There’s another casualty of this pandemic … and it’s not all bad

The new reality that has been created by the current COVID-19 pandemic has seen a great deal of upheaval to the way we live our lives. These disruptions are noticeable across all walks of public life; including the how we run our businesses, the nature of work, and the way we socially relate. Many of the things that were taken for granted in the way we do business have succumbed along the way including … complacency.

An illness called complacency

Average customer service, set-and-forget, and order taking are only a few examples of the norm that characterised the daily activities of frontline staff, operations personnel, and all levels of management before the onset of this pandemic. These and other entrenched mediocre attitudes cultivate a culture that stifles growth.

There’s no doubt that the present circumstances have given rise to a sifting process. Largely driven by the economic downturn, but also taking into account the observed value certain employees bring to an organisation, many businesses have had to make a judgement on those that have been resting on their laurels. Self-satisfied workers and those with an acute sense of entitlement is a luxury many businesses can no longer afford.

Is there an antidote?

What can businesses do to combat a culture of complacency? There are a number of strategies that can be considered to draw businesses and their employees out of a feeling of calm self-satisfaction:

  • Returning to the basics of customer satisfaction. Are businesses listening to the feedback from their most valuable customers?
  • Creativity and innovation together fights the paralysing effects of complacency. And attracting suitably skilled employees raises the ingenuity of the organisation.
  • Do you value your employees? Workers that are empowered and challenged on an ongoing basis contribute more readily and at increased levels of performance.
  • Is there any more room for pride and egocentric attitudes in the workplace? Every day is an opportunity to listen, including learning from frontline workers at the coalface.
  • Well-defined pathways keep workers on task; and on track. A company with clear and achievable goals for their employees give them direction.
  • It’s not always a matter of trying harder but also working smarter. Managers showing a real interest in the activities of staff will help identify areas where thy have been vigorously spinning their wheels instead of employing proven strategies that they may not have been aware of.
  • Move from a short-term focus to planning for life beyond the current restrictions. Getting good advice and drawing the best people around your business will place you in the best starting position once this all passes.  
  • A healthy bottom line is no justification for complacency. Scaling for growth and diversification are useful drivers to future-proof income streams.
  • It’s not all about selling; and making a profit. Instead, businesses and especially account managers should focus on caring and engaging; adding value to their offering.
  • Celebrate successes. Acknowledging small milestones are just as effective as trumpeting large successes.

The same-old-same-old attitude is dead! The COVID-19 pandemic has put complacency under the spotlight. Many recent news articles have reported about the dire consequences of complacency. Only alert, agile and forward thinking businesses and their proactive staff will emerge stronger after this season of prohibition has passed.

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