Confronting Workplace Complacency

NACM National

Jamilex Gotay, Editorial Associate

Investopedia names complacency as one of the top six reasons a business fails, and a culture of complacency prevents leadership teams from predicting a downturn and other risks that can harm a business.

Signs of workplace complacency include employee disengagement, disinterest in other opportunities, taking shortcuts, frequent mistakes, minimal initiative and neglecting tasks. Complacent employees like to stay put and are not looking to grow, which can harm a company. Industries most at risk for workplace complacency are construction and healthcare, due to the high number of potential hazards, according to Indeed.

“Complacency can lead to underperformance, lower client satisfaction, and workplace accidents,” reads an article from Teambuilding. It also leads employees into a state of boredom, low morale and loss of innovation and creativity.

Although complacency is problematic, there are many solutions.

Here is a summary of The Tobin Company’s five-step plan to avoid complacency:

1) Start everyday from scratch. Self-reflect on performance and continue to improve.

2) Surround yourself with people who will tell you like it is. Honest people will correct you and help you learn from your mistakes.

3) Focus on process instead of outcome. “There is no way to repeat success consistently without a method, formula or approach—that is, a process,” (Understanding Process and Outcome).
4) Continuously learn and adapt. Develop a social media strategy, modernize, etc. instead of staying stagnant.
5) Recharge the batteries. Leave time for relaxation and personal life to be able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Another way to prevent workplace complacency is continuing education. Western Governors University (WGU) says that continuing education is important in career growth for six main reasons.

First, continuing education increases your chances for promotion. Getting an advanced degree or other continuing education shows the employer “how dedicated you are to improving yourself,” per WGU.
Second, it increases your salary. On average, “a college degree holder will earn twice as much as someone who doesn’t have a degree,” WGU stated.
Third, it increases your ability to make a career transition. In fact, many professions require continuing education because they have specific training that is crucial to success. Without this education, there’s no way for you to qualify for or succeed in a position, WGU explained.
Fourth, continuing education improves image and marketability. You are able to update your resume with additional education, insights and skills. “Employers will recognize that you have the determination to take on a challenge—and succeed,” according to WGU.
Fifth, it improves your lifestyle. With more money, knowledge and skills, there are plenty opportunities to try new things and change aspects of your life.

Last but not least, the sixth important reason for continuing education is that it increases personal development. You can learn more about yourself and how to apply this knowledge in your life, whether it be specializing in a field or changing your career path entirely.

Continuing education does not have to be degree-related. It can be as easy as taking a free class, watching a video or working toward your designations as a credit professional. NACM offers a variety of educational opportunities in both online and in-person settings to help you get on the path towards a designation and keep your career goals on track.

NACM designations are nationally recognized in the business credit industry and help to showcase your expertise. Join other credit professionals on the pursuit of knowledge toward your CBA, CBF, CCRA & CCE!