Using Employee Surveys To Combat Quiet Quitting
While the ‘Great Resignation’ was one of the major trends to come out of the Covid lockdowns, as more people left their jobs to find improved conditions elsewhere, a new phenomenon has now emerged called Quiet Quitting.
Equally disruptive, but not in such a sudden way, the disengagement caused by quiet quitting, can have a slow deteriorative effect on the performance of an individual, which can potentially impact the morale of those around them too.
But what do we mean by quiet quitting exactly? What are it’s causes and costs? And what can HR teams, or business owners do to better manage it?
Read on to get a better handle on the concept and the steps you can take to limit its impact in your workplace.
Costs of Quiet Quitting
If that wasn’t enough, there are some wider costs of quiet quitting, which could impact your business:
The disengagement that comes with quiet quitting, could lead to more individuals taking more time off and calling in sick more often, especially if they’re also suffering from the effects of burnout, which can be costly to a business.
When staff quiet quit, they only do the bare minimum of what is expected of them.
The trouble with this, however, is that most of us operate in teams and depend on the work and efforts of others to complete bigger tasks and projects. So, if anyone is not putting in as much effort as the rest of their colleagues, it can affect the wider output and achievements of that team.
Negative impacts on your wider workplace morale
While quiet quitters only do enough work to get by, they have a tendency to display a detached or negative attitude too. This can negatively impact the morale of their colleagues and create a wider sense of uncertainty and insecurity about the stability of the company they work for.
If quiet quitting becomes endemic within an organisation, it also risks damaging its reputation and making it more difficult for that company to attract top talent in the future.
This is particularly the case if the reason behind a valuable employee quietly quitting is their manager. Subsequently, once that disgruntled employee finally leaves, he or she may start talking about the negative experiences they suffered with other people they know, which might have negative repercussions for that company’s reputation.
So, what are the causes of quiet quitting and what can HR teams and business owners do to better manage it, if it emergences within their own company.
That’s what we will go on to look at next.
Potential signs of Quiet Quitting
While it’s useful to know some of the potential issues behind quiet quitting, it’s equally helpful to know what signs to look out for, so you can see whether quiet quitting is a significant problem within your organisation.
Fortunately, there are some notable signs that could indicate that an employee in your business could be practicing quiet quitting. These include:
An employee who was previously well engaged and active within your workplace suddenly becomes distant and uninterested. They may miss or fail to participate in meetings, or not want to contribute to project work.
A sudden performance drop-off
A usually high performing employee suddenly displays poor work performance for seemingly no reason. This could include missing targets, falling short on deadlines, or completing substandard work compared to what they usually deliver.
Sudden changes in behaviour, can also indicate quiet quitting, where staff who are usually communicative and interactive with their co-workers, suddenly become withdrawn. This could be either through not engaging in conversation, no longer joining in work activities, or simply by avoiding the office altogether if that company operates a flexible working model.
Quiet quitters can also become more cynical, and more openly critical of a company and its management, or generally appear less happy overall.
How to manage Quiet Quitting
If some of your employees have reached the point where they’re quietly ‘fading out’ at work, it signals a dissatisfaction that should be discussed.
At this point you need to be asking yourself questions such as:
- What has caused this change?
- How can we improve their experiences?
- Is this a problem that’s likely to be affecting other staff?
You then need to think about what actions and tactics you should take next to identify and better manage the root causes:
Reducing the effects of Quiet Quitting is crucial to keep moving forward
While it is good to have a solid understanding of quiet quitting, and have strategies for preventing and reducing it in your business, it’s prudent to acknowledge that it’s unlikely you’ll be able to completely eliminate it from your business.
If an employee has taken the decision to seek out work elsewhere, quiet quitting may naturally occur, as they gradually step off the gas before leaving your company entirely.
At this stage, you could draw on some strategies to try and retain that employee if they have previously shown good work effort and performance. Tactics here could include mapping out a future career development plan for them, offering them a pay rise match or a review of their current benefits package.
However, if the employee has already made their decision and handed in their notice, then you need to think what you can do to limit the impact of quiet quitting, as otherwise it could influence and affect other employees within the business.
If garden leave is something your company can offer, it may be worth considering this option to minimise the impact of their quiet quitting on their co-workers. Another approach could be to lessen their responsibilities during their notice period – however, it is still important to ensure they have enough work to feel productive and valued as part of the team.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to quiet quitting, as every business will be set up slightly differently. However, if you can draw on any ideas and tactics to reduce quiet quitting and its effects, it will be worth it, as this should help minimise its impact to your wider business and keep you moving forward.