5 Ways to Respond to Your Quiet-Quitting Employees’ Cry For Help
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Employers have received gratuities from their employees for years. ADP research reveals that employees work an average of nine hours of unpaid overtime every week, amounting to a loss of $17,726 in annual income. Is there any wonder that Gallup research finds 64% of workers are either not engaged, or worse, actively disengaged with their work?
No, and many burnt-out employees refuse to take it anymore, leading to “quiet quitting. ” This phenomenon spread like wildfire during the summer of 2022, thanks to a viral TikTok video. The clip shows New York Zeid Leppelin explaining how to stop being a hustler and stop working extra hours. Many people responded with their quiet quitting stories, refusing to answer work emails and saying no to overtime unpaid.
Quiet quitting has attracted much attention, with some critics missing the point entirely — accusing their employees of being lazy and “mentally checking out” on their work. What if leaders recognized that they have the power and ability to improve the situation of their employees? Here are five ways to respond to quiet quitters by supporting them better:
1. Implement 360 feedback cycles
If we consider quiet quitting a cry for help, leaders should proactively listen to their workforce by introducing 360 feedback cycles. Traditional performance reviews deliver downward feedback from a manager to a subordinate. Managers talk, employees listen. This one-way approach is not ideal because leaders don’t have a good idea of their employees’ feelings about the company or their coping skills.
We can use 360-degree reviews to ask them! This feedback style gathers thoughts and opinions from peers, managers and direct reports, so lower-level employees provide valuable home truths (anonymously, if preferred) about company culture, leadership styles, communication strategies and anything else impacting engagement or productivity.
If 60% of your employees say they’re overworked and receive DMs from their manager on the weekends, it’s clear you need to support your workers by taking action!
2. Prioritize career mapping
Employees lose enthusiasm when they can’t visualize their future at your company. Make it easy for your workers to be excited about coming to work by highlighting an array of career growth and development opportunities.
Career map is a way to show how each contributor can earn a promotion or move to another department. Don’t forget: Not everyone wants the title of manager. But these contributors should still have access to enriching career paths that will add to your company’s success.
Be transparent and define the competencies and training requirements for each job so that employees can know how to reach their career goals.
3. Offer flexibility
Flexibility isn’t a buzzword; it’s an expectation. Employees were able to evaluate their priorities and have fun with life outside work thanks to the pandemic. Some workers have found that this means they can work from home, attend their child’s school concert during the day, or ditch the commute.
If you’re not offering flexible working options, don’t be surprised if you lack the support of your staff. It can be difficult to let go old models in the workplace. However, companies must adapt to the changing times. And flexible working is a win for employers, too, as Gartner research reveals that 43% of workers feel more productive when they can choose their hours and don’t have to commute. Retain your top talent by getting involved in the program and offering more flexible work arrangements. That might include offering remote positions, compressed hours, frontloaded workweeks or sabbaticals.
4. Model healthy work-life boundaries
If your company culture is full of toxic habits, but you don’t know how to break them, look to the top of the tree. Managers set expectations for their team. Those who send emails at midnight or use Slack to communicate with their team give the wrong impression. Many “quiet quitters” who’ve chosen to delete work apps from their phones are simply trying to break the cycle of burnout that starts at the top. Support your team by creating a clear communication policy that outlines when and how employees should communicate with each other during work hours, and what the expectations are for taking a break on weekends and days.
There is also room to establish healthier work-life boundaries during the work day. Comfort breaks should be provided between meetings if your employees are accustomed to Zoom calls after Zoom calls. You might also implement no-meeting days or switch to asynchronous tools to give employees a break from being constantly “on. “
5. Review employee benefits
Employee perks are the ultimate way to support your workforce. Start by surveying your employees to understand what they want and need from their benefits package — this would work well in a 360 feedback questionnaire. The most popular benefits include health insurance, retirement savings plans, paid time off and student loan repayment assistance. But mental health services, childcare support, pet insurance and fertility benefits are also great ways to acknowledge that your team members have lives outside of work.
Company-wide shutdowns are gaining pace as an employee vacation benefit. The concept is simple: Employees are not stressed out about being away from work when the office closes. Every worker takes the same week off vacation. There is no pressure to check in on work as there is nothing happening. It’s a great way to encourage employees take full vacation entitlements and to relax.
Don’t wait for quiet quitters to actually quit
Quiet quitting is a relatively new trend, and we have yet to see how it’ll develop. But in tandem with the Great Reshuffle, it’s not too much of a leap to predict that many quiet quitters will end up jumping ship to be with a more supportive employer. Your employees will feel discouraged if they don’t make positive changes in their work environments. Get ahead of the trend by taking action right now to erase any signs of workplace toxicity, so your company is filled with motivated and rejuvenated employees.
Frederick has been an active trader for over since 1991. After successfully navigating the market for so long, he’s finally bringing his wisdom to the masses.