Quiet quitting is the latest buzzword about employees and workplace trends. Employees are pushing back against the idea that they must go “above and beyond” at their jobs or risk being passed over for promotions and raises. In theory, employees are looking for better work-life balance and to set healthy boundaries. What employers want to avoid is a toxic environment that leads to unproductive and disengaged workers who are constantly looking for a better job. HR can address quiet quitting by taking several proactive steps.
What is Quiet Quitting and How Can HR Address It?
HR can manage quiet quitting in the workplace by creating a work environment that makes employees want to stay and give their best effort to their job: this is also known as employee engagement. When HR thinks about quiet quitting within the context of employee engagement, it is easier to figure out how to manage this workplace trend.
The first step is identifying which employees are most likely to engage in quiet quitting: the answer is young workers between the ages of 18-34. This is likely related to the fact that younger workers report very high rates of worker burnout and 55% of employees born after 1989 are not engaged at their jobs, according to Gallup research.
How can HR meet the needs of younger workers to lessen the impacts of quiet quitting?
- Don’t pay new hires more than long-standing employees. We know that recruiting has been a challenge, which has made it necessary to offer higher wages to attract employees. Don’t make the mistake of offering new workers higher pay than your current employees. They will figure it out and conclude that they aren’t valued and need to find a new job to make a higher wage.
- Be proactive about mental health issues in the workplace. Employers who make meaningful investments in their employee’s mental well-being can help manage stress before burnout takes hold.
- Make recognizing your employees a strategic priority. When employees don’t feel like their efforts are being appreciated, they are much more likely to become disengaged and start looking for other job opportunities. Employers should recognize their employees for a job-well done and make it clear how their work contributes to overall company success. It is also important to provide a financial reward for workers who go above and beyond. When businesses recognize and reward their employees, they benefit from a more loyal and engaged workforce that is willing to step up to the plate.
- Be sensitive to employee expectations for workplace flexibility and other perks. You may have noticed that big companies who demanded that their workers all come back to the office full-time have received significant backlash from their workers – including a stream of resignation letters. The post-Covid work environment is different and requires a more delicate balance of manager and employee preferences. The bottom line: offer as much workplace flexibility as you reasonably can without harming the business. For workplaces with in-person work requirements, it’s a good idea to provide perks like an exercise room, tea and coffee bars, and designated quiet spaces.
- Prioritize good relationships between managers and workers. Employees are much more likely to quit a job with a “bad boss.” As a business owner, it is in your interest to hire managers and supervisors who care about employee morale as much as they do about productivity. Encourage managers to connect with their team members on a regular basis for communication about how things are going.
- Offer individualized career management. One of the reasons employees are quitting their jobs in 2022 is because of lack of opportunities for career advancement. Employers can increase loyalty and employee engagement by identifying each worker’s career goals and what steps they can take to get the promotion they’re aiming for.
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