You may have noticed that your most enthusiastic employee of the last few years has started to distance themselves. They may have been refusing to take on the extra tasks the office desperately needed handling and will no longer give the same effort they used to when they were first employed. The online community has identified this trend as quiet quitting, one of the current causes of worry for organizations.
Quiet quitting is when an employee’s performance drastically shifts to the bare minimum.¹ It was recognized that certain individuals do this to avoid burnout. These behavioral changes are most noticeable in productive and proactive employees—those who always say yes to overtime and gladly volunteer to take over tasks. You can take these obvious changes as a sign to make meaningful adjustments in the workplace and engage individuals in more rewarding activities that rekindle their sense of purpose.
Burnout: What Quiet Quitters Are Trying to Avoid
According to Mayo Clinic, burning out is a form of work-related stress that causes physical and emotional exhaustion.² Among the possible causes of this stress is the lack of control over schedule or workload. On top of this, dysfunctional dynamics at work, the lack of support, and the imbalance of work and life can drive a person quicker to burnout.
Millennials and Gen-Z workers are some of those who are prone to burnout. They are among the people who stretch themselves thin to prioritize their impact on the world and society as they struggle to establish a more stable income. This was reported in a Deloitte 2022 survey, where 29 percent of Gen-Zs and 36 percent of millennials who responded are concerned about their cost of living. Such a situation pushed them to take on several jobs to cover their day-to-day expenses.³ These circumstances may also escalate into worse problems in personal areas of their lives, such as poor mental health, high blood pressure, and alcohol or substance abuse.
Related reading: Quiet Quitting or Setting Healthy Boundaries? Demystifying the Newest Global Trend
3 Progressive Solutions to Address Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting can be seen as a call for help to address the needs of your workforce. Take it as a fresh start to stand with your employees in enriching the work environment you currently share. Here are some steps you may take to improve their experience:
1. Create a Sense of Ownership and a Purpose-filled Environment.
Work is no longer about how many tasks you can finish fast and how long your overtime will take. Today’s workforces have developed a yearning to create an impact on the world and the lives of others. Be mindful that the work you assign to them impacts the sense of ownership in your employees, develops their empathy, and makes them realize that what they do is worth their time.⁴
The first step toward helping them reach their ideal state in the workplace is to lead with a purpose. According to Joseph Solis of Chicago Hub, workers are now looking for genuine and compassionate leaders because they also aspire to be the same way someday.
You don’t have to be that boss who always stays beyond your shift for the sake of assisting your subordinates. You can practice compassion by making yourself available within a comfortable schedule. Giving insightful feedback and offering mentorships on a regular basis is enough to guide your member.
ou don’t have to be that boss who always stays beyond your shift to assist your subordinates. You can practice compassion by making yourself available within a comfortable schedule. Giving insightful feedback and offering regular mentorship are enough to guide your member.
To help them improve their sense of ownership:
- Step back and see how they take charge of their tasks.
- Observe how they adapt on their own and stretch their creativity.
- Check on them afterward and discuss their learnings.
- Remember also to keep yourself open to learning from them through reverse mentorship.
The next phase to building a purposeful environment is to give your people the power to make meaningful changes. This can be accomplished through efforts that align with your company’s mission and values. For example, in a Gartner survey last October 2021, 56 percent of the 3,500 employees who responded said that the pandemic urged them to contribute to society more.⁵ You can drive purpose for your employees by implementing simple principles such as zero-waste or more people-oriented activities like charity work.
You may also ask them about their advocacies and how they think these can be made possible through your current work setting. This can help them understand their intentions better while allowing them to create more imaginative ways to contribute to the changes they want to make.
2. Envision The Company’s Future With Them In It.
Setting goals in the company should intertwine with your members’ desired futures.⁶ Involve your people in collaborative discussions about the brand’s milestones to remind them that they are integral team members.
Make sure that your targets are clear and relevant to them as well. You can do this by highlighting their current strengths and suggesting the succeeding steps they can achieve together with you.
Motivate them to have their milestones as well. Encourage them to ideate new projects they would anticipate working on and then give them advice on how to make each possible. You may also recommend a potential career growth they can pursue. Giving them a future to wait for can reignite their joy toward their role in your organization.
3. Consider That Switching Career Tracks May Be More Beneficial Than Upskilling.
Now that you’ve made your vision clear, you may want to consider that your quietly-quitting employee may also be looking for a new role to fit in. They may be a multifaceted individual searching for ways to maximize their other talents within the office. Reskilling may be the answer to address their current needs and inspire new hope in them.
Placing them in a different job allows them to challenge workplace traditions they see from another angle. An example is how a previous sales employee can elevate strategies in their new marketing position by knowing which products can best be promoted together.
This is where you step in to guide them. Acknowledge what they have done for the company so far and see what more they can do. Provide them training to qualify for a different career path when circumstances would allow it. Reskilling gives them a chance to find a new sense of purpose as the company continues to nurture its pool of professionals.⁷ Encouraging them to take on a different role also shows your worker that you appreciate their skills and trust their contributions.
Kindness Can Help Keep Your Team Together
The keys to keeping your workers well and away from quietly quitting are understanding their needs, managing everyone’s expectations, and upholding acts of kindness. Start communicating clearly and build a place of hope for an attainable future for your workforce.
FOX CAN HELP YOU FIND GREAT PEOPLE TO BE PART OF YOUR TEAM.
Meet your next candidate through Fox Search Group. Our team will help you reach out to potential applicants who share your desire to create an impactful workplace that’s rich in values.
Reach out to us now.
1 Greg Daugherty. “What is Quiet Quitting—and is it a Real Trend?”. https://www.investopedia.com/what-is-quiet-quitting-6743910. Published last November 2, 2022. Accessed last February 1, 2023.
2 Mayo Clinic Staff. “Job burn out: How to spot it and take action”. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/burnout/art-20046642. Published last June 5, 2021. Accessed last February 3, 2023.
3 Deloitte Global. “The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey”. https://www.deloitte.com/global/en/issues/work/genzmillennialsurvey.html. Accessed last February 2, 2023.
4 “5 ways in which the workplace could serve young people better”. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/02/youth-workplace-future-davos2023/ . Published last February 2, 2023. Accessed last February 7, 2023.
5 Jackie Wiles. “Employees Seek Personal Value and Purpose at Work. Be Prepared to Deliver.” https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/employees-seek-personal-value-and-purpose-at-work-be-prepared-to-deliver . Published last January 13, 2022. Accessed last February 8, 2023.
6 “Unmotivated Employees? Follow This Advice To Keep Them Engaged”. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2023/01/30/unmotivated-employees-follow-this-advice-to-keep-them-engaged/?sh=1b53c87b5ceb . Published last January 30, 2023. Accessed last February 9, 2023.
7Eric Friedman. “How Reskilling And Upskilling Help Companies Prepare For The Future”. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2023/01/11/how-reskilling-and-upskilling-help-companies-prepare-for-the-future/?sh=7c0bd3cf16e6 . Published last January 11, 2023. Accessed last February 9, 2023.