September 16, 2022
Now that you’re back at the office, post-COVID lockdowns, maybe you’ve noticed a shift in the atmosphere. A bit less chatting in the breakroom? Are your employees clocking in seconds before their expected time of arrival? How about their productivity levels? Maybe they’ve taken a nosedive. All signs could point to quiet quitting.
But, what does quiet quitting mean for them and your company? The answer could boil down to employee engagement. We sat down with “The Employee Whisperer” and best-selling author Jason Greer in our latest episode Team Bonding Saves the World to discuss the ins and outs of quiet quitting.
“I think people are getting to a point where they’re starting to ask a bigger question of what do I want for my life? And that’s where quiet quitting is coming in, in terms of people talking about it,” says Jason.
Let’s explore the signs of quiet quitting, and the ten best ways you can prevent quiet quitting within your workforce.
What Is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting, aka employee disengagement, occurs when an employee backs off from their typical or expected levels of productivity. They quit going above and beyond in their role. Instead, many employees are prioritizing a better work-life balance by refusing to do extra work beyond their defined job descriptions.
Reasons Why Employees Are Quiet Quitting
Despite its sudden hot-topic status across TikTok, news outlets, and think-pieces, quiet quitting is far from being a new concept. And while some think this is a problem of the younger generations Jason Greer is quick to note this new trend spans the entire workforce. Numerous factors may contribute to quiet quitting.
Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Employees feel undervalued
- Work-life balance has become a priority for them
- They aren’t receiving fair compensation
- The work culture is toxic
- They don’t feel heard
- Their job duties are overwhelming or they feel misaligned with what they were hired to do
- They’re experiencing burnout
3 Common Signs of an Employee Quiet Quitting
Not sure if you have a few quiet quitters on your hands? Don’t worry! We’ve compiled some of the most common signs to look out for:
- Low morale: Does the workplace have a negative vibe/low enthusiasm? Are employees socializing less often? Is there more conflict than normal? Maybe a lack of initiative?
- Lack of engagement: Are there fewer instances of collaboration? Low productivity? Notice any slacking off? Are they requesting more time off than normal? Do they seem disinterested in learning development?
- Poor performance: Is the quality of their work sub-par? Are your employees failing to meet milestones or reach benchmarks? Failing to meet goals as expected in their job duties?
10 Ways to Prevent Quiet Quitting
Now that you have a clearer understanding of what quiet quitting is and the top signs to look for, you’ll want to implement protocols to prevent it in the future.
Let’s take a look at the top 10 ways to prevent quiet quitting.
1. Engage Your Team
It should go without saying, but if you want to prevent disengagement, then you’ll need to engage your team! Engagement works both ways. The good news is, that you won’t have to take out a business loan to do it.
Here are a few quick ideas for boosting employee engagement:
- Allocate time/one-on-one attention to each employee.
- Recognize and reward their hard work and accomplishments.
- Provide opportunities for collaboration, such as team building exercises like Little Team Library to promote collaboration.
To explore other employee engagement techniques and learn how to implement them in your workplace, here are some additional resources to help you along the way:
- Using Workplace Technology to Boost Engagement & Productivity
- 8 Creative Ways to Keep Employees Engaged
- 5 Tips for Engaging & Retaining Millennials
- How Encouraging Failure at Work Increases Employee Engagement
2. Keep an Open Door
Do you make yourself available to your employees? Do they know when and where to reach you? If they’re quiet quitting, chances are, they don’t feel heard.
Jason Greer gives us a bird’s eye view of their rationale:
“They’re not coming to work for a paycheck. They’re coming to work because they feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. So what I’ll say to leaders is to take the time to sit down and listen to their employees. But on the other side of that from a corporate organizational perspective, it’s what do we stand for?”
3. Prioritize Employee Work-Life Balance
When COVID struck and many of us started working from home, our relationships with work took on a whole new meaning. To prevent or ease burnout, many employees started prioritizing a work-life balance.
