Workplace culture is not what it used to be. During the pandemic, people experienced greater work-life balance while working remotely. Now, as companies decide between returning to the office or implementing a hybrid work model, workers are re-evaluating the role of the workplace. The workplace itself has been challenged. It can no longer be a place that people ‘must go to’ but instead needs to be one that people want to go to and are inspired by.
What is Quiet Quitting?
The Great Resignation, in early 2021, referred to an exodus of workers from the market. Many workers retired while others relocated, reconsidered their options, or merely shuffled their priorities. This trend is known as ‘quietly quitting’. People are tired and some may even perceive their working environments to be unpleasant. There are many reasons including increased work demands without additional pay, lack of recognition, limited growth opportunities, and burnout. All these can lead to disengagement with people eventually choosing to leave their job.
Companies need not only be aware of the underside of worker dissatisfaction, but their leaders need to actively address the ‘quietly quitting’ trend through strategies aimed at boosting employee morale to prevent this and resurrect a sense of purpose, and belonging.
To know whether you are working with people who are quietly quitting, it is important to note the key signs:
- Skipping meetings or absenteeism
- Working less effectively
- Participating less in team activities, projects, or meetings
- Exhibiting an unenthusiastic attitude
Strategies to Engage Employees Who Are Quiet Quitting
Workplaces can inspire newfound purpose for employees while meeting their ever-changing needs and prevent them from wanting to leave their jobs or perform poorly. The following are some strategies and tips:
- Back to Basics: Find out what’s going on. Ask or gather feedback from your employees. We have collectively been preoccupied and managing through some tough times during the last few years, and we may have let some things and even people go unnoticed. A good start could be as simple as encouragement and recognition to spark an employees inspiration.
- Improve the Employee Experience: Could it be that the employee is feeling burdened by a heavy workload without the time to connect with their family or enjoy personal downtime? By establishing boundaries and talking about role expectations, you may be able to neutralize the employee’s sense of overwhelm.
- Stress Management: Mental health has become a larger issue. Focusing on employee well-being, by offering mental health days or providing benefits such as counselling, can help employees and motivate them to achieve greater balance.
- Career Path and Potential: Good talent is not easy to come by. If you have skilled employees, invest in their future by mapping out a potential career path for them. Let them know their value and discuss their career objectives with them. If they can visualize a growth path, your financial investment in them will more likely pay off.
- Address Poor Management: This is the flipside of quiet quitting where managers have, by their actions or neglect, created disgruntled employees. Not addressing pay gaps, not meeting the employee’s needs, adding to their workload, disrespecting them, or even micromanaging them may lead to quiet quitting.
- Hybrid Work Model Flexibility: Companies who treat employees as people rather than as mere resources may be able to better understand the unique challenges their employees face. Providing flexibility to work remotely when needed can help to reduce stress and help your employees achieve a greater work life balance.
- Workplace Environment: Create spaces where your employees can feel comfortable and safe, and ones that inspire productive work. If an employee can leave the office feeling as happy as when they arrived, it speaks to a positive culture and a supportive workplace.
POI Experts Can Help You Create Environments That Mitigate Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting is a slippery slope of employee disengagement, and it is indicative of a poor connection between the employee and employer. Employees who feel this way exhibit warning signs that managers need to recognize and address. Adopting the new hybrid work model is one way in which organizations can demonstrate flexibility when it comes to supporting their workers. But that may not be enough. Connecting with employees regularly and implementing some of the strategies above may help reverse the trend, giving them purpose and a reason to actively reengage.
Reach out to the experts at POI today to learn more about how we have successfully applied the hybrid work model to our offices and how we can help you create environments which support the changing needs of your employees.