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Will Quiet Quitting Become the New Normal?

Quiet quitting isn’t something that just happens; burnout and poor working conditions may be demotivating your team. Here, we explore how your workplace can overcome this problematic issue.

The nature of work has changed immeasurably for employees in recent years, leading to a new industry term: quiet quitting. What does it mean? This phrase describes employees that still attend their job each day, yet only put in the bare minimum effort to complete their tasks.

While people taking it easy at work isn’t new, the changing priorities for everyday employees mean that management must remain acutely aware of quiet quitting happening within their workforce. Here, we explore the causes behind this phenomenon and what you can do to mitigate its impact.

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What leads to quiet quitting?

Keeping your team motivated is one of management’s most challenging tasks. With burnout, work depression and poor workplace conditions just a few factors behind quiet quitting, recognising the signs and knowing what to do next is critical.

1. Burnout

Burnout is when workers experience mental and physical exhaustion that prevents them from completing their job to the highest standard. Unfortunately, work burnout is highly prevalent in Singapore, with Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index study finding that 58% of employees experience symptoms.

So, what signs should you look out for? A noticeable reduction in workplace performance signals that an employee is struggling with burnout. Meanwhile, you might notice a previously perky worker seems detached from the company. For example, they might call in sick regularly or actively avoid workplace events.

2. Poor work-life balance

In the past, countless people regarded their careers as central to their existence. However, the once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has led many workers to reassess what matters to them, with plenty concluding they would like to spend more of their time on priorities aside from work.

It helps to realise that your workers are human beings with unique interests and goals. Rather than demanding that they spend long hours at the office, helping them achieve a balanced lifestyle is good for business. In fact, happy workers are 21% more productive than overworked employees.

3. Limited wage growth

If employees think they are not properly compensated for their work, many will quietly quit by simply accomplishing less and putting in fewer hours. The pandemic has put more financial pressure on people around the globe, and this has undoubtedly caused many workers to reconsider their professional options.

Instead of placing harsher demands on your team, consider whether you can incentivise their performance with a pay bump or even just better working conditions. By showing your employees that you appreciate their effort, many will become more engaged with their work and help the business achieve its goals.

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How can management combat quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting might be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean your organisation is helpless. By executing positive changes that provide your team with better conditions, you can help them avoid feeling overwhelmed at work.

1. Open communication channels

Communication is crucial to reducing workplace unhappiness. If employees are unmotivated to complete their role, having open communication channels means they feel comfortable discussing their issues with management instead of going down the quiet quitting route.

By fostering a culture of honest discussion, you can learn about the issues your team faces individually and as a group. With this information, you can make specific accommodations that improve their work-life balance and deliver a higher level of productivity.

2. Stop the hustle mindset

Over the last decade, many businesses and their leaders have adopted the hustle mentality that expects everyone to work as hard as possible. Yet with fewer employees buying into this mindset following the pandemic, don’t be surprised to learn your team has quietly quit while you’re working day and night.

While a hustle mentality might have gotten results in the past, it’s also caused workers to experience severe burnout that harms them and your business. Encourage a different, more positive philosophy that values your workers and their personal time to ensure everyone achieves success together.

3. Create new opportunities

Most employees want to feel like they’re making progress, not standing still. Even if someone finds their job rewarding initially, after a few months or years of completing the same tasks, they might decide it’s time for a challenge.

This means you must constantly offer new opportunities for your workforce. Whether that’s growing someone’s role alongside their wage or handing out new job titles with different responsibilities, this approach is critical to keeping your team from quiet quitting.

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