If you want to prevent quiet quitting, give your employees flexi-work options when it comes to working. You’ll be more likely to engage them.
4. Celebrate & Reward Employee Achievements
When was the last time you celebrated an employee’s achievement? Did they surpass a milestone without acknowledgment?
Rewards are always welcome. To practice this, doesn’t mean you need to break your budget either. Just be consistent. For instance, if you offer a gift card to a local restaurant for reaching a milestone early, be sure to do this every time and for everyone.
Get started by downloading our “Show Me the Love!” and ask your employees how they prefer to be recognized at work. The best way to go about this is to focus on individualized recognition. One study found that employees who are recognized for their work are 63% more likely to stay with the organization long-term. Remember, not all employees like to be recognized in the same way.
5. Make Time for One-on-One Interaction
If you want to understand why your employees might be quietly quitting, then you must ask them. Scheduling one-on-one interactions can make them feel seen and heard. They’ll also feel that you value their thoughts and want to know how they’re doing.
For this approach to be effective, you must demonstrate that you take your employees’ concerns seriously. Don’t let your employees’ concerns fall on deaf ears. Be sure to follow through with your promises and take proactive steps to address the issues that were raised during the meeting.
6. Practice What You Preach
Are you modeling your company’s core values? Or do your employees see you in a negative mood several times a week? If you aren’t engaged, then that’s sending the wrong signal. So, be sure to practice what you preach as a leader.
7. Give Constructive Feedback
Regular feedback requires that you directly engage with your employees. If you want to know why they’re calling out all the time, ask them. If they’re struggling on XY or Z tasks, ask why, and provide them with feedback to kickstart their productivity. Engagement works both ways.
Check out our recent post about increasing workplace productivity to get tips on how to empower your employees to work smarter.
8. Invest in Employee Professional Development
Some employees may be tired of approaching their work in the same way, day in and day out. Let’s face it–we all get bored sometimes. And boredom can lead to disengagement [and quiet quitting].
Invest in your employees’ professional development. That could mean anything from allocating a stipend for them to use on additional training or seminars. Or, it could also mean investing in their soft skills.
For instance, if you want to show them they’re part of a greater mission, then arranging a team event like Wheels Around the World can expose them to better engagement via teamwork and empathy.
In this philanthropic event, your team will be tasked with personalizing and sponsoring a wheelchair to raise awareness of what it’s like to live with a disability. At the end of the event, all personalized wheelchairs will be donated to someone in need through The Walkabout Foundation.
9. Evaluate and Revamp Employee Onboarding
You can cut off quiet quitting at its knees by evaluating and revamping your employee onboarding process.
Here are some top factors to consider that could keep quiet quitting at bay:
- Ensure each employee’s job duties are clear.
- Determine if they understand what is expected of them.
- What are their first experiences with your company culture? For example, does your website only highlight revenue gains or the CEO’s achievements and not the employees? You may be unintentionally sending the wrong message.
10. Motivate and Inspire
If you suspect quiet quitting, then it’s time to lace up your leadership boots. Motivate and inspire them to take ownership of their roles. For example, you could offer them an opportunity to step into a leadership role via reverse mentoring.
You could also shake it up by offering a fun opportunity like Synergyk to strengthen collaboration and engagement.
Ready to Call It Quits on Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting may seem difficult to eliminate. But there are measures you can take to prevent it. That starts with remembering that engagement works both ways. So, offer your team the opportunities to engage and thrive.
Incorporating team-building events into your employees’ work lives can improve their engagement, promote a healthier workplace environment, and help prevent quiet quitting. That’s because all hands need to be on deck. Their success in any given event often relies on teamwork, clear communication, empathy, and more.
Search our events portfolio where you’ll find hundreds of fun and interactive team building activities that will help you keep motivation and engagement high in your team and get them excited for the future.
We also welcome you to listen to our complete podcast with Jason here on the topic of preventing quiet quitting and employee disengagement.