“Quiet quitting” is a very new term in 2022 that refers to one or more employees who remain working, but only do the minimum job during regular work hours. They are done going the extra mile, they are done working overtime, they are likely done caring all that much, and they may also be quite burned out.
The last three years have been anything but easy. Shortly after the closings occurred due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs. While recovery was taking place, millions more people decided that they would either retire or take a rest for a few years. This made up what was called the Great Resignation. It took a few years for employment to come back to pre-pandemic levels.
A huge movement to work remotely simultaneously occurred, and many people have been reluctant to return to the office. Many more people suffered financial hardship, in spite of government help, and are still recovering.
All of these conditions and more have stressed employees and led to mental health challenges for millions. Thus, “quiet quitting” should not be too much of a surprise.
What Can an Employer Do?
There is quite a bit an employer can do about quiet quitting. For the entire staff, here are some tips to try:
- Ensure that employees’ health plans include a robust mental health component.
- Partner with a child-care and/or senior-care agency to reduce the stress of finding support for families who need it. This will help women re-enter the workforce, as they have been the most impacted.
- Implement employee wellness programs designed specifically to reduce stress as well as to take care of physical and mental well-being.
- Add some perks, such as employing a yoga instructor or a teacher certified in mindfulness-based stress reduction methods for an hour a week.
- Encourage employees to take vacation time to reduce burnout.
- Add training programs so that employees can have a chance to develop new skills.
- Add an education reimbursement program where employees can go back to school and earn a degree or certificate related to their job.
- Bring back the company Christmas party, picnic, or movie night so employees can socialize with each other again.
Anything that can help to refresh and rejuvenate your employees will help reduce quiet quitting in your company. While many of these can cost quite a bit, a few of them are very affordable.
On the individual level, and especially for individuals you suspect may be quiet quitting, it’s a good idea to conduct a formal process of setting goals. While this is normally done during employee performance review time, it doesn’t have to be. It can be very effective to sit down with an employee and simply ask what they want to get out of this job and what they want their future to look like.
Goal-setting encourages well-being and can give an employee something to strive for. Refreshing goals quarterly can help an employee re-engage with their job. It can also help a supervisor identify an employee who might be happy doing another job, so that a re-assignment can take place that is advantageous for both parties.
Increasing Employee Engagement
Whether your employees are quiet quitting or not, it’s always a good idea to offer programs and benefits that help employees re-engage, rejuvenate, and refresh their work on the job.