While employee disengagement is not a new problem, you may have recently heard of the term of ‘quiet quitting’, which is currently trending on certain social media platforms.
In simplest terms, quiet quitting refers to employees doing the bare minimum to keep their job – and never going above and beyond. Quiet quitting is simply a different term to describe a disengaged employee.
A disengaged employee is someone is not engaged with their work nor the employer’s vision of what the business could achieve. Because of this disengagement, those employees are putting in time into their work… and not energy or passion.
Due to the major impact that disengaged workers can have on a business, this phenomenon is something which employers should carefully consider.
So what is driving quiet quitting? And what can you as an employer do to address this?
Disengagement and quiet quitting
Evaluating and managing employee engagement (or disengagement) is an issue many businesses have to deal with.
A disengaged worker may become withdrawn, complacent and inefficient, though these can vary significantly. Disengagement might occur due to a number of factors, including limited prospects for career progression, poor management, low pay or worker burnout.
While there have been suggestions that quiet quitting is primarily a Gen Z problem, some research indicates that this issue is actually far more widespread.
While it’s not practical to expect that a worker’s level of performance will never vary, long-term disengagement that is not addressed can have a considerable impact on a business in a variety of ways.
This can include a detrimental effect on workplace morale, reduced productivity, poor customer service – all of which impact financial results. In this regard, it’s been estimated that “quiet quitting costs the global economy $1.5 trillion every year.”
What is driving it?
Employee disengagement can occur due to many reasons, ranging from a worker feeling stuck in a position that they just don’t enjoy, to being burnt and overwhelmed by their workload.
For many, quiet quitting may indeed be the result of burnout, rather than a bad attitude or an active decision to neglect their duties.
There are suggestions COVID-19 has had a major influence on a purported rise in quiet quitting, with many re-evaluating their goals and personal priorities during this turbulent time.
For some workers, quiet quitting may be seen as a way of trying to reclaim their work/life balance by putting less effort into their job.
Whatever the reason, a disengaged worker who can be considered a quiet quitter can have a highly negative impact on a business.
While diagnosing the problem may be easier than effectively dealing with it, there are steps that can be taken to address quiet quitting.
What can you as an employer do?
If you have identified employees you consider could be categorised as quiet quitters, simply terminating their employment isn’t really an option – particularly in light of the growing costs associated with hiring new employees (even if you can find them).
Gauging overall levels of employee engagement and understanding the reasons behind is the important first step in identifying the problem – and how to fix it.
Employee engagement surveys, such as Akyra’s HR SnapShot can be helpful in this regard, because it identifies the issues that are impacting your workforce from the employee perspective. This information is incredibly beneficial in understanding why an employee’s engagement level is on the decline.
If you believe an individual employee might be disengaged or a potential ‘quiet quitter’, schedule a conversation with them to identify the issue (or issues) that are contributing to this state of mind as it will help you to gain a better understanding of the problem and, potentially, how it may be addressed.
Developing and implementing broader, preventative strategies in place may also help your workplace to avoid to challenges of quiet quitting.
For example, with many quiet quitters disengaging due to burnout, businesses could consider evaluating employee workloads in order to ensure these are realistic and manageable, and provide support to workers when needed.
Prioritising mental health and wellbeing can also go a long way towards the prevention of burnout and resulting disengagement.
Some businesses have also introduced initiatives such as recharge days, where “everyone takes a day off so people don’t feel like they need to check emails or be available for calls, and instead can down tools together as a team.”
Akyra’s key takeaways
- Quiet quitting refers to a phenomenon where disengaged workers choose to do the bare minimum without losing their job.
- Worker disengagement can have a highly negative impact on a workplace in relation to morale, productivity, customer service and, ultimately, financially.
- Employee engagement surveys can help businesses to identify issues that underpin disengagement of the workforce.
- Conversations with employees you consider may be disengaged (and potential quiet quitters) will give you insight into what is contributing to that disengagement and ways in which to address the
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Akyra can help your business to assist and support all your questions and concerns related to employee engagement and performance management. Please contact Akyra on 07 3204 8830 or book a free 30-minute consultation for an obligation-free conversation.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not intended to be legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.
https://hrtrendinstitute.com/2022/08/30/whats-quiet-quitting-whys-it-happening-what-can-hr-do/, https://hrexecutive.com/what-can-hr-do-about-quiet-quitting/, https://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/quiet-firing-quiet-quitting/, https://www.hrdconnect.com/2022/08/08/more-recharge-days-please/ https://www.hcamag.com/au/specialisation/employee-engagement/what-does-quiet-quitting-cost-australian-businesses/420514#:~:text=A%20report%20from%20The%20Conference,economy%20%241.5%20trillion%20every%20year., https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/article/1795213/quiet-quitting-hr-manage-it