‘Quiet quitting’ became a trend as a result of pandemic-induced reflection by many American workers. Tired of ‘hustle culture’ and pandemic-related workplace uncertainty, some workers have taken to doing the bare minimum in their roles, negatively impacting the company in terms of reduced productivity, profitability, and high employee turnover. ‘Quiet quitting’ won’t go away without deliberate action from an employer. In 2023 and into the future, employees are setting firm boundaries and are unlikely to ‘go above and beyond’ unless they are truly motivated.
The importance of an engaged workforce
Organizations with high engagement levels routinely outperform those with lower levels on several important business metrics. The advantages of an engaged workforce include the following:
- Higher productivity
- Increased profits
- Greater employee retention
- Lower employee turnover
- Improved operational efficiencies
- Great customer satisfaction
- A strong brand reputation
6 common factors driving disengagement
- Poor job fit: Poor job fit occurs when a person is in a role that doesn’t match their natural strengths or fit their personal and professional needs and can happen to new hires and long-term employees.
- Ineffective leadership: Managers and supervisors lack leadership skills or aren’t understanding, empathetic, or supportive of employees.
- Lack of advancement and development opportunities: Most employees want the chance to advance, and those that leave or contemplate leaving cite a need for a clear career path and professional development opportunities from their employer as a reason for leaving.
- Burnout: This stems from an excessive or unmanageable workload for prolonged periods, changes to job responsibilities, and/or pressure associated with unreasonable time to complete tasks or projects.
- Compensation: Many employees are unhappy with their compensation and believe pay inequity exists. Further, they think they’re at a disadvantage over new candidates, often brought in at market rates, which causes animosity and distrust.
- Unclear expectations: One of the main stressors at work is employees not clearly understanding what their manager or employer expects of them and being subject to frequently changing or unrealistic expectations.
Solving the problem and setting expectations
Is ‘quiet firing’ the solution? To put it simply: No. You’ve probably heard about ‘quiet firing’ as a solution to quiet quitting. This refers to employers treating employees poorly, e.g., asking them to work longer hours without compensation, reducing hours, not communicating with the employee, failing to meet with the employee, and more. Once you understand what’s going on with an employee or your team more broadly – it’s time to boldly re-engage. Maybe your employees need better work/home boundaries, flexible schedules, more time to complete projects – or perhaps just renewed clarity around work expectations. Be clear about your expectations and provide a roadmap for how you’ll get there together.
Employees will inevitably leave, so plan for it
Despite your best efforts, employees will move on. Some departures are avoidable, and some are not. By implementing a sound employee engagement strategy and keeping a pulse on the employee experience, you will undoubtedly see higher levels of engagement and retention and fewer departures in the avoidable category.
Quiet quitters don’t have to be a drag on a company’s workforce. It’s a situation that can be challenging if you let it permeate and fail to address the root issues. By confronting the issue directly and working to boldly re-engage your employee or workforce, you can treat the quiet quitting movement as an opportunity to reconnect and realign with your team to reach your strategic initiatives and outpace your competition.
DSR Finance works with leadership teams to address and implement best practices for employee retention and financial growth. Contact us today.