5 Ways to Support Your Company’s Quiet Quitters

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Employers have long received freebies from their employees. ADP research shows that employees put in an average of nine hours of unpaid overtime each week, equivalent to a $17,726 loss in annual income. Is it any wonder that Gallup research finds that 64% of workers are either not engaged or worse, actively disconnected from their work?

No, and many burned-out employees refuse to take it any further, resulting in “quiet quits”. This phenomenon spread like wildfire in the summer of 2022 thanks to a viral TikTok video. In the clip, New York musician Zeid Leppelin describes how to break the rush mentality and stop going over and over at work. Thousands have responded by sharing their own silent quitting stories – saying “no” to unpaid overtime and refusing to answer off-clock work messages.

The quiet quit has garnered a lot of attention, with some critics missing the point entirely — accusing their employees of being lazy and “mentally checking” their work. But what if leaders recognize that they have the power to make things better for their employees? Here are five ways you can respond to silent quitters by being more supportive:

See also: 8 ways to avoid your employees silently leaving you

1. Implement 360 feedback cycles

If we view quietly quitting as a cry for help, leaders should proactively listen to their employees by establishing 360-degree feedback cycles. Traditional performance appraisals provide negative feedback from a supervisor to a subordinate. Managers speak and employees listen. The problem with this one-way street is that managers don’t get a sense of how their employees are dealing with it or how they feel about the company.

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We can use 360 ​​degree reviews to ask them! This style of feedback collects thoughts and opinions from colleagues, managers, and direct reports, allowing lower-level employees to provide (anonymously if desired) valuable house truths about company culture, leadership styles, communication strategies, and anything else that impacts engagement or productivity.

When 60% of your employees say they are overworked and get DMs from their manager over the weekend, it’s clear you need to support your employees by taking action!

2. Prioritize career mapping

Employees lose enthusiasm when they cannot imagine their future in your company. Make it easy for your employees to look forward to coming to work by highlighting a range of career growth and development opportunities.

Career mapping involves creating paths in your org chart to show how each individual employee might earn a promotion or move sideways to another department. Remember, not everyone wants to be a manager. But these contributors should still have access to rewarding career paths that will contribute to the success of your company.

Be transparent by defining competencies and training requirements for each role, so employees know exactly how to achieve their career goals.

Related: Is Your Employee Development Broken? Here’s how to fix it.

3. Provide flexibility

Flexibility is not a buzzword; it is an expectation. The pandemic allowed employees to assess their priorities and enjoy life outside of work. For some workers, this means forgoing the commute, having the option to attend their child’s school recital in the middle of the day, or working from home permanently.

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If you don’t offer flexible working options, don’t be surprised if you lack the support of your employees. While it’s difficult to let go of old models, the workplace is evolving and businesses need to change with the times. And flexible working is a win for employers, too, with Gartner research showing that 43% of workers are more productive when they can choose their hours rather than commute.

Retain your best talent by joining the program and offering more flexible work arrangements. This may include offering remote positions, compressed working hours, early workweeks, or sabbaticals.

4. Model healthy work-life boundaries

If your corporate culture is filled with toxic habits but you don’t know how to break them, look at the top of the tree. Managers are responsible for setting expectations for the team—those who email or Slack at midnight give the wrong impression. Many “quiet quitters” who have chosen to delete business apps from their phones are simply trying to break the burnout cycle, which starts at the top.

Empower your team by creating a clear communication policy that outlines when and how all employees should engage with each other during work hours, and expectations for a communication break daily and weekends.

There’s also room for healthier work-life boundaries throughout the workday. When your employees’ schedules consist of Zoom call after Zoom call, insist that you take comfort breaks between meetings. You can also introduce meeting days or switch to asynchronous tools to give employees a break from the constant “on”.

See also: 5 Ways to Ensure Employee Satisfaction at Your Company

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5. Check employee benefits

Employee Perks are the ultimate way to support your workforce. Start by surveying your employees to understand what they want and need from their benefits package – this would work well in a 360 degree feedback questionnaire. Some of the most popular benefits include health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and student loan repayment assistance. But mental health services, childcare assistance, pet insurance, and fertility benefits are also great ways to acknowledge that your team members have a life outside of work.

Company-wide closures are becoming increasingly popular as vacation pay for employees. The idea is simple: the office closes and every employee takes the same week of vacation time so employees don’t get stressed about being out of the office. There is no pressure to report for work as nothing happens. This is an important way to encourage employees to take their full vacation entitlement and enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Don’t wait for quiet quitters to actually quit

Quiet is a relatively new trend, and we’ve yet to see how it plays out. But combined with the big reorganization, it’s not too much of a leap to predict that many silent quitters will end up jumping ship to be with a more supportive employer.

As soon as your employees decide to make positive changes to their individual work situation, they are already discouraged. Get ahead of the trend by taking action now to eliminate all signs of workplace toxicity so your organization is filled with motivated and rejuvenated employees.

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