Quiet Quitting: What It Is & 15 Expert Tips To Prevent It
The Great resignation is worsening the current economic crisis that will most likely end up in a recession, with employees leaving their positions at a contagious rate, maybe also enraged by the continuous news about layoffs in 2022.
No one can answer that, but everyone can see that only in 2022 more than 1 every 5 workers have left their position or are going to quit soon, and this new trend is alarming CEOs, executives and HR managers who can’t lose their talents if they want to be able to face the upcoming recession.
So how to combat quite quitting and improve employee retention?
We asked business owners and staff managers to explain why all this is happening, and what their companies are going to do to keep their employees from leaving their jobs.
Read on and you will have a list of the best employee retention strategies used by experts to prevent quiet quitting in 2023 and the years to come.
The Best Employee Retention Strategies To Prevent Quiet Quitting in 2022
- People Feel Unappreciated, So Recognize their Efforts
- Model a Healthy Work-life Balance
- Recognise the Signs of Burnout
- Be Upfront About Workload
- Provide Unique Bonding Experiences
- Create a Peer Recognition Strategy
- Invest in Employee Professional Development
- Be Honest About Changing Responsibilities
- Really Get to Know Your Team
- Be Willing to Offer Hybrid Work Options
- Prioritize Mental Health to Ignite Employees’ Passion
- Give Your Employees a Raise
- Create a Promotion Program
- Keep the Door Open for Communication
- Schedule Consistent One-on-one Check-ins!
What Is Quiet Quitting And Why It’s Bad
There’s still a lot of people who don’t really understand what “quiet quitting” actually means, so it’s good to explain this concept once for all.
The term quiet quitting (or “soft quitting) is not totally appropriate, because it means that employees are working as little as possible, but they don’t actually leave their job and keep earning their wage
Easy so far, and indeed most people worldwide understand what the term “quiet quitting” means, although not as many fully realize what it implies. In fact, quiet quitting is often seen by employees as a way to build a healthy work-life balance, but at the same time quiet quitting is a sign of low motivation, which in turn negatively affects productivity.
No company is immune to this. In fact, according to a report by Gallup, a staggering 85% of employees around the world are probably already quiet quitters, with engagement rates going as low as 10% in Europe and 33% in US.
This ongoing problem may result in a loss of one and half trillion dollars worldwide, so it’s essential for business owners to understand the reasons behind quiet quitting, how to read the signs that this might be happening in their company, and what are the best ways to stop it before it gets worse.
What Is Causing Quiet Quitting
Statistically, the top reason for employees to disengage from their work are:
- they don’t get enough recognition for their work or feel disconnected from the company (especially true for many remote workers)
- salaries and/or benefits are inadequate (this got worse due to inflation)
- burnout and need for a better work-life balance, which spiked during the pandemic
- they feel their work has no purpose other than making money
- they have found a better opportunity
Now that we fully understand what quiet quitting means, and the several reasons behind this phenomenon, let’s look at how business owners and managers are preventing their employees from disengaging from their work.
The Most Effective Employee Retention Strategies Used By Business Owners and Managers
People Feel Unappreciated, So Recognize their Efforts
Though Quiet Quitting can result from many problems, a key issue is that your employees feel unappreciated.
Sure, they get a paycheck, but they don’t feel like anyone cares about what they’re doing at work. It’s an easy solution: find ways to recognize their day-to-day efforts. Tell them “thank you”, or “great job on this project”.
Recognize and reward them frequently. Create a gratitude-centric culture and suddenly you’ll see more engaged employees and less Quiet Quitting.
Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity
Create a Peer Recognition Strategy
There are some factors related to th work environment affecting an employee’s motivation. THese can include remote work and feeling isolated, unappreciated and not being recognized for any work they do or even for budget cuts that end up taking away from benefits, salaries, or employee productivity tasks that really help motivate them.
In order to retain employees, especially for online businesses, the best tip is to create a peer recognition strategy where each team member nominates an employee and shares their success, or a positive result or achievement.
A peer recognition strategy will help your employees feel valued and recognized across the board.
Jenna Nye, CEO, On the Strip
Create a Healthy Work-life Balance for your employees
A toxic company culture is often the reason for Quiet Quitting, so leaders must set and also follow healthy work-life boundaries.
No more sending emails at midnight; these give the wrong impression that you expect your employees to keep ridiculous office hours. The cycle of burnout starts at the top, so support your team with a clear communication policy that outlines when and how every employee should contact each other during working hours.
