Quiet Quitting – How to avoid it with your workforce?

16 Novembre, 2022
A cartoon image of a man sitting at a desk, relaxing, his feet up on the desk.

Just as recruiters were coming to terms with The Great Resignation and its effects on talent retention, along came ‘Quiet Quitting’– a trend having dire effects on employee engagement and productivity in immeasurable ways.

There are varying interpretations of Quiet Quitting and the extent to which it is a case of employees implementing boundaries or an extension of the Great Resignation - only that Quiet Quitters opt to physically remain within a company.

For the purpose of this article, we focus on the notion which goes beyond employees rightfully taking their lives back and putting their wellbeing first. Rather we look at combating instances where they have completely checked out mentally and are contributing the bare minimum. This is because we firmly believe through evidence that employee wellbeing and productivity can not only co-exist, but that they go hand in hand.

Like The Great Resignation, the rise of Quiet Quitting is yet another aftershock of pandemic-induced burnout. Even catching the attention of media outlets, an article by CBS news describes it as a by-product of the pandemic in that employees began reflecting on their values and prioritizing their lives outside of work.

It can also be seen as a flow on effect of the Great Resignation whereby remaining employees are not interested in carrying the burden when their colleagues leave. And because managers are losing power due to the struggle to recruit and retain talent, employees no longer feel the need to ‘prove their worth’. Now more than ever, employers are forced to ‘prove their worth’ as a desirable place to work. Adding to this, economic uncertainty means that some employees who might like to quit choose to stay for financial security reasons.

We have already looked at the different kinds of work cultures , one of them being the toxic ‘Hustle Culture’ whereby work life balance is compromised. Quiet Quitting on the other hand is essentially the exact opposite.

And while a healthy work life balance is to be encouraged, celebrated even, Quiet Quitting is a force to be feared. In cases where it goes beyond employees setting clear boundaries between work and life, people are no longer invested in the company and what they do - an undesirable predicament.

According to an article by the HBR , companies with a workforce willing to go that extra mile (within reason of course) have a competitive advantage. Take the services industry for example, where your people are your product. The last thing you want is for your competitors to be constantly striving for customer satisfaction while your workforce is complacent in this area.

Because Quiet Quitting refers to the tendency to do the bare minimum at work, but not quit or make noise about it either, recognising a Quiet Quitter requires a closer look.

According to Forbes, a Quiet Quitter is one who is chronically disengaged at work. With that in mind, if you observe the following more obvious signs in members of your team, it might be time to address quiet quitting:

1. Lack of enthusiasm and initiative – tendency to sit back and wait for direction

2. Doing the bare minimum – the opposite of going above and beyond

3. Attendance at meetings without contributing ideas – think of that colleague in a video call with the camera and audio off the whole time

4. Isolation and limited communication – flying under the radar and going days without any meaningful interactions

5. Zero interest in team building – employees who view this as a waste of time are not invested in their team or the company

6. Handballing tasks to other team members – no interest in owning projects or ensuring it gets done to a high standard

But aside from these most obvious signs, Quiet Quitting can be put down to some sort of a vibe. That is, if you suspect it to be present in your team, chances are it is.

Thankfully, all the above can be largely avoided by fostering a nurturing company culture which puts people at the center.

If people feel heard, valued and supported, they tend to feel more connected and motivated. We’ve identified ways to address these critical factors to prevent the Quiet Quitting phenomenon from plaguing your workplace.

Keeping a constant flow of connection with employees
Especially critical in work from home arrangements or hybrid working, maintaining a consistent genuine connection with all employees is vital for ensuring employees don’t slip through the cracks into the depths of quiet quitting. Each team member needs to feel connected to the team and connected to the company or else they risk being disengaged.

Many of these interactions can be humanistic, via regular check ins and team building. However, to ensure it doesn’t fall by the wayside, there are tools to assist.

Our Beaconforce Light Pulse Plan, is the first positive step towards facilitating an ongoing connection. By giving employees a mechanism to air their concerns and giving managers the right tools to interpret and act, employees feel heard and supported.
Maintaining a momentum of motivation
When having a connection with your employees isn’t quite enough to prevent quiet quitting, understanding what truly motivates them becomes key. Extrinsic motivators such as benefits, bonuses and perks are all well and good but miss the motivators that exist below the surface and keep as engaged such as meaning, purpose and recognition. Gone are the days where you could throw money at the problem and expect motivation to follow.

Our Beaconforce Engagement Plan, goes a step further by helping you delve into intrinsic motivators that fuel engagement. Stay on top of these intrinsic factors in real time using science-based tools.
Listen, empathize and act on any concerns
Taking the time to listen, understand and empathize with any issues your employees might be facing is invaluable for morale. Although in the daily grind it can get a little hard, not to mention that you might not have the right forum to scratch beneath the surface.

Our Beaconforce Advanced People Analytics Plan, allows employers to make data-driven decisions to drive real positive change in the workplace.

Support your leaders to become supportive managers
A team is only as good as its leader. And just as studies show that people quit managers and not companies, the same must be true for quiet quitting. So supporting your leaders to support their people, especially as they navigate the new world of work becomes a critical factor.
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