“So here’s what you do, right?” an enthusiastic Tik Toker mockingly whispers down the barrel of a camera.
“Just rock up to work. Do the BARE a** minimum, and collect your paycheck. Repeat. Simple!”
Thousands of comments light up the comments thread.
“Why would we go above and beyond to get the SAME paycheck, and the same level of (dis)respect and kill ourselves with a burnout in the process?”
“The older generation thinks we’re lazy — you try and buy a house on minimum wage! It’s BS that companies expect us to do more than what’s required of our job.”
“I’ve been quiet quitting for ten years now and never been happier!”
“Why on earth would I bust my guts doing a 60-hour week for a company that doesn’t even care about their people? I’m just a number to them, so I’ll act like a number!”
This is the term being thrown around across social media and has emerged from the back of The Great Resignation — a trend seeing more people resigning from their jobs post-pandemic.
So what is Quiet Quitting?
Generally speaking, it’s a coined term to describe a lack of engagement in the workplace and an overall sense of feeling undervalued and overworked. In a bid to silently protest, quiet quitting involves completing a job role with low engagement and minimal effort, without addressing concerns with management or leaders.
This month we are focusing on the theme of rewarding teams and building high performing leadership qualities.
As Quiet Quitting appears to be a byproduct of lack of engagement, feeling a sense of no reward and feeling undervalued, it is timely to discuss how leaders can tackle this.
Here are some ways to address this with your team.
Quiet Quitting is the result of a perfect storm of poor communication and disconnects from management.
Whether team members are actively communicating and feeling unheard, or aren’t being provided the container or environment to be able to share how they’re feeling about their jobs, as a great leader, these chances for open conversations must be created, and disengagement quickly identified by leaders and addressed.
By providing clear and open communication in a two-way format, this enables a sense of disgruntlement to quickly arise to the surface, and a remedy is reached.
A common problem that seems to be addressed in many of the videos is a sense of management being ‘out of touch’ and ‘unapproachable’.
Leaders of high-performing teams create a safe and stable environment for team members to feel comfortable to share concerns, ideas or challenges and feel validated.
This is a prime opportunity to provide a 360 review and receive some two-way feedback on your leadership style. Perhaps you may feel like you are approachable, but there is a disjointed connection felt between your perceived approachability and the team’s.
No, this doesn’t mean everyone that silently protests should be considered for a pay increase. However, what is deemed warranted is an open and honest conversation about salary and role expectations.
Ask your team member how they’re feeling in the role, and if there is anything within the role that could make them feel more engaged in the work they’re doing.
It’s important to ask them how much they expect to be paid for the role and benchmark their expectation against industry award rates.
If there is a discrepancy between their expectation and what is being paid, see if there is an opportunity to talk about the type of upskilling that would be required by the company to enable them to be eligible for increased remuneration.
Another issue raised included a sense of there being no progression and jobs remaining stagnant.
Ensure you have regular succession planning sessions with each team member and a solid performance review process that enables team members the chance to receive clear and actionable feedback that connects to their roadmap to success.
We ask the question “Where do you see yourself in five years,” in job interviews, so it seems reasonable to reflect and extend the longevity of that thought to the team member’s success down the track.
When a team member doesn’t see a future with the company, it doesn’t create a burning desire and hot motivation for “going above and beyond”.
Quiet quitting echoes the notion that people simply don’t feel like they’re valued and the company treats them as a number opposed to a person.
Small actions and conversations can make a world of difference when it comes to team members feeling cared for — they require minimal effort for a huge reward.
It could be enquiring about a personal passion for each team member. How was Pete’s cricket final on the weekend? Did Susie’s daughter have a good birthday party on the weekend? How’s Tracey’s beloved labradoodle?
It’s remembering small details about the things that are important to people and showing a genuine interest that make people feel valued at a job, more than a paycheck.
In conclusion, recognition and reward for high performance is what creates engagement. When someone feels valued for what they do, they feel motivated to do more of it.
When someone is bringing up their remuneration, it can often be a symptom of not feeling recognised or valued. Appreciation and acknowledgement of a job well done has been seen to be more effective than a pay rise in several employee engagement surveys.
Make it a part of your rituals and processes to regularly provide positive feedback. This might be in the form of ‘Feedback Fridays’, where team members share their wins, positive acknowledgement of others and celebrations for the week, or a Team Member of the Month program.