‘Quiet Quitting’ is the idea of employees becoming disengaged with their work and accomplishing the basic requirements of their role. The epitome of this is the individual who arrives late to work, leaves early and just clock watches in between; resulting in an employee who accomplished little.
Why are employees ‘quiet quitting’?
Whilst the label is now becoming more mainstream, the practice of it is nothing new in the workplace. For a long time, employees have decided to reduce their efforts owing to lack of career growth, poor pay, an unmanageable workload or an overbearing manager. Particularly in the post-COVID workplace, many people have decided to consider their career and work-life balance. This could lead to quiet quitting, or a loss of motivaiton for their work.
An employee might feel undervalued, or that they are beginning to burnout and so they reduce the effort that they spend in the workplace. This results in the feeling that they are deprioritising their jobs and improving their work-life balance. If an employee is wanting to change jobs, quiet quitting allows them to reduce their effort while looking for alternative employment.
How to prevent employees from quiet quitting
Improving employee experience can help to prevent the disengagement of employees in the workplace. It is esential to make sure that individuals feel valued and appreciated in the workplace by having discussions with them. Many times, simple words of encouragement might help, to remove and reduce boredom and employees. These employees often feel as if they have accomplished everything and that there is no challenge remaining.
By doing regular and honest reviews of the current workplace culture, it may not only help to understand your employees and prevent any reduction in performance, but also to help hire new employees in a tough recruitment time.
How to manage quiet quitters
It is usually simple to identify a quiet quitter, as their effort will be greatly reduced from previous levels. This may result in disengagement from the workforce and benchmark standards falling. Many employers might be wanting to treat this scenario as a conduct issue. However it is generally more beneficial to meet with the employee on an informal basis. It is important to note here, that factors which may affect the employee’s level of engagement will fluctuate. Natural factors such as the current cost of living crisis which will ffect a large number of employees.
So, it is important not to immediately punish an employee for when there are natural troughs in engagement. As an employer or manager, you should attempt to understand what is driving this employee decision. If an employee feels misunderstood or not supported by their workplace it could resultl in the employee leaving. This of course results in reduced business productivity, and a cost in recruiting new talent.