No I am not Charles Dickens and this isn’t the 19th century, but isn’t this what we all have when we hire people, start a business, apply for a job or get a promotion?
We all have hopes and dreams about how things need to work and sadly we leave off one major step; we don’t set up performance expectations. It’s like setting people up to fail. When you hire people how is your on-boarding process? In previous newsletters I have described solid practices to develop new employees who will be engaged and stay. ( past blogs are on the website). When done correctly everyone knows what is expected of them how they will be supported and how they can move up if they desire that.
We have expectations set all the time. Parents tell you how to behave, how to clean your room, how to dress and what not to say. Teachers tell you how to study, turn in work and how to behave. We have two choices, to do or not do and to deal with consequences.
If the process is there what’s the problem and why do we have the great resignation and quiet quitters? Sadly, there are two places to examine; first it’s the culture of the company and second it’s the managers and how they treat their staff.
The culture of the company is usually set from the top. It includes how information is communicated, what behaviors are accepted, how you dress and more. Unfortunately some of this is not explained and problems can arise. I remember one company where the directors were expected to come in before the staff and leave after them even if there was no work to be done. It was the image. Many of the directors found themselves doing busy work just to maintain that image. Since there was no benefit to the individual to do more why bother. Thus quiet quitting begins.
“Quiet quitters” reject the idea that work should be a central focus of their life. They resist the expectation of giving their all or putting in extra hours. They say “no” to requests to go beyond what they think should be expected of a person in their position. this is not a new concept. The question is what makes the difference for those who view work as a day prison and others who feel that it gives them meaning and purpose? The answer is usually about the relationship and support of the managers.
Many people, at some point in their career, have worked for a manager that moved them toward quiet quitting. This comes from feeling undervalued and unappreciated. It’s possible that the managers were biased, or they engaged in behavior that was inappropriate. Employees’ lack of motivation was a reaction to the actions of the manager.
Many mid-career employees have had the good fortune towork for a leader for whom they had a strong desire to do everything possible to accomplish goals and objectives. Occasionally working late or starting early was not resented because this manager inspired them.
How can this be addressed and hopefully fixed.
People on all levels need to be aware of the impact of quiet quitting and the eventual great resignation. Performance in companies is lower and can be related to the bottom line in revenues. This also affects recruitment. Who wants to work for a company that sets unrealistic expectations and doesn’t value the people?
Studies have shown key areas that can impact productivity. . When asking your direct reports for increased productivity, do you go out of your way to make sure that team members feel valued? Open and honest dialogue with colleagues about the expectations each party has of the other goes a long way.
The most important factor is trust which was observed on three levels. The first is creating a positive relationship with the staff. This has become more difficult with remote and hybrid options. When a manager contacts anyone that is remote do they only discuss work issues or do they ask about the person and their interests? Do they develop a feeling of value and camaraderie? Good interactions look forward to connecting and enjoy talking to staff. Common interests bind you together, while differences are stimulating. Some team members make it easy to have a positive relationship. Others are more challenging. This is often a result of differences in age, gender, ethnicity, or political orientation, as well as other possible factors. Look for and discover common ground with these team members to build mutual trust. As managers are creating trust it is important to allow everyone to be authentic
Managers and leaders need to be consistent in both actions and words, being totally honest, and deliver what they promise. Many of us may think we are doing this and this is the time to check in with people and do stay interviews, asking how things are going and what you as the manager can do to improve and show more value and support
The third element that builds trust is expertise. Do you know what needs to be done and can you do it? A colleague of mine was known for his expertise in a select area. He was aware of trends and learned the new skills. He would never ask his team to do anything he wouldn’t do . While he was in the organization nobody in his team left and others wanted to join.. People need to trust the advice and opinions you have and know it comes from your experience.
By building a trusting relationship with all of your direct reports, the possibility of them quietly quitting dissipates significantly. The approach leaders took to drive for results from employees in the past is not the same approach we use today. The past led to the great resignation and quiet quitting Today we need a new beginning based on trust , value , support, inclusivity and a more positive workplace.
It’s easy to place the blame for quiet quitting on lazy or unmotivated workers, but instead, research tells us to look within and recognize that individuals want to give their energy, creativity, time, and enthusiasm to the organizations and leaders that deserve it because they value the people doing the work. They have set expectations and help everyone achieve them.
The estimated share of U.S. workers who are quiet quitting—doing the minimum required and mentally detaching from their jobs. Is 50%. Gallup’s June survey results are an about-face from the summer of 2020 when engagement hit its highest level ever. People under 35 reported the sharpest drop. it’s time to fix this