Employees today will disengage if they don’t feel valued.
by Joe Marconi: Quiet Quitting: New Phrase, Old Problem - Featured in Ratchet and Wrench Magazine
Some people go to work each day with great enthusiasm and believe they can change the world. But then, others anticipate each workday with feelings of despair. These employees do the bare minimum; just enough to keep their jobs and go unnoticed. They are called quiet quitters.
While quiet quitting may be the latest catchphrase, it's not a new workplace disorder. We've called them disgruntled, disengaged and even toxic in the past. But who's responsible for this behavior? Is it the employee? Or is there a deeper problem brewing in the workplace?
Work has Evolved
As a young technician in the mid-1970s, the shop owner was typically at the top of the pinnacle. It was common back then for a boss to run his company with the mindset, "my way or the highway." Was it wrong? Perhaps. Thinking back, I don't think we clearly understood or appreciated the role we played in the workplace or how we fit into the company's structure. We accepted things the way they were, unlike employees today. I also believe we felt we couldn't change how things were.
Employees Want Accountable Leaders
Lack of trust in leadership is another factor in quiet quitting. Shop owners and managers must communicate what their employees can expect from management and not only what management expects from them. Consistency in the message and following through on promises contribute to workplace morale. After all, if you can't trust the message, you will not trust the messenger.
Some people will excel in any work environment. However, they are the exception, not the rule. If you want a team of employees where everyone is pulling in the right direction, you should consider the needs and opinions of your employees.
If you are concerned that understanding your employee's point of view and acting on it is giving up control of your company, don't be. Earlier, I referred to shop owners from years back. Most of them had a good business but not a great business. The reason was that they were the business. Growth was difficult because it was dependent mainly on their abilities and talents. This one fact alone causes a business to plateau. However, when a business combines different points of view and strategies from the team, greater growth is possible.
Lastly, there will always be employees who won't be happy no matter what you do. If you are confident that you have done all you can to help a quiet quitter, the only hope at that point is for the employee to look within themselves, which may be difficult for most people. Instead, focus more on what you can do. Look within yourself to ensure you are doing everything possible to create an amazing employee experience. Your goal must be to create happy employees. We've all heard the expression, "happy employees create happy customers." Well, they create happy employers, too.
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