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3 Ways to Prevent Quiet Quitting

No two words are more disappointing to hear as an employer than "I quit," but now, a new phrase has become a trend among workers—especially those in younger generations—which has proven to be just as concerning: “quiet quitting.” The concept of quiet quitting has taken social media by storm, with many workers proclaiming that they’re only motivated to do the bare minimum at work.

With “The Great Resignation” already adding stress to the workplace, employers must now also contend with quiet quitting, which according to Gallup, affects at least 50 percent of the workforce today. This reduction in productivity can have negative implications for companies’ bottom lines, as well as employee morale and the ability for organizations to maintain an employer brand that facilitates recruiting and retention.

But, fortunately, as an employer there are many things you can do to prevent quiet quitting. Most quiet quitting stems from workers being unhappy with some aspect of their job, so it’s most important to ensure that your workforce is satisfied in order to keep them engaged. Here are some ways you can help.

3 Ways to Prevent Quiet Quitting

1. Provide Workload Balance

At the heart of quiet quitting is the belief among employees that they’re not being compensated fairly for the amount of work they actually do. While there are good reasons to expect more from employees from time to time, if you're continuously working them beyond what was agreed to when they were hired, they will feel taken advantage of—and may take those feelings out on the company. 

In order to avoid this, it's best to make expectations crystal clear upfront so workers don't feel like they've been the victim of a hiring bait and switch. Also, it's not reasonable to expect employees to always take on additional duties without additional compensation, so while it's okay to ask more of them during extraordinary circumstances, this should not become standard practice. And when it is necessary, it's best to make it optional so employees aren’t punished if they choose not to do additional work for any reason.

If there comes a time when you do need to regularly give an employee extra work, then you should have an open conversation so employment terms can be renegotiated. By showing a willingness to be upfront about your expectations, and adjust compensation accordingly, you're less likely to make workers feel unappreciated enough to quietly quit.

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2. Prioritize Employee Wellness

Quiet quitting is often a response to stress and burnout, so organizations can help avoid this disengagement by making employee wellness a priority. One way to do this is to promote work-life balance so people aren't expected to regularly work overtime, answer calls and emails during evenings and weekends, and return to the office to deal with dubious emergencies that can actually wait until the next workday. Also, companies can promote good physical and mental health by providing access to exercise and meditation programs, meal subscription services, and tools like ergonomic chairs, treadmill desks, and white noise machines.  

3. Recognize Accomplishments

All employees want to feel appreciated for their hard work, and when they aren't, it increases the chances that they may quietly quit until they're in the position to actually quit. Recognizing employees for their accomplishments can go a long way toward not only increasing retention, but ensuring that they're always doing their best work.

Although you can have big celebrations for employees occasionally, showing appreciation does not have to be a huge production. Some small ways you can show appreciation include birthday celebrations, personalized swag, gift cards, and free meals. In addition, you can give workers the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently. By providing items like tablets, laptop stands, wireless keyboards, and noise-canceling headphones, you can help your employees do their best work, which will keep morale high. 

And of course, one of the most important ways to show appreciation won’t cost you a dime: Merely saying thank you and paying compliments for a job well done can help employees feel like they're getting the recognition they deserve on a regular basis.

Quiet quitting is more than just a fad; it's indicative of a larger problem that should be addressed. Understanding why employees may become disengaged is a good step toward meeting their needs and maintaining good morale. These tips can help you keep workers happy and engaged, so they don’t quit—quietly or otherwise.

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