Closing your laptop at 5 p.m. Doing only your assigned tasks. Spending more time with family. These are just some of the common examples used to define the latest workplace trend of “quiet quitting.”
Quiet quitting doesn’t actually involve quitting. Instead, it has been deemed a response to hustle culture and burnout; employees are “quitting” going above and beyond unless there’s a meaningful take. This fits in with a larger re-evolution of how work fits into our lives and not the other way around. Indeed, research by Aviva has found that employee priorities have switched compared to pre-pandemic, with work-life balance now more important than salary for the majority of workers.
Understanding the ‘why’
For employers, it’s important to unpick the reasons ‘quiet quitting’ may be happening, assessing work culture and practices to see if changes need to be made. For example, is a team member feeling pressured to work extra hours to pick up the slack on their stretched teams? Is a first time manager not given the tools they need to succeed? Is an employee dissatisfied at their lack of progression?
With ‘The Great Resignation’ still impacting organisations across industries, recognising and understanding the reasons why an employees’ behaviour may have changed is key. This will allow employers to change the narrative and ensure employees feel listened to, supported, and encouraged to succeed. Establishing open communication is paramount.
Here are three ways employers can recognise ‘quiet quitting’ and ensure employees feel engaged and encouraged at work:
Spot the signs
Firstly, business leaders require a mindset shift, unpacking what drives employee loyalty, engagement, motivation, and fulfilment. Managers need to be acutely aware of how their teams are feeling, so they can establish a plan before it’s too late. Understanding and looking out for signs of ‘quiet quitting’ – including traditionally strong employees opting to take a backseat on projects, decreased engagement, and declining job performance – is key.
Path to success
If a manager detects any sign of ‘quiet quitting’, they can work with that employee to identify the reasons for their disengagement, curating a roadmap together on how to get back on track. This might include improving work-life balance, creating a clear growth plan, and offering opportunities to transition into new roles which better align with the disengaged employees’ personal goals and values.
Wherever, whenever, development matters
The realities of today’s post-pandemic world means that employees are under more pressure than ever to manage their professional and personal responsibilities simultaneously. With this in mind, organisations must reframe how they measure learning and development.
While often seen as a tick-box exercise, employers should view learning and development as an ongoing tool for retention. Indeed, with recent Skillsoft research finding that individuals who changed employers within the past year cited a lack of growth and development as their top reason for doing so, encouraging employees to continually develop their skills will promote engagement and encourage greater internal mobility.
As the discussion around ‘quiet quitting’ continues to make waves across TikTok and in boardrooms, the organisations that take the time to understand the wants and needs of their teams will be best primed for success. Investing in employee development is key to engagement.