With workplace’s ‘quiet quitting’ trend, managers must be proactive, attentive

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“Stop quietly,” the new workplace mindset, describes employees who do the bare minimum at work by reducing their effort, energy and productivity at work.

The path these employees are taking is clear.

But the reaction of the manager, team leader or employer is also crucial.

THE NEW QUIET STOP TREND IN THE WORKPLACE — AND THE PITFALLS FOR TODAY’S EMPLOYEES

“Following in the footsteps of movements like the Great Resignation, quiet quitting is the latest example of employees changing their attitudes toward work and re-evaluating what’s important,” Kristi Hummel, chief people officer at Boston-based Skillsoft, told FOX Business.

“They are no longer willing to go beyond what is asked unless there is some give and take – and this doesn’t just mean salary increases and extra vacation days,” she continued.

Some employees “who may have overextended themselves in the past return to doing only the tasks they were hired to do, in an effort to restore balance in their lives,” said one HR executive. (iStock/iStock)

In addition, “The employees who may have overextended themselves in the past return to doing only the tasks they were hired to do, trying to restore balance in their lives,” she noted.

How will this shift in employee engagement and work ethic affect American companies and those who run them?

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Human resource experts and business leaders shared with FOX Business how they are dealing with this emerging workforce trend — and their reactions to it.

How do managers recognize a ‘silent quitter’?

Hummel says managers and leadership need to be “acute” about how teams are feeling and watch for signs of quiet shutdowns — including traditionally strong employees who choose to sit at the back of projects.

They may also show signs of declining job performance.

“Reduced engagement is also a clear sign of quitting quietly,” she noted.

office workers talking

Silent quitters don’t leave the job. Instead, they drastically reduce their effort, energy and productivity, affecting the company as a whole. (iStock/iStock)

Another telltale sign of quiet quitting: an employee’s diminished interest in job assessments and performance.

“They may also seem more heads-down than usual and ask fewer questions about how their performance is meeting expectations,” Victoria Elman, general counsel and head of people at Catalant, also in Boston, told FOX Business.

They may also seem “less concerned about promotions, raises, advancement and career paths,” she explained.

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Other business leaders argue that a policy-in-place approach to silent quitters in their company can help this growing problem.

Miller says new hires join a company with the expectation that they will be positive, productive, and trusted members of an organization.

“Recognizing and addressing silent stopping requires a proactive and attentive approach,” Tom Miller, co-founder and CEO of ClearForce, in Vienna, Va., told FOX Business.

Two colleagues having a cheerful discussion in an office environment

“When employees feel recognized and valued for their contributions, they are happier and more productive,” said one CEO. (iStock/iStock)

“Uninvolved and unhappy employees are cultivated, not hired,” he said.

“Implementing and leveraging the use of secure and confidential reporting systems can capture behavioral warnings, in a compliant manner, from someone who quietly stops,” he continued.

“Early detection of dissatisfaction and personal struggles is a good tool to build and sustain a winning culture for all,” he also said.

Quietly stopping can affect both small and large companies.

But iIf silent stopping is becoming a typical behavior of many employees in any workplace, Catalant’s Elman said it can signal problems at both corporate culture and engagement levels.

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“Perhaps management expectations are unreasonable, work-life boundaries are routinely not respected or the environment becomes toxic,” she said.

“In each of those scenarios, the leadership team, HR and managers need to keep an eye on whether it is really quiet to quit — or if there are bigger systemic issues that need to be addressed,” she emphasized.

How Does Silent Shutdown Harm US Businesses?

Quietly stopping can affect both small and large companies.

tired woman over her laptop

When employees don’t feel recognized or valued for their work, they often feel apathetic, which can lead to silent layoffs, one company executive said. (iStock/iStock)

“U.S. companies are currently experiencing a recession, workforce freezes and one of the tightest labor markets to date, with workers asking — and getting — more than ever when it comes to compensation, benefits and flexibility,” Patrick Manzo, CEO of Kazoo + WorkTango, an employee experience platform headquartered in Austin, Texas, FOX told Business.

Manzo said this new employee-driven trend is forcing companies to take a closer look at employee retention and identify strategies to retain employees and fully engage them in their work.

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“From a business perspective, employees [who are quiet quitters] can cost the company in many ways, including lost productivity, poor employee morale, broken corporate culture and high turnover, all of which are detrimental to bottom line,” he said.

Should employers try to change the mindset of silent quitters?

To overcome this shift in employee philosophy, business leaders can focus their efforts on building a robust employee experience and culture that inspires employees to stay with their company, Manzo said.

People have to do the work they were hired to do – it exists for a reason.

“This starts with employee recognition,” he said. “When employees feel recognized and valued for their contributions, they are happier, more productive and less likely to look for a new job.”

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On the other hand, when employees don’t feel recognized and valued for their work, they often feel apathetic and disconnected, which can lead to silent layoffs, he said.

“For this recognition to have the most impact on teams, HR and business leaders need to show employee gratitude in a way that is public, timely, specific and connected to something concrete,” he added.

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Of course, a large part of the responsibility remains with the employees themselves.

Human resources professionals point out that people should do the work they were hired to do – it exists for a reason. And if their performance drops to inappropriate levels, that needs to be addressed and there should be consequences, they say.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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