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  • Writer's pictureHassan Younes

The 12 Ways That Executives Can Combat Complacency In Their Businesses

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

It doesn't matter if your business is a one-person operation or a 1000-employee company. Ongoing improvement is essential if you hope to stay in business.


In any business, it's all too easy for executives to become complacent, especially if they’re doing well. They allow their businesses to coast along on autopilot over time.

But that's a recipe for disaster in today's competitive marketplace.

Staying motionless guarantees that your customers will eventually move on to your competitors. It’s especially true if these competitors are meeting their evolving tastes and needs.


To stay ahead of the curve, you need to be constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve your business. There should be no room for complacency.

That said, you’ll discover the 12 ways you can combat complacency in your business in this article.

The 12 Ways

Way #1. Mix Up Work Routines

Allow your employees to shadow co-workers in other departments or handle different roles for a specific period. This will help you uncover new talent while encouraging improvement in terms of productivity.


What’s more, this approach can also be helpful for your employees to learn new things. They can get better ideas on how they can do their job more efficiently.


Way #2. Provide Several Avenues for Professional Growth

Too many employees feel that they are no longer learning or growing in their jobs. That makes them lose interest, affecting their quality of work. And some give up completely and end up looking for other jobs.


Don’t let it happen to you and your team.


Provide your employees with opportunities to learn new things. This can keep them interested in their jobs, leading to higher productivity.


Also, consider creating programs that employees want. This can make them happier and less likely to look for a job with another company.


Way #3. Create a Culture of Recognition

You prevent complacency from creeping in if your employees are happy at work. And one of the best ways to keep them happy is to recognize them when they do their job well.


Keep in mind that there are many ways to recognize someone. Some employees like it if you give them monetary or material rewards. Others are more appreciative of verbal recognition. It doesn’t have to break the bank.

Way #4. Keep in Mind Your Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

Be clear on what you want to achieve over the next two years and how your team can help make that happen. Clarity will give everyone an accurate understanding of where they stand.

To make it easier, managers should have a guide on where each individual should focus his or her efforts. Make sure to set milestones as well for accountability. That way, team members will avoid complacency.

Way #5. Figure Out What You Want to Do Each Day.

It’s best that you come up with a specific plan each day. That way, you have goals to aim for and you leave no room for complacency.


Here’s a tip: prioritize your day by focusing on the tasks that will have the greatest impact. Start with what's most important and work outwards from there.


Way #6. Encourage Your Employees to Try New Ways of Doing Things

While it’s great to stick with what works in business, that doesn’t mean you should completely shun creativity. Allow innovative solutions to come from your team members. Encourage them to think of new ways to solve problems.


When you encourage and reward innovation, you further encourage creativity. You also encourage working towards a common goal as well as giving opportunities for growth.

And who knows. An innovative solution they come up with may end up being the game-changer in your business.


Way #7. Challenge Your Team to Think

The reality is that businesses that challenge themselves tend to be more successful. It’s even more so if they constantly solicit feedback from their team members.

But how should you do it?


Think of this as a game. Tell your team that they can get points for challenging the status quo. Ask them good questions. Then, listen closely to what they have to say.

Learn what it would feel like if someone else were running things.


Way #8. Start Every Day From Scratch

Truth is, people get better at their jobs by learning new things every day. It’s why the best performers don't constantly think about the past. Instead, they will try to find new ways to do their jobs and get better at them.

This mindset should also trickle down to your employees.

Leaders should make sure that everyone on their team can learn new things each day. That way, there’s constant improvement in how they do their jobs. And they avoid being complacent.

Way #9 Surround Yourself With People Who’ll Provide You With Honest Feedback


Many business owners who want to be successful try to put themselves in a completely positive environment. They don’t allow room for negativity whatsoever, including feedback.

As a result, they only deal with people who only tell them good things - the things they want to hear.


But this is a problem because, while it’s great to hear them, compliments alone won’t be helpful in making your dreams come true.


It’s always better if you are around people who tell you the truth about what you do. You need to hear both positive and negative feedback to ensure you can fine-tune things in your business. That way, it becomes easier to achieve success.


Way #10. Focus on Process Instead of the Outcome

To achieve long-lasting excellence in your business, you must create processes for you and your team to follow. Develop the discipline in following those processes no matter what happens along the way - setbacks included.


If you're looking for sustainable success, then it's important that your focus isn't only on maximizing potential output. You should also know how best you can maintain this level over time and not lose sight of your goal.


Excellence is a result of focusing on process instead of outcomes.

Way #11. Continuously Learn and Adapt

One of the best things you can do to avoid being complacent is to keep adapting.


Successful people and organizations know that success isn't found in one place. Instead, it happens when they use different strategies over time, depending on the situation. It’s why they constantly evolve their techniques to ensure they keep staying on top of their market.

Remember, just because one technique worked for someone years ago does not mean it will still work today. You must always adapt to the times, instead of allowing yourself to be complacent because you’re doing something that works.


Way #12. Take the Time to Relax

To stay on top of your game and shun complacency, you need to recharge your batteries every so often. You can’t keep working without resting. Rest is important for maintaining your energy levels over time and avoiding burnout.

So, make sure to spend time away from work and do the things you love.

Leave No Room for Complacency


As an executive, part of your responsibilities is to be proactive in combating complacency in your business.


The good news is that there are many strategies you can put into place to keep things moving forward and prevent your business from stagnating. And the 12 ways we’ve outlined here should give you a good start.


If you need help implementing any of these ideas or would like me to come and speak to your team about them, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Discover how my speaking services can help you fight complacency in your organization.


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