Today remote, hybrid, or flexible work seems to be the new compromise between employees and employers. More recently, the new term quiet quitting became a viral trend which seems to be reshaping work culture. Axios/Generation Lab's survey showed that 82% of Gen Zers are interested in doing the minimum to keep their jobs, while 15% do so already.
On the other hand, according to a report from Deloitte, 95% of C-suite executives agree they should be responsible for employee well-being, and 83% say they’ll do more on the issue in the next few years.
Is Quiet Quitting really new and here to stay?
The term quiet quitting refers to how employees approach their jobs by not engaging in the hustle culture. From an employee perspective, this is how people resent a toxic work environment that lacks work-life balance with long working hours, including weekends, absence of professional advancement, fair compensation, learning, and recognition.
The Great Resignation Aftermath
Similar to quiet quitting, the great resignation came from employees evaluating their working conditions. Both considerably debilitated companies' fiber. Furthermore, a recent study from Gallup finds "Quiet quitters" make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce or probably more,
In his last webinar Kevin Oakes, best-selling author of the book Culture Renovation and CEO and co-founder of i4cp, states:
“The risk a lot of companies run right now is the engagement of the workforce and that's all quiet.
Quiet quitting is an overused term, not really accurate, describing an issue that has been existing for decades, the discretionary effort by employees as well as the health and well-being of the workforce."
How does Quiet Quitting translate to insufficient employee engagement?
Work-life balance rules the new workplace.
The message “... that work has to be your life. The reality is, it’s not.” resonated with an audience feeling a profound disillusion about being part of a workplace that demands more than what it gives back. It represented a tired workforce re-evaluating its priorities after going through a stressful two years of a pandemic.
However, quiet quitting is not new; known as coasting before, it became a common occurrence in 2020. Coasting allowed overworked, stressed employees to recharge while meeting their primary job duties.
The post-pandemic after-effects
On the one hand, many employees started assessing their fulfillment at work, resulting in many quitting their jobs to look for more rewarding positions, make a career switch, or take a break.
On the other hand, employers see quiet quitting as a threat or self-sabotage. In her LinkedIn post, Arianna Huffington writes that quiet leaving is “A step toward quitting on life.” Huffington, a vocal Baby Boomer and founder of the Washington Post, advocates for “joyful joining” instead of quiet quitting.
Also, Kevin O’Leary, Chairman O’Shares EFT, said, “people who do 9 to 5 only, they don’t work for me”. Furthermore, some experts warn quiet quitters that their just-good-enough approach puts them at risk when a market slowdown occurs.
"Quiet quitting is the worst idea I have ever heard; you are introducing cancer into culture."
As the pandemic caused a dramatic shift in the way we work, many companies were caught unprepared, resulting in overwhelming employees with higher workloads causing them to rethink their professional goals. This situation speaks of a problem ingrained in a work culture that needs to change!
6 Ways To Transform Quiet Quitting Into A Happy Engaging Culture
Whether quiet quitting is a trend or here to stay, it must be approached as a critique of the present work culture. Culture can make or break an organization; thus, it is vital for growth and success, as mentioned by Arnie Malham, author of Worth Doing Wrong:
“Focus on people! To attract and retain the best talent, the answer is culture […] Happy people make happy business, great businesses do great things.”
Let’s explore some culture focus solutions that can combat the quiet quitting trend:
Focus on a healthy culture
While quiet quitting can be upsetting and discouraging from the management's perspective, it can also be seen as an opportunity to create a healthy Culture. Managers can engage in conversations and build relationships with their employees to understand how external factors affect their work performance and satisfaction levels.
Engaged employees created successful organizations. In “The Four Rules of Engagement”, Joe Caruso teaches a step-by-step pattern of thinking that (if followed) can transform the way you interact with others, in both your professional and personal life. Small but significant changes can change your attempts to influence people, such as changing from “you’re wrong on that” to “how did you reach that conclusion?”
“Once you can understand how your mind works, you will understand how the ones of others work, and the more you will be able to use it at your advantage”Apply the four rules of engagement with your team:
- Everyone is always right: Honor this fact and their truth to show respect and make them feel honored. As a result, it will encourage their willingness to engage.
- Everyone's greatest desire is to be right before being happy.
- You can't change anyone else's mind- understand the power of context to influence people and make them understand your perception
- Shift their perception- Consider someone else perspective will help them shift their perception”.
If you want your employees to do more than what they were hired for, you need to compensate them accordingly. A study by Dr. Edwin A. Gallup revealed that employee disengagement costs about $7.8 trillion to companies worldwide. Employees who feel their efforts will be compensated are more likely to go the extra mile.
In his book Scaling Up Compensation, Verne Harnish says, “Create a place where people could come to work and pretend they are a volunteer.” Creating a purposeful workplace motivates employee performance and boosts satisfaction.
Engagement can increase through rewards and recognition. As mentioned by Gregg Lederman in his book Give People What They CRAVE, “When fulfilled at work, happier, motivated, productive and successful employees: better engagement, customer experiences and ultimately will accelerate business results.”
When an employer shows recognition, it shows respect toward the employee's performance, which can help strengthen their professional relationship. Creating a sense of purpose is another way to increase engagement. Learning Gregg Lederman's 10 Minutes by Friday™ method can help you to increase employee engagement. More than 65% of his clients made it onto a “best place to work” list.
Focus on your people
A successful business is based on great employees who thrive in a great culture. As an employer, you need to go beyond performance and find those employees that quietly support your business growth and praise them. By making them feel like a vital part of your organization, and recognizing their sole talent and personalities, you will multiply their engagement and performance.
In Rehumanizing Life and Work, Dr. Tamsin Woolley-Barker encourages organizations to recognize each individual's uniqueness, independence, and creativity based on collective intelligence to create a common and shared purpose with their team. Her expertise in Biomimicry (the art and science of innovation inspired by nature) shows how super organism strategies such as bees and ants can be applied to the world of business. Her knowledge has impacted numerous Fortune 500 companies like Google, Facebook, and Johnson & Johnson.
Create a healthy and wealthy workplace with cultural leadership
Now more than ever, individuals seek a balance between work and personal fulfillment. Thus, employers who want to retain and look appealing to great talent to be part of their organization must develop great culture. Arnie Malham, in his course Worth Doing Wrong, can guide you towards a work culture shift that will empower your team and increase energy and effectiveness.
Quiet quitting is a great opportunity for companies to rethink their business structures, culture, and values. Considering the vital link between successful companies and happy employees should motivate decision makers to hear your employees' concerns, especially the younger ones.
Creating an inclusive culture aiming for the perfect work-life balance should be the goal.