There's a buzz about "quiet quitting" taking over social media. But what does it mean and what can employers do to overturn this trend?
What is "Quiet Quitting"?
The term "quiet quitting" went viral after The Wall Street Journal published an article about it. In a broad sense, it refers to an approach to work of doing what's needed but not going the extra mile. It's negating the "hustle culture" that expects employees to go above and beyond. Some people see quiet quitting as a passive aggressive way to respond when they feel devalued by their company. But the important conversation we should all be having is not about criticizing employees for acting this way, but rather understanding the root causes and identifying opportunities to increase employee engagement.
Why are Employees Disengaged and Quiet Quitting?
Work and workplaces as we know them have changed. The pandemic completely transformed our relationship with work. The increased awareness of our own mortality made people question and reassess their life choices, including work. The increased search for meaning culminated with what many call "The Great Resignation", and people started quitting jobs that no longer matched their values and their new perspectives on life and the future.
For those who didn't quit, who haven't found a new source of professional fulfilment, or who are exhausted and can't find work-life balance, what is left is a lack of enthusiasm and lower engagement. These employees are less satisfied with their work, and that can lead to what is being now called "quiet quitting". In reality, it's just a reaction to the lack of meaning and purpose in their everyday work lives.
How to Tell if your Employees are Quiet Quitting
Although the root causes for a lack of engagement among your employees can be many, its impact is usually similar and leads to reduced productivity, lower satisfaction and higher turnover. It can also be contagious and spread throughout the workforce, resulting in decreased morale and affecting business performance. There are enough reasons why companies should pay attention to employee engagement.
In order to determine if your employees are quiet quitting, you should be measuring employee engagement. There are many solutions for assessing employee engagement and measuring their commitment, motivation, sense of purpose and passion for their work and organization, although engagement surveys themselves, are not enough. In the Pulsely framework, for example, employee engagement and retention are business performance indicators that are correlated with employee experiences to assess how an inclusive culture impacts these factors. With Pulsely’s diagnostic you not only understand who is less engaged, but the key drivers of that outcome and which efforts are needed to improve it.
What Should Employers do About Quiet Quitting?
There is no secret formula to make all your employees motivated and engaged, but fairness and equal opportunity is a good start; it is important to provide a fair wage and to design jobs that give employees control and pride in their work. Ultimately, what people need to feel fulfilled at work is a sense of belonging and respect and being valued for what they do and who they are, and for what they can contribute to organizational outcomes