Article: Complacency or Fatigue - What's killing workplace productivity?

Strategic HR

Complacency or Fatigue - What's killing workplace productivity?

As we are working more than ever in this fast-paced business environment, fatigue or burnout is inevitable. This obvious tiredness is often confused with complacency. Here are some expert views on this.
Complacency or Fatigue - What's killing workplace productivity?

Sneha was one of the brightest among the new joinees. She was given responsibilities beyond her comfort zone, but she delivered all of them. She always looks for new challenges at her work. However, for the past few months, the manager somehow noticed that the spark in her is missing. What's bothering Sneha? Is it complacency or is it that she is tired and needs recovery time?

Amidst the rapid business transformations and technological disruptions, employees caught in the crunch mode are bound to get tired. While all these employees need is a break they are often labelled to be complacent. Pradnya Parasher, founder and CEO, ThreeFish Consulting, raised this concern in a session in the event People Matters Are you in the list 2017 held in Gurgaon on 8th December. 

We spoke to few of the Industry experts and this is what they had to say: 

Jeetika from Religare Securities disagreed that employees get complacent.

“Employees energy levels are a lot driven by the business growth and I personally feel if there is a lot of pace, a lot of chaos, there is work happening I think complacency never comes into employee. No employee ever wants to be complacent. I think it’s more to do with the management. How he or she deals with this. Everybody goes through this cycle you start with a lot of enthusiasm, every business starts with a lot of business enthusiasm. Then there is stagnation in the business. So do we as an employee also stagnate, we are humans. But just because there is not enough noise does not mean that employees are complacent. “

DN Prasad, Director Google People Service- APAC, said, “There is absolutely every possibility that people will be fatigued, there will be burnouts and that’s inevitable. What really makes a difference for the employees and the organization is whether you have adequate platforms to recognize them acknowledge them and allow people to go through those emotions and recover and help them through their recovery journey. It’s really about encouraging them to understand and appreciate that they are not running a race and they cannot run a marathon at a pace of a 100m dive. So they have to pace it, which is where efforts towards wellbeing, physical health, fiscal health, emotional health and mental health all that comes in play. If you look at any progressive organizations the health benefits does include some of these things.”

He further added that this is a real situation which can’t be avoided but can be prevented. And if such situation arises then what is done for recovery is important. 

The other interesting outcome of this discussion was about how can this situation be avoided and how can an acceptance culture be built in the organization?

DN Prasad stressed on “psychological safety” to build the acceptance for this in the organization’s culture. According to him it is important that the employees are able to speak to their managers and managers are completely welcoming of any conversations that happens even the tough conversations. To conclude his thoughts on this he said, “You make sure that the individual feels supported not just by the managers but also by the teams. It’s not a switch that will turn over night, it has to be built, and it has to be nurtured. Which is how you can make it a part of your value base, part of your culture and how do you nurture it over time.” 

Muninder K. Anand, MD- India and South Asia, Centre for Creative Leadership, said, “The reason you need to give people a break is for them to come refreshed and again to their commitment to the organization that they are working with goes far and stronger. The approach is right and that’s the reason more and more companies that you see they are doing away with leaves getting carry forward to next year. More and more companies are going to get expired now. In my own organization from September onwards we have been promoting to the employees that you have leaves and no leaves will get carried forward so please exhaust your leaves. We ourselves are encouraging when we experience employees coming back they come back a lot more refreshed. “ 

Chandni Narang from Flipkart shared from her experience the motto ‘Entrench, sustain and then move’.  

She said, “I was part of the transformation exercise in Reliance as well. And I do understand when you have to soup much change happening employees tend to get very overwhelmed. As organizations it is important to ensure that when you introduce something it is entrenched, it is sustained and then you move on to next bit of change. What will happen otherwise that the learning from my transformation piece in Reliance is that you won’t really get the benefit of your change or transformation if you just go on to implement without entrenching, without ensuring employees are also on the same page in terms of what you are offering and what’s in for them.” 

Young leaders Chandni and Jeetika agreed on the importance of trust and psychological safety. 

Chandni said, “That’s a part of the psychological contract. We offer only when we trust. Trust is the basis the pillar for each and every thing that I will be able to work for the organization if I trust they are investing in me; they are doing something for my benefit and personal gain also over and above the professional gain. “

Jeetika feels that management has to show that they are trustworthy and communicate more through various channels.

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Topics: Strategic HR

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