Rutherford Cross consultant Harry Thomson talks about quiet quitting, asks why it’s becoming more common, and discusses what employers can do to address the issue.
What is ‘Quiet Quitting’?
Quiet quitting has received a lot of attention in the media recently but in reality, has been going unnoticed for some time.
‘Quiet quitting’ is when an employee will only do what their job description clearly states that they are responsible for and nothing more. By doing this, employees are doing strictly the tasks that they are responsible for, but not doing anything that doesn’t technically fall within their remit.
Why is this Happening?
The idea of quiet quitting stems from less spoken about ‘Quiet Firing’ where management starts to remove responsibilities, praise, and opportunities away from employees. This can be done by excluding employees from working on exciting projects, not giving any recognition to the work that is being done and spending less time growing and developing staff than previously. All of this leading to employees beginning to consider their options and eventually leaving the business.
Quiet quitting can happen for several reasons such as being burned out, feeling a lack of progression, or poor management from mid-level and senior managers.
The majority of this has come to light following the first lockdown in March of 2020 where many people found themselves able to take a step back and re-evaluate their current working situation, deciding what they would like to get out of their careers. This re-evaluation has led to many individuals concluding that their values and goals may not be aligned with their current employer.
The rising skill shortage has also led to employees having a lot more options in the job market and being able to have a greater understanding of what they are worth.
How can Employers Address the Issue?
It is an interesting concept when you weigh up what really engages someone to remain in a business. People are all unique in their own way and have different motivators as to what will encourage them to remain in a role or look for a new one. For some, it could be financial reasons enabling them to have a better quality of life, for some the flexibility around hours that are worked, and others may prefer to have a clear progression route that they are working towards.
The reality is an employee who feels listened too and respected by their employer is unlikely to ‘quiet quit’. To understand what your employees, want regular one-to-one meetings with team members are essential. This will enable you to understand what they are wanting to achieve in their roles and what their long-term ambitions are. If you do this from a very early stage, this will allow you to plan effectively and advise employees of the milestones that they need to get to in order to reach the next step in their career.
Regular one-to-ones will help develop and mentor in a more appropriate way going forward and put a plan in place that is going to allow this continued growth and development.
Focus on Culture
Creating a culture where employees feel valued and supported is essential. Offering flexible working options, opportunities to take part in volunteering or fundraising activities, or a focus on team building and company days out can all influence how employees feel about their place of work.
It is always important to remember that the people make the business and that putting them first will help lead to continued growth and success of your organisation.
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