Quiet quitting is a catchy term about the 50% of the US workforce that isn’t going above and beyond their job description anymore.
But despite the hype, quiet quitting isn’t a new phenomenon – it’s a new title for an age-old book. As Quartz notes, employee engagement was even lower between 2000-2014. However, what is different now is that talent has more negotiating power, thanks to a shrinking labor market and widening skills gaps.
So how can organizations increase employee engagement and productivity, with less leverage than before? By solving the underlying disconnects between employer effort and employee expectations (more on that below). This fix for quiet quitting is what we call Appreciation Alignment, and it starts with listening to workforce feedback so we can write an entirely new chapter on productivity together.
6 ways to overcome quiet quitting
1. Burnout Balm
According to Monster, the top reason for quiet quitting is employee fatigue. Talent is struggling to balance work and life, so employers need to soothe this burnout by finding ways to update processes, workflows, expectations, and benefits.
Are you seeking out employee feedback? Harver’s HR team has been paying close attention to employee feedback on their experiences and expectations, gathered from our latest internal employee engagement survey. Despite exceeding industry benchmarks, we’re committed to employee wellness and will soon be rolling out monthly wellness stipends. A cross-functional task force is also gathering employee input on further suggestions for operational improvements.
2. Flexibility Fuel
Most companies don’t have a full playbook yet for enabling more flexibility. As a remote-first workplace, Harver understands there are many considerations when building and managing this kind of change. We continue to learn and optimize, including adding an annual remote work stipend.
In addition to remote/hybrid work, another potential avenue for greater flexibility includes updating org- or team-wide policies around flexible work hours. For instance, Josh Bersin and others are talking about early returns on experimental 4-day workweeks. There are also less dramatic options, such as more flexibility in day-to-day schedules to allow for picking up kids during standard work hours.
3. Salary Setting
One of the critical ways to combat quiet quitting is by increasing wages. Not exactly what any employer or budget holder wants to hear, yet 60% of respondents checked this box to make it the second most common reason for quiet quitting.
Appreciation Alignment in the form of pay adjustments can help: employees who are satisfied with their pay and benefits are 26% more likely to exceed expectations at work. Plus, there are some non-wage-related things you can do to help improve overall compensation and resulting employee engagement. For instance…
4. Purpose Performance
A secondary way to mitigate quiet quitting is to connect purpose with performance. We all want our work to matter. Just as the HR function needs to showcase its business value to the organization, employees want to know that their work has an impact too.
Look for ways to demonstrate how individual and team efforts directly contribute to the organization’s success and mission. Are there key initiatives and results you can point to? The more data or evidence you have, the easier it is to show talent why and how their purpose leads to overall performance. In a way, you can think of this as Impact Intelligence.
5. Engaged Employers
Gallup points to lack of engagement from managers as a key cause for quiet quitting. Having only 1 in 3 managers engaged at work contributes to quiet quitting in multiple ways:
- Managers, like individual contributors, are talent themselves
- Managers lead by example, in this case modeling disengaged behavior
- Direct reports struggle to engage and develop without support
The solution here is that employers need to engage managers so that managers can help engage their direct reports. Without this top-down commitment from executive leadership, quiet quitting can devolve into something even worse: not-so-quiet quitting.
6. Loud Leveling
Last but not least: Quiet Quitting, meet Loud Leveling. By developing your workforce’s skills and enabling a culture of internal mobility, you can improve employee engagement and retention. Invest in the careers of your people to demonstrate you’re willing to go above and beyond for them.
Plus, mobilizing talent can save on expenses, as replacing an employee can cost up to twice their salary. In addition to cutting costs, fostering greater internal mobility will help level up the critical skills your organization needs to maintain and increase productivity.