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Ausrine Cebatore

Management

Quiet Quitting: Three Solid Ways to Enhance Employee Experience

Employers should revamp workplace cultures to better address employee needs

Published: Monday, September 19, 2022 - 11:02

Following the pandemic, the Great Resignation marked a trend with large numbers of people resigning from their jobs. However, quitting isn’t an option for everyone; many people have obligations, such as loans to repay or medical insurance that is linked to their jobs. Serving notice was simply not an option. Therefore, quiet quitting has become an alternative to resigning.

So what is quiet quitting? Why do so many employees see it as an option? Should employers worry about it?

What is quiet quitting?

Simply put, quiet quitting is taking a step back and evaluating your work effort. Essentially, you’re determining whether you’re going above and beyond for a company that isn’t reciprocating.

This trend originated on TikTok and quickly spread through news and social media. Commonly, it’s described as:
• Restricting work to work hours and not picking up tasks after this time
• Avoiding work calls and messages during vacations and time off
• Doing the designated work that was listed in the job description
• Unsubscribing from the hustle culture of going beyond any additional duties

Overall, it’s sticking to one’s job description and certain work hours, and not stressing with job-related tasks outside of office hours.

Quiet quitting might be a trend prompting employers to reevaluate workplace cultures and the happiness of their employees.

The most common signs of quiet quitting are simply healthy boundaries. No employer can expect their people to go above and beyond if they don’t create a supportive environment for doing so.

Coinciding with this, Gallup reported a drop in employee engagement nationwide, from 36 percent in 2020 to 32 percent this year. A considerable portion of this was observed among Gen Z and millennials.

Why do employees quiet quit?

There are several reasons why employees lean toward quiet quitting.

For one, the pandemic brought in new concerns relating to workplace cultures. With many working remotely, hustle culture rose with a requirement to “show” productivity. As a result, many faced significant burnout. Additionally, employees had the added burden of home chores and childcare, which made professional lives a struggle.

The Gallup study also noted a 29-percent engagement for those who worked onsite, compared to 37-percent engagement for those who had either worked remotely or within a hybrid schedule.

Cultures allowing work-from-home hghlighted employee time and family. This was previously overlooked with the set work schedule. Additionally, many didn’t feel that workplace environments catered to their needs. Pay raises were scarce, especially following the pandemic.

Many also wanted more benefits outside of pay packages, such as wellness programs and accessible counselors.

How can employers enhance their company culture?

The primary concern raised by quiet quitting is the separation of employee work and personal life. People become exhausted and burned out when there are no clear boundaries, and they are ready to mentally check out.

Employers are encouraged to revamp workplace cultures to better suit employee needs. So, what are the simple changes that can favor higher engagement rates?

1. Invest in more than a paycheck

The CDC records that about six in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic disease, such as heart disease or diabetes. Long work hours, increased stress, and minimal time to focus on health are contributors. Health, longevity, and the ability to enjoy a healthy life are important for employees.

A McKinsey survey shows younger employees are likely to switch jobs for better health benefits. The health quotient of employees’ lives is becoming increasingly crucial in work-life balance.

Additionally, employees expect more than just a salary from their places of work, especially if they are investing long hours. Today, health benefits, which are more than just basic health insurance, are a must.

2. Focus on employee mental wellness

Toxic workplace cultures were 10 times more likely to contribute to employee turnover than low-salary packages. Workplaces that didn’t promote equity and diversity were at risk.

In addition, the hustle culture, by default, paved the path to increased burnout. A Deloitte survey noted that 77 percent of respondents reported burnout at least once in their current job. In this survey, participants also felt that their companies weren’t addressing their burnout sufficiently.

Burnout and lack of appropriate company culture are the main contributors to the poor mental well-being of employees.

When employees are burned out, it’s already too late. To circumvent this, create cultures that foster overall health and wellness, including mental health.

3. Encourage a life-work balance

Every employee expects different things from their workplace. While a company culture and employee health are crucial, employers should routinely explore other facets of their importance.

For some, family, children, and education are more important; for others, professional growth, creativity, and greater opportunities play a crucial role.

Most employees feel the need to be more than just their job title. While the workplace should allow for this diversity of needs, free time from work and regular vacation help cultivate this individuality.

When employees note that their workplace encourages their time off, they are more likely to be productive during work hours.

We’re all people first, employees second. The workplace isn’t a family so much as a community that helps us grow. Productivity can happen only when we’re getting inspired and value things outside of work.

Future of employee-centric workplaces

Companies are looking into ways to benefit employees within workplaces. The pandemic played a pivotal role, especially by introducing remote-working models.

Kilo Health offers a package of digital tools to assist employers in helping their people feel better, get fitter, and address any health needs they might have at the moment.

Employees who feel their companies care for them are more likely to trust and invest time in their work. Employers should also encourage employees to participate in change within work cultures.

Together, more holistic workplaces can be created, recognizing the individual and not just a job.

Discuss

About The Author

Ausrine Cebatore’s picture

Ausrine Cebatore

Ausrine Cebatore is vice president of sales and strategic partnerships at Kilo Health.

Comments

The Elephant in the Room

Let's not forget that many companies threatened employees' livelihoods in order to coerce them into taking the experimental pharmaceutical products marketed as COVID-19 vaccines. 

I separated from a company, in part, because it was attempting to collect private medical information in order to implement the Biden Administration's OSHA "requirement," despite its questionable legality and the pending challenges from numerous state attorneys general. I am not someone who can "just go through the motions," and it was killing me that I could not be passionate for a company that was trying to ruin my life. So I left. 

Employment is already based on an illusion of loyalty that we buy into because we think that it will pay off for us in the long run. But I have no loyalty for anyone who is prepared to destroy my family because I declined to take drugs. 

You mention diversity and inclusion... 

What could be less inclusive than threatening people's homes and the food on their table over a private medical decision regarding a product for which there is no long term safety data? 

What could be less fostering of diversity than running roughshod over your employees' religious freedom, medical privacy, freedom of conscience, and bodily autonomy?... with a "one size fits all" prescription. 

This egregious erasure of the rights of the American worker did not go unnoticed by talented and critical thinkers who aren't going to fall for some hollow appeal to "work-life balance" or "mental wellness" when there has been no reckoning whatsoever over the lost sleep, marital strain, and financial burden that these faceless employers were eager to inflict upon their workers without a second thought. 

There is simply no going back. The illusion of loyalty was always part of the employment calculus, and that illusion has been thoroughly mangled by these gross overreaches. I will never view the world, or the people in it, in the same way again.