Allow for full communication breaks after hours and on weekends. Insist on breaks throughout the work day, and allow your employees some downtime during the day.
Listening to your employees’ needs and setting a healthy work-life balance for everyone will keep your employees happy and your retention high.
Anthony Martin, Founder and CEO, Choice Mutual
Prioritize Mental Health to Ignite Employees’ Passion
To keep your staff motivated and satisfied at work, they must maintain a healthy work-life balance. In this situation, decision-makers could spend money on expert mental health services like therapy or mental health apps. Do this by developing awareness campaigns and providing training that explains to employees the benefits of taking frequent breaks and how to prevent letting work consume their free time.
Nevertheless, maintaining a happy workforce isn’t easy. At times, they could experience disengagement, underappreciation, or a sense that their work is unfulfilling.
When an employee’s basic needs aren’t satisfied, it’s challenging to make them stay.
Recognize the Signs of Burnout
“Quiet quitting” is a term I don’t hold to – essentially, it means employees doing the work they are paid for in the time they are paid to do it. That, in my book, is absolutely fine. However, if you take the term to mean employees who are scraping by on the bare minimum of what is expected, then yes, this is potentially something worth addressing.
In the case of employees that were high performers who have suddenly seen a drop in productivity, you definitely want to check-in. It may be that the person is experiencing burnout, which results in lower outputs, more mistakes, cynicism and disengagement.
With appropriate rest and a rebalancing of their workload, you’ll find such employees tend to pick up to their previous levels of productivity.
But it’s harder to spot burnout in a remote working setting, so make sure you communicate regularly with your employees and give them a safe space to discuss mental health, before it ever becomes an issue.
Be Upfront About Workload
The best way for online businesses to support and retain employees who are quite quitting is to be upfront about workload.
Many people get in their own way when it comes to working, and they don’t realize that they’re doing it. I’ve seen employees who have quit because they feel like they’re not being given enough opportunities when in reality there are plenty of opportunities available—they just haven’t been told about them.
The best way to avoid employee burnouts is to set clear expectations about what you need from your staff members.
Rengie Wisper, Marketing Manager, Set Alarm Online
Be Honest About Changing Responsibilities
The demands of teams evolving over time are not rare which is why we see many organizations giving their brightest employees extra authority and responsibilities.
However, if these adjustments come as a surprise to those employees, they could feel unprepared and overwhelmed. As a result of their growing resentment of the increasing task, they end up quietly quitting.
You want to be honest with employees about how their responsibilities may change during the interview to prevent this. If you set expectations up front, employees won’t be shocked by increased tasks.
Setting this standard throughout the interview process prevents applicants from disengaging when given increased duties.
Keep the Door Open for Communication
Do you communicate with your staff members? Do they know how to contact you and when? They probably don’t feel heard if they’re quietly leaving, and they probably aren’t working for the money. They show up for work because they perceive me as a component of something greater than myself.
I’ll thus advise managers to make the time to sit down and listen to their staff members. But from a corporate organizational standpoint, what we stand for is the other side of it.
Olivia Tonks, Marketing Manager, Fleet Education
Really Get to Know Your Team
Quiet quitting is happening for a number of reasons. First, the last few years have been extremely difficult for everyone, between the pandemic and the economic issues many Americans are facing.
Employees have started to put their lives into perspective now that they’ve faced hardships they were previously unfamiliar with. Employees are feeling undervalued in their workplace, and are tired of going above and beyond at their jobs and receiving next to nothing in return.
The best tip I can give to support and retain employees who are Quiet Quitting is to know your team. A big part of this phenomenon is feeling invisible or unimportant, so take time out of your day to ask personalized, detailed questions to show your employees that you care about them and their needs.
Find out about your team, what is going on in their lives, what they need from you, and how you can best support them. When employees feel cared about and seen, they are less likely to disengage.
Nick Oberheiden, Founder of Oberheiden P.C.
Schedule Consistent One-on-one Check-ins
We always encourage weekly one-on-one check-ins with our employees to minimize any build-up in detachment, disengagement, and ultimately, Quiet Quitting.
Having prescheduled one-on-one meetings that are consistently in someone’s calendar, allows for grievances to be introduced early and often without requiring someone to explicitly schedule a time to talk. The meeting is happening anyway whether something bad is brewing or not.
