25 Jan Quiet Quitting : What Business Can Do To Prevent It
It’s one of those phrases that was suddenly everywhere in 2022: Quiet quitting. The concept is pretty simple at the core: employees who are “quiet quitting” are doing exactly what is called for on their job description and nothing more. They’re not offering to help on projects outside their normal responsibilities; they’re not taking on extra tasks or staying late to make sure something’s finished.
While this is, in many cases, due to burnout and over-extension, it might also be a response to unfavorable conditions or a manager the employee isn’t getting along with or who they feel is asking too much. It might also be the first step toward an employee actually quitting for another opportunity.
In any case, it’s something managers need to be mindful of and watching for — and doing their part to help prevent.
Here are a few ways to discourage ‘quiet quitting’ before it happens.
- Maintain boundaries for employees. The work day is what it is. There are set hours in most companies, or for most shifts, and those need to be honored. If there’s an unexpected situation in which people need to work longer hours, make it clear this is an exception to the rule, not a new demand that will be in place for an undetermined amount of time. If asking your team to stay longer is due to a departure on the team and is temporary until someone new is hired, make every effort to keep them in the loop on the hiring process so they know someone new will be joining them soon and that this isn’t the new way of life for them.
- If situations change, compensation should change. It happens all the time and is sometimes the normal course of things: Someone starts a job with a particular job description and list of responsibilities, but over time they take on additional tasks. Most employees get an annual review; when it comes up in 2023, take the time to compare their original job description with what they’re doing now and do all you can to make sure they’re being fairly compensated for their actual work today.
- Be flexible. If someone has to work late one day, offer to let them come in late the next day, or later in the week, or let them leave early. Respond to the unexpected need with a reflexive and equitable offer that shows you appreciate and respect their flexibility to meet your needs and that you want to reward them for helping. If the unexpected work takes longer than one day, or a week, at the beginning of the project talk about ways in which the involved employees will be compensated or shown appreciation for their contributions. If someone knows at the start of a project that it might take longer, or demand more hours in the day from them, and that they will be acknowledged and there will be trade-offs for their work, they’re more inclined to be on board.
- Make it optional to help out. Not everyone has the same responsibilities at home or at work. Some people might need to leave exactly on time every day because they have obligations outside of work that need tending to; do not punish them for their work-life balance. At the same time, those without the same kind of responsibilities should not be expected, by default, to always raise their hands to help out. Try to make an equitable arrangement in which people can opt out of helping, whether that’s taking on extra work or staying late, and it’s not always the same people who are called on to do the extra labor. Arrangements can be made if the need is occasional.
- Show your appreciation on a regular basis. More often than not, the reason employees feel compelled to restrict the extra tasks they’re doing is because they feel they’re being taken for granted. They feel like too much is expected of them without any recognition or appreciation for how they keep showing up and doing the work. Eventually, there’s no incentive to do extra because nothing ever comes to them for it. A simple thank you can go such a long way toward fixing that. Recognizing that your employees are, first and foremost, talented individuals that you’re grateful to have on your team can make the difference between keeping your team together and having to replace people who leave. Say thank you, bring in lunch, create a bonus or incentive program; do what you can and what you need to do in order to make your employees understand how much you value and appreciate them.
Employees, especially younger ones, do not view work in the same way their parents or grandparents did. Work culture has changed. Work-life balance in all industries needs to be honored and respected or things like “quiet quitting” will continue to infiltrate.
If you need to bring on new employees, contact LeadingEdge Personnel. We have great candidates who are eager to get to work, especially for a company that will welcome and support them. Call LeadingEdge today and let’s get started!
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