The Quiet Quitting Trend
How to Turn a Potential Financial Loss into a Potential Gain
Whether you’re on Twitter or TikTok or have simply turned on the news lately, you’ve likely heard of the phrase “quiet quitting.” For those unfamiliar, “quiet quitting” is a re-branding of sorts of the prior “coasting” mentality. This reboot seems to have its roots in both the Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation of 2021. But what does it really mean for companies and their employees? What does it really mean for the bottom line?
This current “movement” (and I shudder to even call it that) has employees doing the bare minimum to continue to get a paycheck. They show up for work, do as little as possible, and refuse to put in any extra effort whatsoever. This lack of effort not only negatively impacts fellow coworkers who are forced to pick up the slack, but also the company’s productivity overall. This, at a time when companies have already seen a slide in productivity from remote work, followed quickly by mass resignations. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, globally, companies have lost $7.8 trillion as a result of decreased productivity over the past several years.
As always, there are two sides of the argument as to why this is happening (with the truth generally found somewhere in between). Opponents argue that this type of behavior is the result of laziness, disloyalty, and an overall downward spiral of the workforce today. They may ask, “In what world are we now looking up to people who don’t want to go the extra mile (and then proudly post about it on social media)?” Yet, proponents of quiet quitting claim that this is in direct response to the unreasonable demands placed on them by employers over the past couple of years and that it is necessary to ensure a healthy work-life balance and decrease the likelihood of burning out. Whatever the impetus, the end result is the same—decreased productivity and profitability for the company.
Knowing that this is the current popular employee mentality, how can a company turn a potential financial loss into a potential financial gain?
The answer to this ever-important question is found at the intersection of communication and employee engagement. These are not new concepts, but many leaders seem to forget that communication is the key to employee engagement and that employee engagement can change nearly everything about workplace culture. If an employee is feeling stressed, overworked, disengaged, and ignored by management, then there has been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the chain of command. Leaders may want to consider taking a step back and looking at the entire picture holistically.
This is the time to check in with your managers to see how various departments are functioning and if there are any areas where managers and supervisors can benefit from retraining. Managers, in turn, should be checking in with each employee on a one-on-one basis to ask how the employee feels about their current role within the company. Maybe the underlying issue is that the employee is not feeling challenged in their role. If so, speak to them about a shift in position or responsibilities. If the problem is the employee does not feel like they are a value to the company, then work with them to address those concerns accordingly. And if the issue is that they just don’t want to work, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.
Whether your company is experiencing quiet quitting or not, take this newest challenge as a valued opportunity to re-engage with your employees. Communicating effectively creates a clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities expected of all employees at every level within the company. Employees who feel cared about will likely want to be more invested within the company and, in turn, willingly put in the work needed to see success. The end result will be a stronger and more financially viable company with dedicated employees who will be happy to go the extra mile.
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