Of late, a new buzzword has been doing the rounds within the corporate sector – that is “quiet quitting.” It has already made headlines in social media, and organizations across industries are currently grappling with this issue. However, what exactly is quiet quitting, and why has it become a concern?

Quiet quitting refers to an apparently growing trend of employees dialing back their work efforts – putting in the bare minimum amount of work necessary just to retain their jobs but not putting in additional effort to do something extra during their normal work hours. Quiet quitters are employees whom you will see least likely to go that “extra mile” to fulfill the requirements outlined in their job descriptions, or to take initiative, be innovative, or stretch.

In India, it’s not just any one sector that has been experiencing this phenomenon – it’s across industries including the government sector.
It would be detrimental to view quiet quitting as a lack of commitment from employees. On the contrary, delving into the reasons for this trend, addressing them, and preventing employees to reach a stage where they feel the urge to quiet quit is what is needed.
According to a Slack report, the percentage of quiet quitters increased substantially in India during the last year. The report further stated that government knowledge workers and civil servants are more likely to have felt burnt out with 58% saying they felt overloaded at some time or the other.

Interestingly, today’s workforce does not see the job as just a job helping them draw a monthly salary. Their view on their work is wider – aligning their personal goals with professional goals; their work gives them a sense of purpose, an opportunity to learn and grow professionally and personally, to be able to build a life for themselves and their near and dear ones that they aspire for. Also, there exists an underlying need of giving back something to society while they continue working in their professional lives.

When employees feel a dissonance or a gap in what they are seeking from their work environment, when their expectations do not get met despite their performance, initiative, commitment, and loyalty the bond between employees and employers get weakened. The sense of purpose with which every employee should come to work, re-energized each day to put in their best starts to weaken.
So then comes the question that what should organisations do in order to deal with the issue of quiet quitting –

Make an effort to understand employee psychology

One of the foremost efforts to deal with quiet quitting is to understand what the current workforce is looking for. How today’s employees think and what they expect from their employers is something that organizations need to understand in the very first place. In today’s business landscape, and talent dynamics are changing, organizations will want to retain their best talent and keep them motivated and happy. Happy employees are the most productive. We can’t have trends of layoffs and quiet quitting co-existing. Listening to employees through interventions like stay interviews will make them feel heard and valued. Leveraging the information gathered to make meaningful changes to the way of working, HR policies, and practices will signal to the organization that their inputs were taken on board.

Ensure that the team is adequately recognized and rewarded
Times might be tough, and the economy might be shaky, but it is not so just for the organization. Organizations succeed because employees put in their best each day, and recognizing and rewarding top performers should be an intrinsic part of an organization’s culture. Not just through a reward and recognition program, but through creating a culture of appreciation, as well as ensuring that when roles are changed compensation is also changed commensurately to the role and contribution. Employees need to feel valued for their contribution else why would they contribute?
According to a Deloitte study, it is important for employees to feel appreciated and valued in the workplace. It is one of the major engagement drivers for employees. By acknowledging and rewarding the hard work that your staff puts in, you are conveying the message that they are valued for their capabilities and contribution. Such activities often end up benefitting both – the organization and the employees in the long run.

Communicate as clearly as possible

Communication is the key. Today’s workforce wants clear two-way communication that too in real-time. Whether it is good news or bad news, all they want is involvement in the organization’s development, happenings, and progress. Keeping them informed is the best possible way to keep employees engaged. Transparent communication helps build two-way trust and helps bind the team together, forges the bond between employees and employers, and gives everyone a common purpose.

Building career paths through empowering and learning opportunities

Employees often complain about how they end up handling more tasks than their role. Learning always does not happen in a classroom or through online modules. It is when employees stretch and step up, and deliver on tasks beyond their call of duty that they get recognized for future growth. Show them the vision and then make it a reality. Show clear paths and grow people from within.

Maintain a work-life alignment

When there is a lack of work-life alignment – a lot of employees tend to quit quietly. Here comes the importance of implementing a few policies that can help them in maintaining a work-life alignment. As an organization, leader, and manager, are we enabling our employees to fulfill their life aspirations through their work? Do not mistake work-life balance for work-life alignment. It’s not just about long working hours. Work-life alignment is about, is my current employment taking me closer to my life’s goals. It will mean different things for different people, and therefore building leadership and managerial capability to really know and enable employees would be key.

Building psychologically safe teams

Creating a rapport between the Leaders, managers, and employees can help build a feedback loop. Managers who take responsibility and ownership of their people, inspire a much stronger sense of commitment among their employees. Such employees are likely to share their concerns with their managers regarding issues plaguing them on the work or personal front, thereby enabling managers to resolve matters. Employees today expect their managers and leaders to be accessible and vulnerable, to delegate and empower, to coach, mentor, sponsor, and not just direct and monitor.

Quiet quitting is a symptom of employees feeling unheard and undervalued and can be dealt with by intentional, meaningful measures taken at the right time. Creating a workplace culture that fosters learning and collaboration can make employees feel appreciated and inspire them to give their best. Most importantly, it is not something that is only the job of HR. employees experience an organization through their managers and leaders and therefore the accountability lies with everyone.

Read Here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/quiet-quitting/