Three Reasons You Don’t Want Content Employees

three“We must not be content to memorize the beautiful formulas of our illustrious predecessors. Let us go out and study beautiful nature.” —Paul Cezanne

Some think that contentment is the key to happiness but, it can be the enemy of progress. Employees are happiest when they are making progress, being challenged, and growing personally and professionally. Why be content, settling for the status quo, when you can be exploring, learning, and growing? Here are three reasons you don’t want content employees.


Contentment slowly suffocates the flame of passion. Passionate employees are excited to contribute and they thrive on being part of something bigger than themselves. Passion cannot be taught, it cannot be passed on from one person to another. Passion must stem from a belief in something that is of personal value. Help your employees understand the big picture goals of the organization and then acknowledge the value that their personal contributions bring to the table.


Drive is the desire to make progress, to go further than we have gone before, and achieve great goals. When employees become content, they tend to lose their drive. Encourage employees to never be content with the status quo. Nourish their desire to contribute to the forward progress of the organization. And, give them the credit they deserve for progress made.


Everyone wants the opportunity to take on challenges, learn new things, and grow. When employees become content they lose the ambition to put forth the extra effort needed to seize opportunity. Offer employees challenges that keep their work exciting. Give them access to the resources they need to meet these challenges head-on. Invest your time and energy into helping employees become the best they can be and then reward them for their growth.

Ignite the Fire

If your employees have become content their spark has burned out. Fuel their passion. Feed their drive. And, encourage them to pursue opportunities. Acknowledge the value that they add to the organization and reward progress and growth. It’s time to ignite the fire.

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at


Author: lizstincelli

I am Liz Stincelli and I am passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. I am the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where I specialize in helping management teams learn new ways of looking at problems and finding new approaches to discovering solutions. I hold a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. I offer 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. I serve on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. I have also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Westminster College. You can learn more about me by reading my blog here at: or Connect with me on Twitter @infinitestin, on Google+, and on LinkedIn. You can contact me by email at

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