By Dr. Lisa Wicker
Did you know? A recent study from Gallup found that “quiet quitters” make up about 50% of the U.S. workforce today. If you also include the percentage of workers who are “loud quitting” and actively disengaged at work, the total jumps to about 77%. Yikes!
What does that mean for the future of work? What can be done about it? And what does this tell us about the culture of companies today?
With the rising statistics of quiet quitters actively participating in the workforce, managers and board members should rightfully be alarmed.
A healthy corporate culture is an asset, a source of competitive advantage and vital to the creation and protection of long-term value. It is the board's role to determine the purpose of the company and to ensure that the company's values, strategy, and business model are aligned to its purpose. Directors should not wait for a crisis before they focus on company culture.
If you are searching for ways to help reduce quiet quitting within your company, below are 5 strategies to help reduce quiet quitting so you can aid in being a positive force to the quiet quitting crisis.
What is quiet quitting?
“Quiet quitting” is when an employee loses zeal for their workplace, and rather than put in a resignation letter, they continue collecting their paychecks while resorting to behaviors like showing up late, leaving early, and only doing the bare minimum of what’s required just to get by. In other words, quiet quitting is when team members disengage, “ride the clock”, and only meet their most basic obligations.
Although “quiet quitting” is a trendy, newer term thanks to social media in recent years, the notion behind the idea isn’t new or groundbreaking. In fact, quiet quitting (before the term was coined) has long been a challenge for HR whose priority has always been around improving employee retention and attracting top talent.
Now that we have an understanding about what quiet quitting is, here’s what companies can do if they are looking to manage quiet quitters or at least reduce it.
5 Strategies to Help Reduce Quiet Quitting
Keep employees engaged.
One reason employees pull back from giving companies their best is due to failed relationships with their employers. According to Gallup, “the lack of empathetic support from managers” was cited as a top reason why employees disengage. The result? Quiet quitting.
It’s a manager’s sole responsibility to ensure employees are engaged, supported, and advocated for when necessary so they won’t go on feeling unseen, unheard, or unappreciated.
Board members must do more than just tell managers to own engagement. They must also provide them with tools and resources to understand when it’s time to lead with empathy, bring in additional support, and handle sensitive issues with their team so they can establish a mutual trust and rapport.
Prioritize work/life balance.
Quiet quitting for some employees is a response to excessive work pressure and a way to avoid burnout. Some workers feel as if the demands and expectations from managers or supervisors encroach on their personal time. As a result, they choose to prioritize their wellbeing over their careers and end up doing the bare minimum at work.
To prevent this, board members can create a company culture that prioritizes mental health. Having a healthy work environment that values its people is key to reducing unnecessary stress and seeing improvements in employee retention.
Create advancement opportunities.
Quiet quitters are often doing so because they are stagnant in their career. Leaders can help reduce quiet quitters by creating opportunities within the company for their team to focus on professional growth.
Rather than keeping careers stagnant, create hope and excitement with your culture. Ensure there is prioritization of employees’ professional development and leadership skills. Not only can it add to your team members, but it can also benefit your company’s overall success. A win-win.
Provide frequent recognition.
Employees often quiet quit when they feel unappreciated. On the contrary, when employees are acknowledged, they feel enthusiastic about the mission, the work, their purpose, and their role and tend to see improvements in their performance.
Board members can help reduce quiet quitting by creating a company culture that inspires enthusiasm and frequently acknowledges team members for their contributions. This can be done by ensuring that the leadership team adds recognition as a regular occurrence in team meetings, gatherings, and other agendas
Invest in your people.
“If you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your business.” At the end of the day, no one likes investing their best time and energy towards work that doesn’t produce a positive return on their investment. For this reason, it’s important to invest in your employees. This can look like investing in their wellbeing, rewarding valuable contributions to the company, salary increases, benefits packages, professional development, or an improved work environment to name a few.
By investing in your employees, leaders are likely to restore hope, establish loyalty, and inspire them to want to go the extra mile of what’s required.
As a decision-maker, it’s important to lean forward beyond the surveys and hear from your team what ultimately matters the most to them. Doing so will create a better work environment and should help put a dent in the quiet quitting crisis — at least within your company.