It’s been the subject of social media posts, talking points in articles, and a trend that is sweeping the workforce. Quiet quitting. By definition by the editor of LinkedIn News, Yessi Bello Perez, it is: “Rejecting the notion that work has to take over one's life and that employees should go above and beyond what their job descriptions entail.” In these current times where individuals or entire teams are taking a stand on their working rights by striking or realising their worth by looking elsewhere for jobs, we have certainly seen a shift in mood when talking about careers.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, hands up if you worked overtime, took on more than you can chew or felt like you were competing against your co-workers? Now, this could have been to impress the bosses, showcase your abilities for a promotion or to have that deep sense of striving to be the best you can in your role. Since we have returned to work in full capacity where many are demanding flexible working or resigning altogether for better paid jobs elsewhere, quiet quitting is the new revelation.
Over 600,000 people have shared their stories on TikTok and it’s been described as a rebellion against the hustle culture we became so familiar with. But what does this mean for employers and how do you notice the signs? Well firstly it’s easy to notice an employee's change in attitude. One minute they’re a keen member of the team and the next there is much disinterest or lack of care. This could be in the form of turning down projects because they are taking no interest, refusing to answer work messages outside of working hours or feeling less invested in the role. Other signs include not attending meetings and arriving late or leaving early. The issue lies in that they haven’t left their job, but are limiting their tasks and actions to the minimum of their role requirements just to get the job done and improve their work-life balance.
Now there could be a number of reasons for this shift. Perhaps they are not enjoying their position, having a bad experience with the company, don’t feel like they’re being paid the right salary for their worth, or are experiencing burnout. Another alternative is that they are doing the bare minimum because they may be looking for another job and want to advance their career with new opportunities.
As a company or employer who has spotted these signs, how do you move forward to nip it in the bud? Having an honest and frank conversation with the employee on a confidential level is a good place to start. Identify why they may be unhappy, where their lack of enthusiasm is rooted from and how you can improve this. Whether that’s in the form of company culture, changing up their role and talking about how you can help their workload or stress management. Find out more about their current goals, as this may have changed from when you first hired them. Companies need to make their team feel valued and take on board how to manage realistic expectations - as they most probably have increased post pandemic. It’s important to also take note of employees who are maintaining high standards and not being enticed with the quiet quitting culture as experts are saying that pay rises and advancements in particular should be going to those who are giving their best effort.
If you’re experiencing this within your own company, then take into consideration other measures. Look back at role descriptions and see where the holes lie, perhaps some employees are taking on more than originally contracted. Review your incentive programmes and benefits, whether this is with gym memberships or private healthcare, consider ways to make your business stand out from the competition. Look at your company training programme, how are you investing in your team to improve their skills and experiences that will help them get promoted further down the line and maintain loyalty to the company?
Today's workforce is a different landscape to how it looked just a few years ago. With more employees taking a public stand on social media and influencing others about taking some ‘me time’ to reflect on their real wants and needs is a big movement in the careers market.
At Omega, we help companies recruit the finest talent and provide advice and guidance on the best ways to attract and maintain candidates. Our impressive success rates across Engineering, Aerospace, Automotive, Electronics, Defence, Scientific, Oil & Gas, Logistics and Manufacturing sectors is evidence of this. Speak to our team on 01453 827333 to see how we can help you or visit our website.
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