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Viewpoint - Bob Gershberg - September 2022

Quiet Quitting…. Really?

by Bob Gershberg, CEO/Managing Partner Wray Executive Search

Quiet quitting, a loosely defined term or workplace trend that rose to prominence via a TikTok video, is not a new concept. According to a recent Gallup poll, 50 percent of U.S. workers admit to being quiet quitters. Didn’t we used to call them slackers? Fact is, call it what you may, employee engagement is in deep decline. The workforce is checking out mentally, not willing to go beyond what they believe they were hired to do. Promoters feel it is a solid attempt at attaining work-life balance boundaries. Those of us who came of age during the “hustle culture”, may too, be rethinking work. Clearly, the pandemic has affected the workforce substantively. Heck, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47 million people quit their jobs last year in The Great Resignation.

As leaders and managers, what can we do to improve employee engagement, morale and productivity? How can we best drive involvement and enthusiasm? First and foremost, create a connection between the mission and what folks actually do. Integrate engagement discussions with performance and development communication. Communicate the mission succinctly during the recruitment process to ensure alignment with purpose. Make creating and promoting an engaging culture a team responsibility. People want to be successful and feel good about what they accomplish. They want purpose and meaning from their work. Employees need to know what is expected of them and it is incumbent upon managers to define and discuss these expectations regularly.

There is no secret formula to ensure employee motivation and engagement, but evenhandedness and equal opportunity is a good start; it is important to provide a fair wage and to design jobs that give employees control and pride in their work. Ultimately, what people need to feel fulfilled at work is a sense of belonging and respect, being valued for what they do and who they are, and for what they can contribute to organizational outcomes.

When engagement is low because of feeling misunderstood, underappreciated and undervalued, the modern attitude toward work can easily shift into a more negative mindset. Furthermore, younger generations live in the post-digital world. They’re accustomed to using technologies that, while making work more efficient and enabling remote work, have also created more barriers to face-to-face human interaction. In this way, their reliance on technology could encourage disconnection from others.

To re-engage employees, attend to your own passion and excitement for your work; create a trusting, inspiring and safe atmosphere that offers plenty of opportunities for recognition, growth and autonomy; and emphasize what is most important to your team according to their unique needs and personalities.

Be strategic about engaging your employees and battle the quiet quitting phenomenon by promoting healthy work-life balance. Be flexible and implement meaningful strategies. Be a good listener and execute on what you’ve heard. You might be surprised at how, by reimagining your place of work, you reach and connect new customers, new markets, and engage your employees.

Collaboration is also key to creating an ideal work environment. Humans are social creatures, and most of us thrive when we’re part of a high-performing team. Workers who rate their companies highly for collaboration are six times as likely to report high workplace morale as those who score their employers poorly for collaboration. Additionally, workers at collaborative companies are seven times as likely to rate their overall workplace culture as “good” or “excellent.” In other words, highly collaborative workplaces also tend to have positive work environments and high employee morale.

All the best,

Bob Gershberg |CEO|Managing Partner|

(888) 875-9993 ext 102

Finding tomorrow’s leaders today!

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