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Workplace Complacency: 4 Tips to Overcome Adversity as a Project Manager

Workplace complacency is a very critical subject these days. Only 30% of the employees in America are engaged in work. If we look at workplace complacency statistics from a global perspective, there are only 13% of the employees worldwide who are engaged in an office environment.

Unfortunately, there is no magic recipe to beat this serious issue. However, there are 4 savvy ways to overcome a certain level of weaknesses that might ensue as part of workplace complacency problems. Here’s how you can get the best out of it by following the appended guidelines. You can also take them as tips and improvise as you go along. Read more…

1. Increase Workplace Accountability With Results-DrivenMeetings

A very famous CEO/ American Engineer: “ Alan Mulally” of a world-known vehicle company was able to beat the previous turnaround business record in Ford’s history. The guy is known as the magician in Ford Co for his revolutionary work ethics.

The company was near to collapse when Alan Mulally joined it. Ford was on the biggest deficit that ever reportedly happened in the company’s history. The annual loss was about $12.7 Billion. The question is, how he was able to achieve that much turnaround?

Four years later, the company achieves a profit of $6.6 Billion. Surely the credit goes to Mullally but once again, the question remains the same — i.e. how he was able to achieve that much turn around while the company was at a huge deficit when he joined it?

The answer lies in “the weekly overview through weekly review meetings”. He was able to have a thorough look at the business plan alongside his business think tanks, other business analysts, and development officers.

Mulally’s meeting did not include the explanations and a lot of formalized documentation. These meetings only included facts and opinions, comparisons, and contrasts. It is very noteworthy that allotted separate time slots to discuss every detail of the proposed documents that were supposed to be part of the meeting.

If you are not holding any retrospective meetings as part of a company, you should start now. Don’t worry about workplace complacency issues; things will fall into place if these meetings are held in place. Just talk about what went on during the entire week and ask for team members to submit their progress report.

These meetings are part of Scrum retrospective sessions and Agile methodology. As a project manager, you should have no issue to set them up in your company.

At the end of the day, results matter more than the metrics in which we are working. In Mulally’s weekly business review meetings, an extra accountability factor persuaded his team members to work with more focus, dedication, and concentration. Everyone became productive as no one wanted to join the meeting empty-handed. This way, the team members worked hard to get in their managers’ good graces.

2. Make Employees Realize that Production and Work Quality is Super Important

In the famous book: ‘ Cyrus The Great’, the magnificent and the daring Ancient Greek philosopher: Xenophon explained how ‘Cyrus the Great’, the legendary Persian monarch and emperor, maintained the loyalty of his followers.

The central idea of this book in question is that Xeno’s father asked him about how he was able to maintain the absolute best of his followers when it came to loyalty. He also reportedly inquired about the reason why followers end up deserting their leaders after a brief time period.

Cyrus explained that the loyalty of the followers highly depends on the self-interest that they have on me and my regime. Given the change of circumstances or in case of unjust leaders, the followers are quick to realize that their ruler is no longer acting within their self-interest; their loyalty is more likely to vanish. It doesn’t take long for such people to become rebels!

In the context of a modern-day organization, every company wants qualitative work from its employee but they do not focus on the mental interests of that person. The owner should be focusing on where that particular employee fits in. Whether he is qualified for this job or not? Are the circumstances prevailing these days in the workplace are feasible for employees or not? The owner should do his level best to ask employees about their field of interests.

The employer or a project manager can only get high-quality products and desired results if and only if his employees have a relevant interest in the workplace. If they are not satisfied with the working environment then all is in vain. This also means that employees can lead the organization to the verge of collapse by not working wholeheartedly.

Give your employees the incentive, bonus, increments, and allowances. Try your level best to keep their morale “high up to the sky”.

Set targets and goals for them, give them opportunities, and give them promotions — i.e. if they can get the job done. You can increase the company’s productivity and the quality of the work to a higher level if you can maintain a sense of hunger for success among the ranks.

3. Decrease Workplace Complacency Issues By Sticking With Transparency/Merit

Make sure that the employees are working confidently outlining the fact that promotions will be based on merit. You can set up a policy around this pro tip if merit and high standards are not followed in your company for any reason. There should be no biases in the workplace; justice and equality should be done in the office for every employee.

The companies in which favoritism is preferred over merit, suffer from a great workplace complacency issue. Moreover, a lack of transparency is the key reason for businesses running into failure. Management and administration that do not communicate with truth, honesty, and respect will hurt the sentiments of the team members and other employees instead of doing them any good.

Make your employee happy and make sure that they are satisfactorily performing their duties. Ask if they have any problems, and give them an appropriate response followed by a significant solution. Besides, openly communicate with these employees in question to solve their issues if there are any. Even asking employees their opinion on a subject matter will help them to gain their confidence level.

Encourage your employee to speak up and make him realize that this opinion is needful. As a result, the employee will feel important — seeing that his or her opinion matters within an organizational circle. This is one of the ways to overcome workplace complacency problems.

4. Hold One-on-One Meetings To Appreciate Your Employees

Gallup (a renowned American analytics and advisory company) lately published an article on whether managers primarily focus on employee performance or engagement? To get the answer, Gallup surveyed almost 85 thousand employees about their communication and relation with their managers.

The company reportedly found out that there are three key steps followed by managers to engage their employees in a better way.

These three features are crème de la crème when it comes to workplace complacency. Face to face meetings with employees is a great way of making people feel special. If they have done well, they end up receiving a pat on the shoulder. If they haven’t performed well, they get another chance to make amends and overcome any weaknesses.

By prioritizing employees’ projects and routines, you’ll indulge them in the productivity of a project at hand.


  1. Make the environment lively and show your involvement in employees’ work.
  2. Prioritize employees’ projects and help and guide them to set their goals.
  3. Hold employees accountable for performance, and make them accountable for what they do. Set some responsibility on their shoulders.

As mentioned earlier, these 4 ways to overcome workplace complacency are taken as tips or mere guidelines. As a project manager, you might be facing different variables and challenges daily. Therefore, feel free to improvise and see what works for you in the long run. Above all, best of luck, and feel free to share your thoughts through the comments section below.

Originally published at https://www.ntaskmanager.com on May 20, 2020.



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