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As a leader, you may find the thoughts of any of your employees quiet quitting unsettling. You expect your employees to give you a 150% performance, loyalty and commitment. A few business leaders have boldly acclaimed ‘if you are a quiet quitter, then you don’t work for me’ or ‘if you are a quiet quitter, then go work for someone else’.

What is quiet quitting? Would you always know if one of your employees is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is when an employee does what they are employed to do. So, they come in on time and leave on time. Quiet quitters do their work as per their job description. They do not do any more than they need to. They keep their head down and get on with their work.

Quiet quitting is seen by some as part of the great resignation phenomenon. Some also see it as the aftermath of the great resignation. It is a trend in 2022.

Why might your employees’ quiet quit?

There are many reasons why someone might quiet quit. These include:

  • the lack of job satisfaction
  • burnout and stress
  • lack of leadership and direction
  • lack of clarity around roles and responsibilities
  • No longer believing in the vision/mission of the organisation
  • Toxic culture and working environment
  • Lack of/poor reward and recognition strategies
  • Lack of employee engagement
  • Lack of growth/career paths
  • Misalignment with the values of the organisation

The list goes on.

quiet quitting
Image by tanaonte via Canva

How to deal with quiet quitters

You may be wondering if you can just sack a quiet quitter. Flipping the question on its head: can you sack someone for just doing the job you employed them to do?

Every employer wants employees who go the extra mile. So, the ones who are keen, engaged, always looking for ways to deliver the best customer service and coming up with innovative ideas.

The challenge for you as a business leader is how you can bring your employees along with you as you develop and grow your business. You can do this by ensuring that your employees have a good balance of workload/responsibilities. Creating a culture where people don’t get to the burnout point or become stressed by their workload or the lack of it will also help

Most of the time, the emphasis when it comes to stress is on too much workload. But, employees can also become stressed if they have too little to do too.

Your employees’ well-being must be high on your agenda.

Communication and Engagement

You need to communicate effectively with your employees, understanding what is important to them. Checking in with your employees frequently will help you spot if they still understand your vision or buy into it. A key part of communication is listening. You must listen to your employees.

Communicate your objectives clearly. Be open to suggestions and input from your team.

Your working environment

Creating an environment where employees get a better work-life balance. These include family-friendly policies and flexible working arrangements. It also includes team-building activities, excellent benefits, great rewards and recognition strategies.

Quiet quitting may sometimes be attributed to employees feeling excluded. Being overlooked for promotion, being underpaid and feeling undervalued. Therefore, your working environment needs to be inclusive.

Your environment must also enable your employees to be innovative. If employees enjoy what they do, they are less likely to quiet quit.

Great leaders with high emotional intelligence will be able to effectively lead their employees and minimise quiet quitting in their organisation.

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