The concept of “quiet quitting”— the idea of only performing the bare minimum of the job – went viral this past year, sparking debate and taking over social media with hashtags and commentary. Yet despite its buzzword status, quiet quitting isn’t new. Employees “working for the weekend,” and the underlying issues of employee engagement, are an ongoing concern for employers.
Quiet quitting can arise when employees feel underpaid, overworked, unappreciated, or unfulfilled in their professional role. There are many ways to foster a positive workplace culture that encourages employee engagement, promotes productivity, and prevents quiet quitting. Here we offer five suggestions for doing so:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t Ignore 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.
- 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 isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula; it’s an ongoing process that is tailored to each employer’s work environment.