No matter how engaged or motivated we are in our work and careers, it is very normal to once in a while have a ‘dip’. You get the job done but it feels lacklustre and there is a general feeling of malaise and no desire to go the extra mile. Recently there has been much interest in the area of ‘quiet quitting’, which is not going above and beyond in your job. It’s similar to leaving a relationship emotionally yet showing up physically. The jacket on the empty office chair with the employee who is never at their desk or the mobile phone which is permanently going to voicemail. These are all signs something isn’t working.
5 clear warning signs of staff heading towards quiet quitting are:
- Poor time management, not showing up for meetings, missing deadlines and high absenteeism
- When someone goes for a promotion and isn’t successful in a process which is mismanaged and lacks transparency. Now working for a peer, they are both resentful and disengaged
- Trust has broken down, possibly due to poor management, and perceived promises made by the organisation have fallen through
- Too much change, too fast without any clarity of direction or purpose
- They are in self-preservation mode due to lack of appreciation and heavy workloads
There are ways of winning back the quiet quitters. Starting with being curious about what is the root cause of the lack of desire to be fully engaged and motivated in the workplace. Cultures where some people don’t feel psychologically safe, seen or heard. Where there are silos and a resistance to change all lead to quiet quitting. Perhaps they are the wrong hire for the organisation and need to be managed out or moved into a different role. It is perfectly ok for someone to have very clear work /life boundaries, but organisations flourish when staff are all in and on top of their game.
Turning this around is about creating opportunities for powerful conversations, running meetings in different ways and moving away from transactional towards relational conversations. Offering coaching to everyone to support professional and personal development. Leaders need to develop their own level of self-awareness to understand how they can support those who have become demotivated.