By Becky Canary-King, Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC – Lexology
Employers have been concerned about “quiet quitting” for some time now, looking for ways to foster employee engagement and productivity. And new data shows the importance of doing so because “quiet quitting” has turned into “loud quitting.”
According to a new report from Gallup of more than 120,000 global employees, 18% of global employees are loudly quitting or actively disengaged. Contrary to quiet quitting, when employees do the bare minimum of their job, “loud quitting” is when employees do things that directly harm the company, undermine the company’s goals, or rebel against leadership. Loud quitting can look like a social media post bashing company leadership or vociferously complaining to co-workers about the organization.
If the underlying causes aren’t fixed, they can lead to resignations and recruiting challenges, so it’s important that employers take these risks seriously. To exacerbate the problem, the negative energy of loud quitting can spread throughout the company, hurting morale and making it harder to address.
In addition to the 18% of global employees engaged in “loud quitting,” the same survey revealed that 59% are quiet quitting. Only 23% of survey respondents said they are thriving or engaged at work.
There are several ways to foster a positive workplace culture that encourages employee engagement and promotes productivity. Many of these suggestions will help fend off quiet quitting before it turns loud.
7 Tips for Bolstering Employee Engagement and Promoting a Productive Workforce
- Ask for Feedback – and Listen. Employers should regularly seek feedback in a way that facilitates honest and helpful information. And employers should let employees know that they are listening. When an employee doesn’t feel like they are being heard, their feedback may become louder and unhealthy. Even if you can’t directly address an employee’s concern, acknowledge it and explain why you cannot do what they are asking now.
- Conduct Exit Interviews. Employers can gain valuable information during exit interviews, and it may also prevent someone from voicing their complaints to a wider audience. Listen to their concerns and use the feedback to address any issues.
- Give Consistent Feedback. Performance reviews should not be limited to the end of the year. Instead, check in with employees to address performance concerns as they arise, so there is no hiding from responsibilities. For instance, at LP, we recently transformed our process for giving and receiving feedback via casual “check-ins” and annual reviews to “F2=Feedback + Future” conversations, which are intentional discussions between group leads and their team members to share feedback and discuss future plans and goals. For more information on our revamped feedback process, see Feedback Is a Vital Tool of Lifelong Learning—How We’ve Revamped the Process.
- Create Clear Job Descriptions. Employees should have clear expectations for their position, even if they are expected to have some flexibility and jump in as needs arise. If their job duties change significantly, their job description – and title and compensation – should also be updated.
- Reward High Performers. Employees who don’t see upward mobility or their role in the company’s future may struggle with motivation, thinking there is no point in working hard. Creating a work environment where high performers are rewarded with promotions or increased compensation motivates employees to continue putting their best foot forward.
- Foster Positive Social Connections. Particularly in remote or hybrid work environments, workplace “silos” can become prominent, and employees can feel disconnected from their teams. Conversely, employees who are integrated into their work teams are more motivated to not let their team members down with poor performance or missed deadlines. Social connections within the workplace can also foster a sense of camaraderie and fulfillment. But be mindful of the potential for cliques that inhibit inclusivity and the risk of loud quitters hurting company morale.
- Foster a Compassionate Workplace. The hustle culture often ignores mental health and can lead to burnout or quiet quitting. By paying attention to employees’ well-being – physical and mental – employers can reduce absenteeism, boost productivity, and improve morale. A compassionate workplace also helps employees feel respected and recognized.
Building an engaged workforce is an ongoing process for each employer’s work environment.
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