Close Search
News  |  CareersPeople and culture

Staff stuck in a rut? Here’s how you can help them break out of their comfort zone

17 January 2020 at 4:46 pm
Maggie Coggan
Whether it’s learning a new skill, or taking on a new project, here’s how you can nudge your staff in the right direction

Maggie Coggan | 17 January 2020 at 4:46 pm


Staff stuck in a rut? Here’s how you can help them break out of their comfort zone
17 January 2020 at 4:46 pm

Whether it’s learning a new skill or taking on a new project, here’s how you can nudge your staff in the right direction 

As a manager, you might have to occasionally coax nervous employees out of their safety bubble to try new things or take on tasks that are outside of their day-to-day. 

But how do you do this in a way that’s supportive, and gets you the results you’re after? We sat down with Save the Children’s director of people and culture, Di Francois, to find out. 

The old carrot and stick 

Organisations’ expectations and needs these days are very fluid, so getting your staff to understand why taking on a difficult project or broadening their skill set will help them keep up in the long term can be a good motivator. 

“Helping them understand that organisations move on and customer and stakeholder expectations change all the time, and if people are continuing to do the same thing year on year, they are potentially actually slipping behind and losing skills,” Di says. 

Make them feel safe 

A lot of the time, staff might be resistant to change because they are worried about failure, so making them feel safe and building their confidence can be a good way to nudge them forward. 

“Helping your staff feel confident about their capabilities, what they’ve already achieved and what you believe they can achieve is important,” she says. 

“Letting them know and demonstrating that it’s okay to fail is also important.” 

Providing support 

Offering different kinds of training or mentorship programs so your staff feel prepared and supported could also be the boost your staff need to break out of their boundaries. 

“That way, they’ve got somebody to get support from at that critical moment,” she says. 

Make it part of your culture 

Frequently talking up the benefits of taking risks or taking on challenges may just inspire nervous staff to do the same. 

“This way it becomes part of your organisation culture where it’s normal to take on challenges and opportunities,” Di says.

Pro Bono Australia is holding a 60 minute webinar on 30 January to help you gain practical skills on teaching your employees self-care and empowerment, to help your organisation succeed in times of stress and change. You can sign up here.

Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Breaking the mould when it comes to finding the right person for the job

Jo Garner

Tuesday, 21st September 2021 at 7:00 am

Why culture is the key business driver in disability

Fran Connelley

Wednesday, 8th September 2021 at 6:25 pm

Here’s how you can attract top talent for your organisation

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 2nd September 2021 at 4:31 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook