If you supervise a team, chances are that you have staff members who are quiet quitting. Depending on which report you look at, somewhere between 21% and 50% of employees have stated that they are doing the bare minimum required in their job functions.
The reasons for quiet quitting typically fall into two categories: burnout and disengagement. Both challenges are causes for concern. A lack of engagement and exhaustion can impact a business through diminished performance and increased turnover. These issues also have adverse effects on the health and well-being of individuals and teams.
Managers have a matchless opportunity to address some of the seeds of quiet quitting by growing a culture where individuals feel connected and supported. To serve as a positive, motivating force for their direct reports, I encourage team leaders to consider implementing group-based and individually focused practices.
5 Habits to Cultivate Team Engagement
Stimulate Psychological Safety
When staff feel like they can raise their concerns and be met with empathy and understanding, they are more likely to come to forward before stress and disinterest turn into burnout and disengagement. People leaders can begin to create this atmosphere of trust by modeling the way through admitting to their own mistakes, being honest about their worries and welcoming the ideas of others.
Demonstrate Respect for Boundaries
People need time to rest and relax if they are going to do their best work! Managers can support this process by setting and following standards for work-life balance. Start by limiting calls and emails outside of normal business hours as much as possible. Supporting effective time management practices and finding mechanisms to distinguish the work that is truly time sensitive can also promote healthy boundaries.
Moderate the Tempo of Work
While there will be times when groups are asked to go above and beyond and work longer hours, it can raise the likelihood for quiet quitting if these extended projects go on for too long. Supervisors can help by taking an active role in understanding the expanded load on the team and building in time for shorter working hours after major projects are completed. Giving people a chance to recharge will demonstrate that you value, appreciate and respect their needs.
Gather Group Inputs
Disengagement often increases when staff members feel that they do not have a voice. Giving employees an opportunity to weigh in and share their thoughts will empower them to feel more connected to their roles and the company. To get started, I recommend including the whole group in goal setting conversations and ensuring that they have a chance to share their ideas when the department is embarking on a project.
Recognize Career and Job Aspirations
For some, a job is simply a job. Not every person wants to take on greater levels of responsibility, and that’s okay if they are performing and meeting business needs. Managers can show respect for these different approaches by inviting team members to volunteer for extra commitments or responsibilities and being upfront about any expectations the company may have for how the department will evolve.
5 Ways to Support Individual Well-being and Motivation
Check in Regularly
Supervisors need to understand how their team members are feeling about work and their roles to mitigate quiet quitting. Periodic check in’s allow direct reports and their leaders to stay connected and provide honest feedback. Having candid conversations may take time, and a great first step is to schedule consistent phone, video or email check ins.
Take a Personal Interest
To further their relationships with employees, it’s important that managers truly take an interest in their people. Learning about who they are, their preferred approaches to work and how they like to balance their personal and professional lives will go a long way in building trust and creating an environment where supervisors will know if their direct reports are overwhelmed or feeling disconnected.
Focus on Strengths
Employees tend to be more inspired and driven when they have a chance to use their brilliances. Explore staff member’s gifts by using assessments like the Emergenetics® Profile and speaking with them about the sorts of activities that give them energy. These insights allow leaders to better identify opportunities to harness individual’s strengths as well as give them more time to decompress after a task that is likely to be tiring.
Encourage Mastery and Autonomy
In his book Drive, Daniel Pink describes the motivating impact of having control to direct one’s life and opportunities to continue getting better at things they care about. People leaders can use this information to limit quiet quitting. Spend time learning about how personnel want to keep growing in their roles, careers or skills. This knowledge can inspire ongoing training and development opportunities as well as future plans for their long-term success.
Recognition is a critical part of employee engagement. While public celebrations are likely to appeal to some, small, day-to-day thank yous and acknowledgements can have a big impact on the workforce. By letting team members know that their hard work is seen, impactful and appreciated, supervisors can encourage staff to continue contributing at a high level.
Quiet quitting may have a negative reputation, and I believe it should really be seen as an opportunity for a reset. Most of the time, the challenges are stemming from an unreasonable workload or a disconnect about expectations. These are great reasons for managers to step in and step up. When they do, they have a chance to create a more motivating and stimulating environment for all.
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