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04 Oct 2022

3 steps to stopping ‘quiet quitting' in your workplace

Poor employee engagement is not new and can be a drain on a business. Here’s how you can help prevent it

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‘Quiet quitting’ is the workplace movement taking over social media like TikTok.

Rather than simply leaving their jobs when disenchanted with the ‘above and beyond’ hustle culture that their roles require, some employees are instead choosing to rebel by doing the bare minimum.

“Quiet quitting isn’t anything new,” says Claire Cathcart, people partner for life insurance firm YuLife, “it’s a new phrase for an old concept – poor employee engagement.” 

Engagment is good for business

When a business has engaged employees, it sees increased productivity and discretionary effort – people not just working 9-5 but going above and beyond because they want to – which ultimately delivers more output and profit for the business. Overall, companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable.

“Quiet quitting is saying that people are not engaged anymore – they are removing that level of discretionary effort,” says Claire. So what can businesses do to eliminate this problem? 

If the opposite to quiet quitting is engaging loudly, then clearly the answer lies in creating a culture where employees feel fulfilled in their roles and connected to the company. 

How can companies overcome quiet quitting?

1) Create fulfilling roles

“Employees that are really engaged understand the part they play in the wider business and are being fulfilled. This means feeling like they are adding value on a day-to-day basis and doing meaningful work.”

Beyond ensuring employees understand what they are meant to do and how their role directly affects the business, it’s important for businesses to work with people to set up career goals so they can see opportunities. 

Additionally, people need to feel seen and appreciated. Research shows that 65% of employees feel they don’t get enough praise. This statistic reveals a huge opportunity for leaders to step up and help make their employees feel proud of their work.

There are loads of cheap or even free ways to recognise success. For instance, giving shoutouts, e-cards or, if you are in an office, surprise ‘desk drops’ with notes or small gifts.

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2) Hire great managers

Research shows that 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores across businesses is a reflection of the quality of managers. And this makes sense. No one has a greater influence on an employee’s day-to-day interactions and processes than the managers on the ground with them. 

Communication is usually the basis of any healthy relationship, especially that between an employee and their manager. And this doesn’t need to be complicated. 

“Make sure one-to-ones happen,” says Claire. “Don’t worry about complex forms or templates. The most important thing is having a quality conversation, it’s not about writing it all down.”

“Talk on a regular basis and you’ll have a really good quality conversation and build a good rapport with the person. They'll feel listened to and performance will improve.” 

3) Ensure people feel connected to their work

“Strong connection with a company will come from understanding and buying into its mission and values and working for an organisation that visibly cares,” says Claire. 

In a hybrid workplace, bringing people together is valuable in building engagement. And these events don’t have to have big budgets. For example, you could turn them into friendly contests by giving teams a budget to organise a company-wide event – encouraging them to work together, get creative and plan something they are excited about. 

Perhaps most important is investing in employee wellbeing. Introducing initiatives that substantially improve your employees’ lives shows that you genuinely value them. And as a result, they will feel appreciated on a deeper level. 

After all, employment is a two-way street – if workers feel valued, they are much more likely to contribute meaningfully at work. “It’s all about showing employees that you are a company that genuinely cares, without just trying to tick a box.”

In partnership with yulife

YuLife is the first digital life insurance provider on a mission to inspire life.

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