We all know that comfort zone…some may know it a little too well. Well, in my opinion, that comfort zone should be renamed “the danger zone”. Let’s face it—nothing great comes from a zone that hasn’t been challenged, a zone that doesn’t strive for more, a zone that keeps one stagnant. Sure, we can become confident and comfortable with a skill; however, there are always ways to improve. Sometimes, when we become too ‘comfortable’, we become complacent.
Some tips to beat office complacency:
- Set deadlines and encourage communication.
If your team is working together towards a project, encourage communication among the team and set deadlines. Ensure that each member understands what the expectation and timeline for delivery is. If the project is broken into stages, encourage scheduled team check-ins to ensure each player is on the right track. Deadlines encourage action and demand accountability.
- Allow staff to challenge or question the status quo.
When you and your team experience an obstacle or if a question in procedure arises, allowing staff to offer their opinions is a valuable step. If we always do things the way they have always been done, we do not progress forward. Considering the opinion of your staff and including their creative ideas in creating or modifying procedures will keep the entire team striving for more.
- Empower your team.
Empowering your staff will breed employee engagement. Staff who are empowered are more self determined thus taking initiative to make independent decisions and activate problem solving skills. Empowered employees become more resourceful employees and hold themselves responsible for their own actions; this can improve service and overall company performance.
- Lend a helping hand.
Help out a coworker who is piled high; help him or her find ways to achieve the end result in possibly a quicker, more efficient way. Sometimes stepping outside or away from your own role, even for a few minutes, may re-invigorate you in completing your own tasks.
- Celebrate success.
Even the most minute success should be celebrated. Success is addictive and spreads throughout a team working towards a common goal. Celebration of these victories stimulates that brain chemistry we all have. The ‘reward’ we feel leads to an increase in motivation and can easily be felt throughout a team that works hard to achieve together. Celebrate, but don’t stop there as there is always more to work towards.
That comfort zone was not meant for a lifetime lease. If we aren’t setting goals or striving for more, we risk becoming complacent. When you or any team member start feeling comfortable, it is time to get moving. Look around and see what you can do to shine within your role. Always keep pushing that zone and its boundaries. You’ve heard it before, ‘life happens outside of your comfort zone’.