Lying flat, anti-ambition, doing the bare minimum, just showing up, burning out, deprioritising work, disengaged–we can give it any other name but “Quiet Quitting” is posing a colossal threat to organisations and employers all over the world.
Causes of quiet quitting
Many believe that the devastating and earth-modifying pandemic heralded the quiet quitting phenomenon. Yet, we’ve been witness to dissatisfied employees on the verge of breakdowns and burnouts years before the pandemic crept up on us.
With rising inflation rates and rapidly increasing costs of living, many were forced to take on a secondary job to make ends meet. Employees would then appear tired or disinterested in their primary jobs as a result of this secondary source of income, the side hustle, or “the hustle culture”.
Micromanaging employees and reinforcing a culture of mistrust is another leading reason why employees wish to quit along with unpaid overtime work. One of the other mistakes management teams make is not providing timely and constructive feedback and more importantly, not paying heed to any employee feedback. This makes employees feel undervalued and unappreciated, ultimately leading to quiet quitting.
But, as with all mistakes, there is learning. When corrective measures are put into practice, it can also snowball into a more positive setting in every sense of the word for an employee to thrive in the workplace.
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The antidote to quiet quitting
Keep conversations flowing: Employees, especially those who often can’t find their voice, may feel like they are unheard. Being lost in a sea of many may make them feel underrepresented and that their contributions to the workplace go unnoticed. HR and leadership teams need to keep an open line of communication with all employees, actively promote transparency at every step, and recognise and celebrate the backbreaking work every employee does for the company.
Keep an eye out for changes in behaviour: Remember that there’s a fine and delicate line between being intrusive and genuinely caring about your employee’s well-being. If you don’t tread the line gingerly, you may cross it and immediately be labelled as someone with no respect for boundaries or someone who doesn’t know how to run a team without micromanaging.
There are subtle ways you can go about this. Ascertain whether an employee is taking more time for a simple task that they used to complete in a short time. Are they less communicative during meetings? Have they stopped taking any initiative? Make time to ask what’s bothering them and work on a solution together.
Keep a check on their workload: Are your employees working extra hours daily or taking work home every night? While some employees may be up for the grind every day and every weekend, as leadership, you must know where to draw the line. For every extra shift put in, employers must compensate employees and address pay discrepancies at the earliest.
As we try to keep our heads above water during the Great Resignation, HR and leadership teams must do everything in their power to retain talent across organisations. A healthy work-life balance, compensation to match the increasing costs of everyday life, and timely rewards and recognition plans will go a long way in helping keep employees happy and motivated to work.
- The Case for Quiet Quitting: Why It’s Happening and What Can Employers Do About It? | Thoughtful | September 30, 2022
- The Causes Of Quiet Quitting And How To Overcome Them With Your Team | Forbes | October 25, 2022
- Quiet Quitting: Here’s how you can design fulfilling work experiences in 6 steps! | PeopleMatters | November 18, 2022
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