Complacency?

“A man’s work is in danger of deteriorating when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it. If he thinks that, he is likely to feel that all he needs is merely to go on repeating himself… ” ~Eugene O’Neill~

I’ve observed this time and again while working in HR for larger corporations: layers of people who felt entitled to a raise just for showing up or undermining the energy of the group with their complacency. They were “self-satisfied and unaware of possible dangers”.

Working with entrepreneurs, whose resources are stretched, you can see how crucial it is that their talent be motivated to do well and be their best. As an entrepreneur you cannot allow complacency to grow in your organization. If you do, you will end up spending double the time & energy to change that mindset. If the mind-numbing repetition of tasks sounds good to anyone, then you don’t want them working for you. They will not contribute new ideas, business or add to the culture of your organization.

The primary way to prevent complacency is to make the right hire in the first place. Surround yourself with like-minded people that share your energy and vision. But, sometimes even a great hire can slip into the “complacency” mindset. It’s the art of keeping them engaged and interested. You can find out through communication what makes them motivated. Schedule regular one-on-ones with employees and encourage open dialog. It’s a two way communication, you get to pass on your enthusiasm and passion, and they can share theirs back to you. You will light a spark and keep fanning it with the exchange of ideas, training and energy.

It’s a sure bet that if you are feeling frustrated, your talent is also. As a leader it’s your responsibly to bring it to the forefront and shake things up. If this doesn’t work, then it’s time to “cut bait”.- admitting it isn’t working and parting ways can be the right thing for them and for you.

Letting someone go is never easy, people sometimes looked shocked like it’s a surprise or they get upset. It can be very stressful for you, too. The first time I had to let someone go, they handed me the tissue box and they told me, “Don’t worry everything is going to be alright.” That person knew in their heart that it wasn’t the right place for them. (I have since learned to keep my composure.) Even if there is anger and tears (by both parties),you have to keep moving forward and do what’s right for the business. You must remove the complacency!

And, if making no decision is really a decision to do nothing. Then, the question is this: have you become a source of complacency?

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