Have you noticed your individuals within your team becoming less engaged in the corporate culture and doing the minimum work required for their role? If so, you could be seeing an increase in quiet quitting amongst your workforce like many other companies are currently experiencing. Quiet quitting does not mean that employees are leaving their jobs, but rather that they are rejecting the hustle culture and setting boundaries to not work beyond their required duties or after hours. Quiet quitting is often a trial phase for an employee to see if they can be incentivized or engage the employee to rejoin the workplace culture in a positive and meaningful way or it can reaffirm that they need a new work environment and be the step before they actually quit their job.

Signs of Quiet Quitting

Disengagement at Work
Disengagement at work typically looks like indifference or apathy towards their work or being in office. That said, it’s often a feeling that gradually deepens over time so it can be challenging to notice immediately. It is also typically a result of various factors so it can be hard to address. However, there are warning signs to look out for such as lack of initiative or passion for projects, frequent cancellations with meetings, or not being active during meetings they attend.

Increased Isolation
Isolation is another indicator of employee disengagement that can result from quiet quitting. One of the common signs of employee isolation in the workplace is that the individual does not interact with anyone in the workplace or if they do interact, it is minimal. They typically remove themselves from workplace culture and activities as much as possible, so those individuals likely won’t participate in any social events with the team.

Decreased Productivity
Be mindful of the quality of work performance and productivity when assessing if an employee may be quiet quitting. If there is consistently an amount of subpar work being submitted by the majority of a team, it could be a reflection of a cumbersome workload that needs to be reduced. However, if low productivity and performance is only being exhibited by one individual on a team, it’s more likely that they are quiet quitting.

Dissatisfaction or Negativity
If a team member has made increasingly cynical or negative comments in the workplace, quiet quitting may be a cause for it. That said, it could also be as a result of burnout or other personal factors, If the employee used to be a positive individual before, then that is a sign that something is amiss and regardless of the reason, it’s important to touch base with the employee to dive deeper on what is going on to see if their morale can be improved.

Combatting Quiet Quitting

Check-In with Employees
It’s important to check-in with your employees one-on-one to ensure that they’re feeling appreciated and understood, and any potential roadblocks to their success can be addressed freely. When employees feel overwhelmed, they will often experience burnout and that can lead to quiet quitting as well. By fostering open communication with your team, you’re ensuring they feel heard while also being given the opportunity to fix any issues that arise before they become a long-term issue that affects the employee. Ultimately, employees who are satisfied with their work and feel understood leads to higher engagement and better work performance.

Promote A Healthy Culture
Workplace culture is an increasingly important factor that has a greater impact than one can realize. A healthy workplace culture will be one that prioritizes an employee’s well-being through work-life balance, it will also offer respect to everyone regardless of which position they are in, as well as it will celebrate the diversity amongst its team with an emphasis on inclusion. By focusing on those three areas, ultimately, the attitudes and behaviors of your employees will be more positive as a result.

Provide Adequate Compensation
Compensating your employees adequately is the top way to keep your team satisfied within their roles. A salary that is of market value or higher shows the people that work for you that they are valued, which ultimately improves productivity, employee retention, and overall morale as well. That said, if your company isn’t in a position to increase salaries, additional benefits or paid time-off is another way to bolster your total compensation package. You can download our 2023 Salary Guides to obtain the most up-to-date remuneration data for the Ottawa region to see how your company compares.

Conduct Exit Interviews
The last course of action to be used would be to use an employee resigned as an opportunity to discover what internal issues need to be addressed in order to retain your remaining staff. If you’re missed the signs of dissatisfaction amongst an employee up until the point of their departure, you may be able to gain insight on what factored into their decision to better identify the signs next time. However, it’s important that employers take actionable steps following an exit interview to remedy those factors for current or future workers. You can read our blog post, Offboarding Your Employees Effectively, to learn how to approach an exit interview productively.

Alita Fabiano

Author Alita Fabiano

Specializing in strategic communications, digital accessibility, as well as diversity and inclusion, Alita Fabiano has a passion for championing a stronger workforce through inclusion. Alita’s insights have also been published in the Ottawa Business Journal and Canadian SME Magazine, as well as she has been invited to speak to several organizations about inclusivity and accessibility.

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