Everyone is talking about quiet quitting. It’s an offshoot of the Great Resignation trend where employees are going on autopilot in their job. This means no more emails answered on the weekends and no more over 40 hours a week. It means skipping extra assignments outside of core duties—and more. Employees think these tactics are to protect themselves from overwork. Employers are frustrated and dismayed by the new normal, which is a lack of employee engagement. The question is what can employers do to counteract this trend?
What is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting is the opposite of hustle culture. It means an employee no longer goes above and beyond in their job. They may even stop defining themselves by their work. Quiet quitting has taken off on social media, inspiring employees to “act their wage.” It doesn’t mean the employee isn’t doing their job. It does mean they won’t go above and beyond. Is this just a sign of post-COVID fatigue or part of a larger more long-lasting trend, like remote work? More importantly, what can an employer do right now to counteract the quiet quitting trend?
Can Employers Stop Quiet Quitting?
This is a tricky question in a job market where finding talent is a more than full-time proposition. You don’t want to add to an employee retention problem. You don’t want to damage culture. You just want your employees to engage more in their work.
We know that employee engagement declined to 32% last year. That’s about a third of your workforce defined as “into” their job. It’s a sorry state of affairs for employers left scratching their heads around what their employees really want. How can you change your workplace to drive increased engagement? Here are some suggestions:
- Teach your managers to be clear about production expectations. Too much uncertainty causes employees to unplug from their jobs. Be clear about the direction your boat is heading. Be clear about which way your employees need to row. Review your job descriptions and production metrics regularly to ensure employees understand their purpose and their importance to your company.
- Check-in with your employees. Annual reviews aren’t enough anymore. Your employees, and especially younger workers, expect immediate, consistent feedback. Think about how the younger generation grew up with the immediacy of the internet and you’ll start to understand the kinds of feedback mechanisms you need to have in place to keep them engaged. Employee surveys, town halls, self-evaluations, and quarterly metrics are all important to today’s workers. Without these tools, employees may disengage.
- Reward them. In a job market where candidates have more power because there are so many jobs, employers must work harder to create opportunities to excel. These opportunities should include rewards that matter to your workers. If you don’t understand what your employees care about, how can you reward them in ways that will encourage more engagement?
Want to See if You're Getting the Most Out of Your Workforce?
Implementing clear metrics, forging tighter bonds with your workers, and rewarding them, are all signs that you’re taking steps in the right direction to head off the quiet quitting trend. Sometimes infusing new blood into an organization can also turn a culture around. People Plus is dedicated to helping employers find candidates with the skills they need to succeed. Call on us to find out how we can help your business.