Is workplace coasting dangerous? It definitely may be a downhill slide.
Statistics show us that motivation and engagement drop drastically after the first six months on the job. That slide continues until about year six, seven, or eight, when somewhat surprisingly things start to pick up.
Of course, it is a stat, and not applicable to everyone.
Caught in a Trap
There is a trap. A trap connected to comfort and complacency.
Eventually, many people find themselves just trying to make it through each day. They show up, get some stuff done, and coast.
Certainly, they don’t always recognize that they are coasting. Their belief often is that they are making appropriate contributions. They insist they are committed and working hard.
In some ways, they might be. Yet, in other ways, they may really be coasting.
Stretch a conversation about commitment and complacency far enough and you’ll find people who insist that their continued commitment outweighs any coasting.
I come in fifteen minutes early every day so I also leave fifteen minutes early.
What’s in the break room for breakfast? I’m hungry this morning?
Let’s find a conference to go to. I need a few days out of the office.
Harmless norms? Harmless, yes, in simple terms they probably are. Norms, I’m not so certain.
Nothing wrong with some flex scheduling, yet, often the flex becomes more favorable to the employee instead of the business.
Breakfast, as a general rule, should be consumed before the start of your work shift. Not used as an excuse to stall on the work that awaits you.
Conferences largely should be about employee or business development. Not a mini-vacation on the company dime.
These may all be considered forms of coasting. Just cruising along. Getting by.
Often coasting is met with a surprise. The company is bought, sold, or now under new management. Jobs are changing. People are being rearranged. Perhaps a time of growth, or worse, a time of decline.
This is when coasters get burned.
While they were coasting others continued to peddle.
Life or careers don’t always seem fair.
Keeping peddling because coasting will only take you downhill.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.