How Can You Counter The “Quiet Quitting” Employment Trend?

lazy employee on the phone with customer
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If you’ve read the news as of late, you may have heard a reference to the “quiet quitting” trend moving through waves of professional Gen Z and millennial workers. Put simply, “quiet quitting,” much like the term “acting your wage,” is a movement to do the least amount of work possible in the workplace to avoid getting fired. The logic goes that corporations could replace you in a second, so why waste too much of your energy, emotion, and productivity in a job to get ahead?

This is a clearly unfortunate approach to take, but not entirely without merit. With massive layoffs sweeping the tech sector and many hard roles offering salaries or wages that might not keep up with inflation (thus reducing purchasing power over time), it’s not hard to see why some feel unmotivated in their positions and do all they can to just hang on, as opposed to thrive.

Of course, this presents a problem for business owners. After all, without a productive workforce, it’s hard to compete. If you can’t compete, then those jobs might not be around for so long. You don’t have to be a tyrannical hyper-capitalist stereotype of a business owner to worry about such trends and how to subvert them. In this article, we’ll discuss how to naturally inspire your staff to work hard.

Implement Real Incentives for Working Hard

People are generally more motivated when there’s something worthwhile for them. It doesn’t have to revolve solely around money though. Bonuses and raises for outstanding performance are solid incentives, no doubt, as we’re all motivated by our earning potential perhaps more than most other considerations. But you could still get creative – offering extra paid vacation days or a more flexible schedule as a perk can be just as appealing. 

The key here is ensuring whatever incentive you provide is actually meaningful and achievable to your employees. An unattainable carrot does more harm than good and can seem like a gimmick if you’re not careful.

Recognize & Celebrate Achievements

A little recognition and celebration can go a long way in making staff feel truly valued, but it has to be consistent (though not a panacea for staff). It’s the little things that will mostly count – giving shoutouts to top performers in company communications, having an employee of the month wall, handing out awards like Crystal Trophies at the end of the year based on performance, and so on. 

It helps if there are prizes to win or commissions to be earned depending on your needs. Don’t underestimate a simple personalized thanks either, sometimes the top of the company appreciating us can be just as essential as anything else. Note that this is hardly the only method you should take, but it’s a good one.

Implement Training Opportunities for Further Development

Investing in your employees’ professional growth shows that if they work for you well, you will invest in them and make good on their skills. If staff feel like they come to work just to go through the motions with no forward path, they’ll act like it.

Instead, you might offer training programs, workshops, online courses – even tuition reimbursement if they want to upskill in their own direction depending on business needs. An employee who feels the company wants them to advance and develop will be much more motivated and loyal long-term. It also shows you see their potential and are committed to helping them realize it. Plus, it cultivates a more skilled, engaged workforce ready for future roles as you expand well.

Hire Internally & Curate A Cooperative Culture

So many firms constantly seeking outside hires but giving current staff first opportunity at new positions or promotions shows that if they work hard, they might be able to helm the department or earn more.

Knowing there are upward mobility opportunities internally is a major source of motivation – after all, it encourages people to stay driven and keep producing good work. It also helps retain knowledge rather than constantly rebuilding that baseline competency within your ranks. 

Moreover, if people like your company’s culture, and the people they work with, and feel assisted by those in their department, they’re unlikely to want to relax and not contribute at all.

When staff are in an environment where people feel they’re part of a team with shared goals, not just disposable labor, they act like it. That could mean letting all voices be heard. It certainly means ensuring mutual respect between colleagues.  

With this advice, you’re sure to counter that quiet-quitting employment trend for the better.

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