I used to be. It’s indeed a shameless confession.
We, mortals, are creatures of habits, even if these invite stagnancy. We don’t question our monotonous lifestyles, trapped in the pangs of chock-a-block work schedules and work-life imbalances. Most of us metaphorically stand still on our professional fronts at some or the other point of time in our career. I know a good number of friends, colleagues and acquaintances, who seem to be stuck on dead centers.
Some of my friends are of the opinion that job and employee plateauing constitute the rhythm of our professional lives. I disagree. I feel it’s a disease. A disease that plagues the confidence of peers and the work environment of an organization.
Digging deeper this topic, I found that employee plateauing can be broadly placed under four major heads namely, (a) structural plateauing , (b) content plateauing, (c) life plateauing and (d) job extinction plateauing.
Unclear which category I fell under but I used to an employee, who was plateaued for a brief phase in my career, but active enough to come out of that cocoon soon. Heartiest gratitude to Mr. Pawan Agarwal, Head, India Operations at Lime Labs India Pvt. Ltd.!
Suddenly at the mention of this, I get reminded of an all employees meeting that took place before one of the product launches, while I worked at Lime Labs, India Pvt. Ltd. All employees, marketing team in particular, could be seen dozing under the veil of rapt attention to the product briefs being given by product specialists one after the other. Suddenly all verbal pow-wow was over, and the last speaker concluded his speech by asking if any of us had any question(s) or suggestion(s) for the soon-to-be-launched product. There was an absolute silence in the hall. All the speakers were astonished as well as elated that we had imbibed each description/detail so efficiently. Suddenly, one of the eminent speakers raised his doubt and exclaimed that this was possible either if we understood it all (absolutely untrue as from top bosses to even each one us knew this bitter truth) or we did not understand it at all (again an untrue interpretation since we, the entire marketing team, had put in our sincere efforts for creating pre buzz for this product in our respective professional capacities).
Suddenly a voice pierced my ears and highlighted a third possibility also–“I Don’t Care!” It referred to a league of employees that was passive in all company/product/business discussions. This was a voice seldom heard by executives owing to our less interaction with him, but undoubtedly a very impactful one. It startled me a bit. It was effective enough to yank me from my stupor. I suddenly diagnosed myself of being plateaued and jaded. I woke up from my deep slumber of static career stance, and there has been no looking back since then. This hard reality session made a difference to my career. Now, I’ve a firm aim engraved in my mind.Thanks to you Pawan Sir!
This was my petite encounter with career plateauing. I guess most of you, my readers, must have or are yet to juggle the same at some juncture of your respective careers. Trust me friends – in this scenario wherein business dynamics are getting more complex and radical with each passing day, there’s no room for petered out employees. You can’t survive by harboring a level of complacency and being an aimlessly saturated worker. It’s an organizational ailment that calls for immediate managerial medications (like I received) and newer systematic monitoring. Else if ignored, it takes trifle of a second to herd out such employees since no employee burnouts are tolerated considering these are speed breakers to the growth of any organization.
The mere illusion that we’ve nothing more to achieve deadens our competitive spirit that lays the foundation brick of this threatening malady. Powerful stimulators like new tasks, employee engagement survey, workplace engagement, revision of employee reward systems and motivational sessions can be effective in treating this organizational disease.
It’s imperative to conduct regular sessions for monitoring the employees’ job health from time to time so that s/he can stay motivated professionally, and the organization can have a more productive and efficient staff.
Get started with finding if you’re a plateaued employee!