employee disengagement.

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, worldwide employee engagement is only 15%, meaning 85% of workers are either not engaged or are actively disengaged. In the U.S. and Canada, 31% are engaged. Although higher than the world average, engagement is still declining in North America. While the reasons for disengagement may differ, one thing is true for all leaders: you must motivate your workforce to fight complacency. Through specific techniques and processes, leaders can increase motivation in their workforce, and in-turn, overcome the negative impacts of disengagement.

Mix Up Work Routines

Sometimes the daily grind can cause employees to experience monotony with their work, thus making it difficult to be fully engaged. One way to beat the monotony is to mix up work routines and create a cross-training program to allow workers to help with projects outside of their normal purview. Allowing employees to shadow co-workers in other departments or mixing up work roles to encourage employees to expand their skills into new arenas not only helps keep a workforce fresh, but it also helps uncover new talent and ways an organization can improve productivity.

Provide Paths to Professional Growth

Another cause of disengagement and complacency in the office is stagnation. If an employee feels like they have plateaued in their professional growth or opportunities for advancement, they may become apathetic toward their current position. However, many employees feel that this is the case at work. According to a study by Middlesex University, 74% of workers felt that they aren’t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities. By providing paths to advancement, as well as training and development opportunities, a company can greatly increase the engagement and retention of their employees. And by developing the programs workers desire, businesses also help keep their star employees and reduce turnover.

Create a Culture of Recognition

If complacency has become a nuisance in your office, you may not need to look further than your recognition programs. According to Officevibe, while 96% of employees say receiving regular feedback is desired, 63% of employees say they don’t receive enough praise at work. The dichotomy of what is desired and what is received can cause employees to feel unappreciated and become complacent. However, if a company would either invest in recognition programs or make employee recognition a priority, they would become more engaged. According to a study by Phychometrics, 58% of workers say that more recognition would raise their work-related engagement. Recognition comes in many forms and is received differently depending on the employee. So, when developing a culture of recognition, inquire with your staff on how they would like to be appreciated. Whether it is through incentive plans, a hand-written letter, or public praise in front their peers, inquire with your team and invest your time into different methods of recognition.

Motivation in Motion

Fighting complacency at work is a continual process that must be ingrained in a company’s culture to be effective. It requires action and activity to maintain sustained motivation. By taking a proactive approach to engaging your team, you will not only have a more productive team, you will also work toward building a team of go-getters and future-minded talent.

What do you do to engage your staff? How has recognition, growth opportunities, or cross-training helped your team fight complacency? Let us know in the comments section below!


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