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Quiet Quitting, what is it and how can we combat it?

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In this post covid era, quite a few novel behaviours have emerged that have encouraged new sound bites, discussions, and hot topics one of which is “Quiet Quitting.”

For some, this is a ridiculous term giving voice to lazy workers who want to get paid for doing the absolute minimum but for others, it’s a very real epidemic that has seen current and potential employers rethink their retention strategies so as not to lose talent.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Wikipedia states that “Quiet quitting is an application of work-to-rule, in which employees work within defined work hours and engage in work-related activities solely within those hours. Despite the name, the philosophy of quiet quitting is not connected to quitting a job outright, but rather doing precisely what the job requires.” In essence, it refers to employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. 

Ultimately, there seems to be a generational divide which has been present for years whereby Millennials have been asking “What can my employer do for me?” which was a definitive shift from the, “What can I do for my employer” mentality of previous times.

It is fact that Quiet Quitting is definitely something that is more popular among younger workers, but that is not to say there has been a change in the attitudes of older employees, especially since the covid epidemic.

Workforce Dissatisfaction - Time to Address It

Another buzz phrase that has raised its head in this new era is “The Great Resignation” where people have decided to leave rather than do unfulfilling work. This together with Quiet Quitting refers to workforce dissatisfaction that must be addressed and which can no longer be ignored.

As a Generation X, I was intrigued to see people rather not work than have no income to speak of or in fact a much lower income should they choose to do what they want rather than what they needed to. Covid then introduced WFH or Hybrid working and significantly reinforced the notion that work is an activity, not a place that was embraced by both young and old. This could definitely be down to a previously undiscussed level of collective burnout that employees were experiencing but had not addressed.

Hidden Signs Your Employees are Quiet Quitting at Work

As both an Employer and Recruiter, I would strongly recommend that you recognise hidden signs your employees are in Quiet Quitting mode at work. Of course, there are many signs but one basic sign is noticing an undesired change in behavior in the way people interact with others. Other signs could include getting disengaged from the work, no more taking initiatives, isolating from the team and having a changed perception of work.

Disengagement in work

Disengaged employees often exhibit a slow working tempo, are easily distracted, and have minimal contribution. They basically demonstrate an overall lack of interest.

A lack of initiative

At some point in time, employees tend to lose interest in putting their best foot forward and give up on their responsibilities to initiate things that can bring great results for the organisation. 

Individual isolation from the team

Isolation at work is a type of social isolation that can fill an employee with a feeling of being separate from others. Gradually, the person appears disengaged and stops interacting with co-workers, ultimately impacting overall productivity.

Changed perception of work

Employee output and motivation are directly proportional to their perception of work. Employees can never feel satisfied with their job if their perception of work and the organisation’s vision & mission are not aligned.

Related Read: Best Practices for Positive Employee Experience and Retention Rate

What leaders can do to combat quiet quitting?

Cornerstone Global Partners (CGP) recently completed an online poll to ask “What leaders can do to combat quiet quitting?”

We received 125 votes, and the results in order were:

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​Let's talk about each one of them.

Build relationships, be upfront, and be open about workload

No organisation can ever succeed if it doesn’t communicate well with its team members. Leaders ought to cultivate an environment that values relationships within teams and is open about expectations while letting employees speak up and share their side of the story when required.

Re-engage and motivate your employees – show gratitude

Valuing employees and making them feel a part of the organisation can bring exemplary results. Leaders must motivate employees by acknowledging their efforts and rewarding them. This also boosts the employee retention rate.

Encourage sustainable growth – invest in employee growth

A company grows when its employees do. Most employees believe a company that values their growth & development is more likely to have their loyalty. The management must ensure uninterrupted learning for its employees, so they continue to evolve.

Maintain boundaries and respect work-life balance

An organisation’s environment should also promote respecting boundaries and being mindful of work-life balance to march forward in the right direction. 

In the end...

In addition, it is integral that employers listen to employees and foster a praising and awarding culture. If people enjoy their work, no matter where it is they are working from, then a natural outcome will be more engagement and productivity.

At CGP Singapore, We help employees better manage work and personal needs by offering Flexible Work Arrangements. We are committed towards building a better workplace and work environment for our staff, thus helping our employees to achieve good work-life balance and a fulfilling career. Share your interest if you are looking to join our unique, fun, and innovative business and become future hiring experts. Know More Here