Quiet quitting isn’t holding your organization back, your approach to the employee experience is. The term refers to employees doing the bare minimum to keep their jobs, and it’s very popular with the generation that will be flooding the workforce throughout this decade. Instead of telling these workers to buck up, you can boost engagement in ways that encourage thriving for your organization and for them.
Here are three ways to shift the conversation around quiet quitting.
1. Instead of fighting negativity, encourage thriving.
You’re not going to get far with employees by making light of their grievances or outright complaining about quiet quitting. However, if your employees are supported to thrive in their roles as well as their personal lives, they’re much more likely to be content and engaged at work.
Give your employees avenues to share what’s keeping them from thriving. An employee survey or an additional step in your review process could allow them to share more ideas for improvement, giving you an opportunity for increased engagement.
Invest in benefits that better meet their needs and look at scheduling flexibility that improves their work/life balance. You might also look at expanding benefits in ways that lessen the burden on diverse employees, like covering gender-affirming care or expanded childcare services. It may seem counterintuitive, but giving people more decision-making ability in how they spend their time can imbue them with a sense of pride and ownership that overcomes the pull to quiet quit.
While expensive, these strategies still cost less than replacing your top people — and it’s in line with what you’ll have to do to attract top talent, anyways. This Gallup poll shows that better benefits and better personal wellbeing are two of the top qualities people are looking for in their next job.
2. Connect them to the opportunities they’re passionate about.
One of the most significant career trends of 2021 was the large number of horizontal job changes, not simply vertical, that occurred as workers moved to new companies. The same Gallup poll above shows that functional changes are the third-leading trait employees are looking for in their next roles.
You may be able to hold onto some of your top talent and prevent quiet quitting (or even attract strong new recuits) by showing them opportunities in different departments and functions of your company — and equipping them with what they need to make the leap. Publicize your internal job openings as well as the tools you provide to help them on their development paths. If employees need additional skills or certifications, helping them acquire those skills in-house will have a positive long-term effect on your bottom line.
3. Clearly define what progress, stasis and regression look like.
Much of the discourse around quiet quitting has dealt with employees no longer going above and beyond in their everyday roles — which is as much the expectations being set as the actions being taken. When you’ve clearly defined what it takes to move up and what it takes to stay where they are, some of your employees will happily choose the latter, especially if their personal lives are in flux.
Have your managers set realistic goals with the employees on their teams and clearly outline which ones are minimum expectations versus the things that will put them on the fast track to a promotion. Building these kinds of clear expectations into your culture can prevent the buildup of resentment that occurs when employees feel they’re being overburdened or underappreciated.
All of these efforts support a culture of thriving and engagement, bringing excitement to the work your employees do instead of a constant drive to ease off and quiet quit.
Want to build a culture of thriving in your company? Tribe can help.