By meeting with a team member consistently, managers can have a great pulse on their team’s morale, and understand individualized nuanced differences between their team members’ communication styles. Some people may be more forthcoming than others in raising a concern, so meeting with someone consistently allows a manager to compare someone’s behavior towards consistent check-ins as opposed to other team members.
And, if there is nothing negative to note, it is a great way for managers to connect with their team on a personal level, even in a remote setting.
Maurice Harary, CEO, The Bid Lab
Give Your Employees a Raise
As an online business I know that Quiet Quitting is a red flag that points to a disconnect between company values and goals and the values and goals of team members. Online businesses can’t hide behind swanky break rooms or free donuts; Quiet Quitting must be faced head-on.
It will take some hard conversations and a drastic, difficult look at your expectations of your employees.
Though you may be tempted to ask a quiet quitter why they no longer want to stay late or take on more tasks, you need to redirect that question to yourself as the leader.
Why would anyone want to stay late or take on more work for free? If you don’t have a justifiable answer that you can communicate to your employee, then the answer is you are underpaying your staff and need to give them a raise to keep them around.
This is in addition to conversations around your company values and if they personally feel you are upholding those values in your management of employees.
Paul Kushner, CEO, My Bartender
Find the right perks for your team
It’s essential for companies to provide competitive salaries and benefits if they don’t want their employees to stop producing and eventually run away, but, if you can’t increase your wages right now, consider other forms of compensation, such as perks, like health care benefits and retirement plans.
According to recent studies, flexible working hours, remote work options and paid parental leave are the most desired benefits among employees around the world, but also stress management programs, retirement planning and gym memberships are other perks to consider
Create a Promotion Program
Surely, no one likes to work in a company where they get fewer opportunities to grow and no recognition when they go the extra mile, so always thank your most productive workers and teams in person and explain how their work is positively impacting everyone’s growth.
To prevent Quiet Quitting, employers should present more growth opportunities. By practicing a higher pay, a promotion program, or even a virtual celebration you can keep them close and engaged.
Be Willing to Offer Hybrid Work Options
Quiet quitting has been around for longer than most will admit. There have always been employees who are content with doing the bare minimum to draw a paycheck.
Part of the increase today is due to the requirements to return to work after the pandemic. Employees enjoyed being able to manage their schedules, be home and dress comfortably. For many, just not making the commute was the best part. Now that employees are returning to work, they realize they are no longer satisfied with their jobs and schedules. They want to return to the comfort of Zoom meetings from their home offices.
As the dissatisfaction grows, so too does their lack of interest in productivity. To counter this employees need to be willing to be flexible and offer hybrid options. Perhaps not everyone needs to come back or at least need the option to not have to be in-person every day.
Employers will have to work to create a working balance among the employees’ and the company’s needs.
Andrew Adamo, VP, Bullion Shark
Provide Unique Bonding Experiences
While online businesses may find it a challenge to engage and retain remote employees, there’s a variety of creative options that can increase the bonding between your team – making them much more reluctant to jump ship when a new opportunity knocks. Instead, plan virtual team-building events that not only boost morale but actually have your employees looking forward to “being a team.”
Whether it’s trivia, a fun game, or other creative icebreakers, your employees will appreciate your efforts and even tell their friends about what a “cool” company they work for!
Lilian Chen, Co-Founder & CEO, Bar None Games
Invest in Employee Professional Development
Quiet quitting is becoming increasingly common in today’s workplace due to a number of reasons. Stress, burnout, and declining job satisfaction are some of the main contributors to this problem.
Other issues include a lack of recognition or rewards for hard work, job security, career advancement opportunities, and a feeling that their contributions are not valued. For some employees, the environment or culture at their workplace may also be contributing to their decision to withdraw without formal notice.
One of the best tips for online businesses to support and retain employees who are quite quitting is to provide them with the support and resources they need to be successful in their roles. This could include access to online courses, ongoing training, mentorship programs, and other forms of professional development.
By investing in your employees’ education and growth within the company, they will feel valued which can increase job satisfaction and reduce turnover.
Erik Pham, CEO, Health Canal
Give Your Best, Prepare For The Worst
The Employee Retention Strategies we listed are just some of the best ideas you can apply to increase your employees’ satisfaction, but accept the fact that some of your team members will leave nonetheless. It is inevitable.
Don’t hate them for that, and an employee leaving with no grudge against you may even return one day, or tell everyone good things about your workplace.
In the meanwhile, talk to your team, read the signs of potential disengagement, and act promptly to make them understand how valuable they really are to you.
It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. Good luck!
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