I keep coming across posts and articles that talk about how contentment in your workforce is a dangerous thing, that it doesn’t lead to good business results. To which I say that if you have a workforce that is not content, you’re going to lose them pretty soon! What many people actually mean to say is that the danger is complacency, not contentment. Same-same? No. Why do you think there are two words to describe what at first sight may seem to be the same thing? It is not enough to simply go to the dictionary. One needs to explore nuance, connotations and usage.
Complacency is the fallacy that there is nothing more to be achieved, that you have “arrived”. It is the false notion that you are safe and secure, that your current state of bliss will continue forever. It is the notion that life is good, that your business is running well and will continue to grow and run well. It is assuming that your customers will always love you, that your suppliers will remain cheap and good, that your workforce is doing well. Complacency lulls you into inaction or into action that is embarked upon for the sake of being seen to be active. It is a known recipe for disaster many are addicted to.