A relatively new concept, "quiet quitting" is a trend among unsatisfied workers that can be rather toxic to an organization. Everyone has seen the change in the labor force over the last couple of years. Whether it's technology, a shift in generational attitude, or the pandemic that's causing it, this phenomenon could negatively impact your business. So you need to stay updated with how your employees think and feel. This ensures you have a high-quality workforce that remains motivated and productive. Let's explore what quiet quitting is, how it can affect your company, and strategies for avoiding quiet quitting.
What is quiet quitting?
Coined by users of the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, "quiet quitting" is a term used to describe how an employee changes their work attitude and productivity level to just maintain their employment. This means that instead of being innovative, proactive, and willing to go the extra mile, your employees are only doing enough to not lose their job. They may be disengaged from work as well as other employees. You may notice that they regularly show up to work late or leave early. Missing deadlines and avoiding assignments are other signs of a quiet quitter.
"With the right employee engagement strategies in place, businesses of all sizes can retain employees and keep them happy and productive throughout their tenure."
Employees can experience a desire to quietly quit for many reasons. However, a feeling of dissatisfaction or lack of motivation to work hard can be some of the major contributing factors. If this phenomenon sets in at your company, it can create an atmosphere that makes it unpleasant for all employees. You want to be aware of this concept and have tools in place to prevent it from becoming a problem.
Why is quiet quitting detrimental to an organization?
Quiet quitting can be very detrimental to an organization. When an employee notices that a co-worker isn't doing their share of work and is getting away with it, this encourages them to use the same tactic. If you have an entire team of quiet quitters, you're not going to have a productive or profitable department. You may end up having to hire additional staff to ensure that work is being completed, which in turn ends up costing more money. It's a terrible cycle to get into, so avoiding it entirely is best.
A welcoming, encouraging environment makes employees feel comfortable and can improve satisfaction throughout the organization. Creating just the right atmosphere is key for any business that is looking to keep its teams satisfied and engaged. With the right employee engagement strategies in place, businesses of all sizes can retain employees and keep them happy and productive throughout their tenure.
How to avoid quiet quitting at your company
Employees who feel dissatisfied with their work are less engaged and less likely to take on extra assignments or put in an effort to complete projects early or on time. When someone quiet quits at your organization, they've probably stopped doing some or most of their regular work. You may find that you or other managers have to speak with the employee often to get the bare minimum accomplished. This can be counterproductive to your goals, and it can end up costing a lot of money and time.
Here are some steps you can take to increase employee engagement and avoid quiet quitting at your company:
Know the signs of disengagement
If you can learn to recognize the signs of employee disengagement, you can more readily combat the issues before they contribute to quiet quitting. Some of the big signs to look out for include:
- Taking more time off than necessary
- Being disengaged from the team
- Turing in a lower quality of work
- Avoiding extra assignments or additional tasks
- Lacking initiative or motivation
- Showing up late or taking long lunches
- Even if you only notice one of these signs with an employee, it's worth investigating the problem to prevent it from becoming a quiet quitting situation.
Contribute to a healthy work-life balance
As an employer, you want to get the most from every employee. However, keep in mind that each person who works for you is an individual with their own unique needs and challenges outside of the workplace. So it's important to consider how you can contribute to a healthy work-life balance for your employees. A few things you can do, no matter your industry or company size, include:
- Allow for breaks that get your employees outdoors
- Provide a vacation time policy that encourages employees to use their PTO
- Tell employees to set work boundaries for themselves
- Be understanding of family and other outside factors that affect workloads
Encourage communication and engagement
Often, when you engage employees by encouraging an atmosphere of trust and open communication, you create an environment in which everyone can thrive. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team members so you can use them to your advantage. This information also provides insight into what training they might need to improve their performances. Using effective employee engagement strategies can help your team share their experiences and feelings. Remember to ask your employees how they're doing and really listen to their answers.
Don't just listen to their words, though. You should also keep an eye on their body language and eye contact. If they seem flippant or distant and avoid making eye contact or hold it for too long, it could indicate something is amiss. If possible, set up a meeting to talk outside the workplace to create a more comfortable and relaxed environment.
Provide feedback to all staff members
Constructive criticism can motivate your employees to work harder if handled properly. Providing feedback is a good way to let employees know how you view their performances. Start by telling them a few areas where they excel, followed by the areas where they can improve. Give them actionable steps they can take to achieve the desired performance. Mention where the hard work and improved results could lead, such as a promotion or raise, to further encourage the type and amount of work you expect.
Feedback comes in many forms, and knowing your employees' preferences for how they react to feedback can help you deliver it more effectively. This leads to better results, and ideally, your employees will feel more satisfied with their jobs.
Conduct regular reviews and surveys
Part of your employee engagement strategy should include conducting regular reviews and offering opportunities to take surveys. This will provide your employees with a sense of control over their roles and a sense of trust in you and your company. Allowing your staff to give you input about your performance anonymously, openly, and without negative repercussions makes them feel comfortable providing you valuable insight into how people view your company. You must commit to taking your employees seriously and considering their concerns, suggestions, and complaints by taking action when possible.
Without your employees, you wouldn't be able to conduct business, so it's vital to keep your team happy and motivated to work hard. Having the right employee engagement strategies can help you avoid quiet quitting at your company. You can use effective methods to engage your employees often so that you can better understand their needs and their personalities. This helps prevent job burnout and keeps you from overlooking important opportunities for growth.
Find out more about how to retain a strong workforce so your business can succeed:
With the remote work trend apparently here to stay, it's important to have a strategy for rewarding employees who work from home.
Using an employee engagement survey can help you evaluate your staffing needs and your employees' level of satisfaction.
Learning how to build successful teams is key to growing your organization.