Do you feel like your employees are just going through the motions, doing the bare minimum, and seem to have mentally checked out of their jobs? It’s like they’re there, but they’re not really there.
You might be dealing with a phenomenon known as “quiet-quitting”. These employees haven’t technically resigned, but they’ve given up on their jobs and are no longer passionate or motivated. As a result, they’re doing the minimum to get by, and it’s costing your company in terms of morale, productivity, and profits.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Basically, quiet quitting occurs when an employee only performs the bare minimum to get by at work. As a result, employee engagement and productivity drop. There are several possible reasons why an employee is quiet quitting – they could be looking for a new job, frustrated with unfair workloads and compensation, or have simply lost motivation to perform well in their position.
These can be linked to employee burnout, with a focus on workers struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance and finances in our current economy. With mounting stress, citizens who wish to protect their mental health from further decline have taken to slacking more at work to prioritise other aspects of their life. A Singapore study conducted on 1000 employees cites that more than 56% of those interviewed said they would be willing to resign if their jobs kept them from having quality personal time.
Signs to Look Out for with Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting may seem to fly under the radar to employers unless they pay attention to the signs. Patterns of quiet quitting can look like employees being disengaged with their work, showing up late, or not taking initiative in projects. Obvious markers can be the submission of low-quality or late work, hinting at the lack of motivation among these employees.
Some signs must be factored alongside nuance as well. One or two slip-ups can mean a bad day but might not be a cause for concern. However, extended periods of employees seeming unhappy, feeling fatigued, or uncharacteristically keeping to themselves can mean that they are suffering from workplace burnout.
Ways to Prevent Quiet Quitting
There is no denying that quiet quitting can lead to detrimental impacts on a business. From increased amounts of burnout and employee disengagement to lower profit margins and higher potential for client dissatisfaction, the impacts of quiet quitting create a negative workplace culture overall. To avoid the occurrence of this phenomenon in your company, here are some tips to prevent your employees from quiet quitting.
Recognise and Reward Good Performance
Lack of evaluation often leads workers to feel demotivated at work because they feel like their efforts are not being recognised. Periodic performance reviews provide such workers with detailed feedback that allows them to enhance their strengths and work on their weaknesses. They also encourage ongoing and open dialogue between the management and the employees. Ultimately, most employees desire feedback, and performance reviews are the best way to give it to them.
Promote Leadership and Learning Opportunities
Opportunities for leadership development and learning are essential to improving employees’ organisational performance and help them progress in their careers. Basically, workers who pursue professional development tend to have higher job satisfaction and productivity. On the contrary, those who are not given the chance to expand their learnings and improve their leadership abilities usually end up unmotivated to work.
For this reason, it is important to promote and support your employees’ career progression by providing them with online corporate training courses and allowing them to participate in leadership development workshops, like the ones provided at StrengthsAsia. When employees see that their company supports their professional growth and plans to put them through development programmes, it creates excitement and hope in them and fosters their loyalty.
Avoid Micromanagement of Workers
Micromanagement is a habit that many managers just cannot help but do. When an employee commits a mistake or does something differently, many managers tend to step in right away. However, when this occurs too frequently, it becomes micromanagement. It demoralises employees and facilitates an environment of mistrust. This toxic culture then results in disengaged workers and quiet quitting. Hence, micromanagement should be avoided as much as possible.
Be Honest About Workload
It is not uncommon for a company to undergo changes and require expansion of roles. Providing more responsibilities to a talented employee is not unusual and is sometimes even necessary. However, if these changes surprise the employees, they may feel overwhelmed and unprepared. This may lead to quiet quitting as the employees feel aggrieved about the increased workload. To avoid this, be honest with employees about how their responsibilities may evolve and set expectations early.
Open Communication and Transparency
Quiet quitting can be offset by engagement. Employees feeling disinterested, unheard, or stressed out by their jobs can be managed with clear communication to have their concerns recognised. Open communication between both employees and employers can help to strengthen workplace morale and trust in the organisation.
Moreover, transparency allows for an honest conversation, whereby more manageable workloads can be delegated so employees have a better grasp on their own work-life balance. Communication tends to be on a case-by-case basis, so don’t feel restricted to following a set of rules. Instead, see what works for your own workplace and gauge how to improve morale on a personalised level.
Offer Competitive Benefits
New legislation and salary-sharing platforms have made pay gaps more visible than ever. Employees who notice that they are earning less than their colleagues for similar work will feel exploited and undervalued. As a result, their engagement and productivity will surely slump. To stop this, proactively provide salary raises to workers earning less than their colleagues. Companies often lose more money from quiet quitting and turnover than from giving higher salaries.
Respect Work-Life Balance
While it is essential for businesses to get the most out of their employees, this should not be done at the expense of the latter’s mental well-being. Unfortunately, employee burnout is very common in the corporate world and is a major cause of quiet quitting. If you want your company to lessen or eliminate quiet quitting and remain competitive in the recruitment of top talents, it should respect the employees’ work-life balance.
Numerous employees today are eager to set more distinct boundaries that promote a healthier balance between work and their personal life. They do not want to work for a company that bombards them with after-hour calls and emails or that overworks them even on rest days. Moreover, rested employees are more productive than burnt-out ones. Therefore, to improve your employees’ mental health and boost business productivity, promoting healthy work-life balance in your company is key.
Build a Positive Work Culture
All in all, companies should seek to implement a positive work culture to prevent quiet quitting among their employees. This provides a safe and comfortable environment where employees feel seen, allowing for a sense of community when getting tasks done. The idea of “each one help one” will be emphasised and makes workloads that much more manageable.
Establish a one-on-one connection with employees and lighten days by asking how they are managing with genuine care. A positive work culture leads to positive work output.
Building an engaging, reliable, and respectful workplace is the most effective way to prevent quiet quitting among employees. Understanding your employees’ needs is more important now than ever before. If you want your employees to stay loyal to your company and always give their best in their jobs, you need to make sure they feel connected to, invested in, and enthusiastic about their work.
To learn how to make your employees more engaged at work, you should consider signing up for Employee Engagement Training in Singapore. At StrengthsAsia, we promise to go above and beyond to assist you and your managers in creating a more engaged workplace with productive and satisfied workers. With the help of our programmes and workshops, your employees will be able to optimise their skills so that they can excel in their positions. To find out more about our courses, get in touch with us here.