People quickly get used to their place in the company, to the projects they work on, and to the teams they are responsible for.
For most leaders, the perfect working day is not marked by dramatic events, conflicts, complaints, and crises. For this reason, they believe that a calm and comfortable working atmosphere leads to the best results. Perhaps, for this reason, leaders strive to create an environment in which surprises are kept to a minimum and employees simply do what they are assigned to do.
However, this excessive comfort can lead to stagnation and a false sense of security, which dulls the ability of employees to respond in the event of a crisis. The more confident we are in our knowledge and skills, the harder it is to find the motivation we need to learn something new. On the other hand, when we periodically face various obstacles, we maintain our vigilance and concentration. Therefore, if you want to build (and maintain) a truly resilient and competent team of professionals, you need to constantly get its members out of their comfort zone.
Most people lose motivation when they do the same job for a long time
When I was a young and inexperienced manager, I believed that my job was to make sure that my team members were committed to their responsibilities. Over time, however, I realized that everyone’s career needs development and that stagnation can sometimes be worse than a crisis. People need to see that there are opportunities for development in front of them, even if they are currently comfortable in the position they are in. If you do not provide them with this opportunity, or at least do not encourage them to look for it themselves, young employees may miss many chances to get a promotion, while more experienced team members lose interest and start thinking about finding a new job.
Although I was already aware of this fact, it did not make it easier to part with some of the employees who were part of the team with which we created Behance. At first, I felt abandoned and could not imagine how the gap in the company left by the departure of these people would be filled. Not long after, however, I noticed how some of my colleagues began to take the initiative into their own hands and reveal their leadership skills. Then I realized that I have significantly underestimated the talents that exist in our team. The lack encouraged people to take on roles I didn’t think they could handle. If this had not happened, we would not have become the team we are today.
People get better at what they do when they are constantly faced with obstacles
One of the easiest ways to get your employees out of their comfort zone is by offering them a higher position or a task in which to work with another department of the company. General Electric, for example, has a program in which leaders from different departments of the company spend some time in other divisions. The program aims to disseminate best practices from different departments of the company and help retain the best employees of the company by offering them various development opportunities.
Making small changes can have a big impact
Effective teams can benefit greatly from periodic changes in the work environment and processes. Take a walk around the office and look around for things that were once exciting but have become banal and uninteresting. Are there any outdated graphics on the walls that you used to track the progress of a project? Download them and create new ones. Do you have work rituals and office events that you are used to and take for granted? Change their format and bring something new and interesting to them. Is your office divided into camps by people who don’t even talk? Relocate the desks.
Crucial to your company’s success is a sense of belonging to a team in the workplace. However, if your employees are used to communicating only with a limited group of people, then the company as a whole loses from the lack of sharing different ideas and views between teams. To encourage collaboration between employees, try relocating their office space every 9 or 12 months. Contacting new people in different parts of the office is an easy way to build new relationships and maintain interest in the work.
Change is especially painful and unwanted when it is not caused by the need to correct a mistake or solve a problem. What you need to realize is that proactive changes, which may seem premature, are significantly better than those you are forced to make when something unexpected and unwanted happens.
Your challenge is to develop a healthy rhythm of work and keep your team in constant motion. Excessive calm further exacerbates crises, so building tolerance for change can be extremely beneficial to your team’s resilience. After all, if you don’t shake your life to the core from time to time, it will shake you.