'Quiet quitters' are people who only do the minimum required and are psychologically disengaged from their work. As a result of long home working and hybrid working nowadays, loyalty in the workplace is no longer automatic. In fact, retaining a good employee today can be as difficult as finding him, but with the right attitude and the appropriate plan, it is not impossible. Ultimately, the well-being of staff determines whether an organization can keep top talent on board.
But as a business leader, how do you prevent your employees from turning into 'quiet quitters'? Viktorien van Loon, Managing Consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, lists five tips.
Tip 1: Organize regular performance interviews
In almost every organization, employees have a performance review once a year. By increasing the frequency of performance interviews to once a quarter or more, you create an open dialogue with your employees. This will keep you constantly informed about the ongoing projects they are involved in, what obstacles, if any, they are facing and whether they need support or additional resources to succeed. Employees in turn will appreciate being able to give their manager such feedback on a regular basis and feel even more appreciated. Viktorien: "When you organize such conversations on a regular basis, employees quickly get the feeling that they can not only talk freely about their work, but also about their wishes and ambitions. The outcome of such conversations will help you guide each individual towards the desired growth in their career."
Tip 2: Address expectations quickly
It is not uncommon for teams to change or for certain functions to expand in scope over time. If this happens too quickly to new employees, they may find it overwhelming and uncomfortable. As an employer, you would therefore do well to clearly explain the expectations and evolution of the job during the job interview, so that new talent knows what is expected of them and within what timeframe. "By linking your expectations to the growth potential of your employees, it will therefore not come as a surprise to them when you ask them to take on additional responsibilities," Viktorien explains.
Tip 3: Encourage leadership and learning opportunities
Employees who pursue personal development in their careers tend to have higher productivity and job satisfaction. If you offer learning and leadership programmes as an organization, you will contribute positively to employee loyalty. After all, dedication and loyalty go hand in hand. When employees know their hard work is rewarded and they feel their employer is investing in their future, they are less likely to leave.
"Moreover, if employees indicate that they are interested in a broader range of tasks outside the existing team, as an employer you can respond to this by giving them the opportunity to put their shoulders to the wheel on a particular project involving several teams. That way, you give them a sense of responsibility and boost morale. This leads to a happier and more engaged workforce, which in turn contributes to the further growth of the organization."
Tip 4: Recognize and reward performance
Employees want to feel appreciated and recognized for what they do. By rewarding them for excellent work, you show not only that their work is important, but also that it works in their favor when they do more than just what is strictly required in their job. A reward and recognition programme makes employees feel appreciated, especially for the extra effort they put in at work.
Viktorien: "Don't look too far or too big, as there are plenty of small and simple actions you can take to show your employees that you care. For example, consider a sincere compliment in the workplace, or a simple but heartfelt thank you in the next Teams meeting."
Of course, there are also more sweeping ways to show your appreciation, by offering your employees a promotion, a bonus or a salary increase, for example. These initiatives help demonstrate to your employees that if they do more than their best, there are financial rewards and career opportunities available to them.
"When applied correctly, rewards have a positive impact on an organization's goals. A well-considered incentive programme can boost profitability, reward the best employees, improve teamwork and morale, and attract and retain top talent."
Tip 5: Respect boundaries and work-life balance
Finding a work-life balance is often challenging, but essential to avoid becoming overtired and demotivated. After all, burnout at work is one of the main causes of 'quiet quitting'. As an employer, you can also contribute to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A few examples are:
Emphasize that answering emails and phone calls outside working hours are optional;
Reward employees who do overtime or work exceptionally during weekends or holidays by letting them take another day off or leave a day early;
Intervene when you notice colleagues putting too much pressure on each other to work harder and provide a way for this to be reported.
After all, it is important for employees to take the necessary time to rest and recharge their batteries in order to continue working more productively.
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