Complacency at Work Is Dangerous
Complacency at Work
We’ve heard it all before — “Don’t become complacent,” but do we actually know what it means? Simply stated, complacency is being aware of your current situation, but failing to assess the risks that may lie ahead. Another way to look at it is self-satisfaction accompanied by the unawareness of danger or deficiencies. Now, that’s a lot of jargon, huh? All of this sounds great (of course, right?) but let’s put it into simple terms that make sense to all of us.
How does complacency happen?
No matter how great you are at your job, everyone (and I mean everyone) is at risk of becoming complacent. It starts with feeling extremely confident about your work. Let’s face it — you haven’t had an accident yet, so why worry…right? WRONG! This is the moment where complacency starts to set in and can ultimately lead to a serious accident or injury. You might not even realize it’s happening; after all, we’ve all started to take certain things for granted such as your ability to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Your “comfort zone” starts expanding as you neglect basic safety rules, safety precautions, and safety measures.
You might be asking yourself how it got to this point. I mean, you’re an experienced worker who has been doing the same task for years — you should have this down! While that may be true to some degree, there’s always room for improvement. You must make sure that any complacency is nipped in the bud before it has a chance to affect your work performance or job.
Complacency can also be caused by supervisor expectations. In this case, you may not take on challenges because of low hopes from upper management. When they constantly criticize your efforts and have no faith in you, your career will stagnate due to complacency .
You might not know exactly when complacency sets in, but it’s more common during a time of change. This could be something as simple as new management or a different team member , to more major changes such as the company merging with another organization or closing down altogether. Whatever the case may be, you must make sure that your safety concerns are heard loud and clear.
If you don’t take action, it will quickly escalate into negligence . Negligence is defined as failure to act (doing nothing) when there is a legal duty to act; this includes the lack of knowledge, skill, or ability. Basically saying that if you fail to do your job — then you’re negligent. In other words, it’s a series of small mistakes that leads to larger consequences.
In order to avoid this, you must gain an awareness of the warning signs associated with complacency and negligence . It might not be easy, but it’s a necessary step in preventing accidents and injuries. Maybe you’ll even prevent someone from losing their job or facing legal repercussions.
Complacency is something that can affect anyone, but it’s up to you to take action before things get out of hand. If you’re the one who wants to avoid falling into this trap, then be sure to follow these simple steps:
1) Never take anything for granted — even if it’s something you do on a daily basis, treat it with the proper caution.
2) Push yourself out of your comfort zone — remember, if you don’t challenge yourself then you won’t grow. This only leads to complacency!
3) If you are given new responsibilities or tasks at work, make sure that they align with your expertise and abilities. If not, then try to learn new skills that will benefit the company and do your best at all times.
4) Don’t feel as though you can’t ask questions — especially if it seems like everyone else knows what they’re doing except for you. This is your livelihood we’re talking about here! If you want to keep doing what you do, you must ask questions and be sure that you understand everything.
5) Set a good example for your coworkers — if they see that you’re putting in 110% at all times without complaint, then hopefully it will inspire them to do the same. Complacency is contagious!
In order to prevent complacency from affecting your work performance or safety, you must be able to recognize when it starts. While this is easier said than done, the more aware you are of when it’s happening – the better off you’ll be.
Before things get out of hand , take action and do what you can in order to prevent complacency . You don’t want to be that one who can’t do the job, right?
It’s sometimes easy to forget that our work has real danger associated with it. Perhaps you’re experienced and you’ve been working for years without injury — this may leave you with a perceived feeling of being safe.
With that said, regardless of the task you’re completing or how many years of experience you have, please remember there are real risks associated with our work. We all need to complete tasks with the highest degree of awareness. Just because we feel safe, does not mean we are. Be very aware of the dangers associated with the task you’re completing while at work. Adhere to safe work practices and procedures, and assess hazards thoroughly.