When I first read the term “Quiet Quitting” my first thought was, well isn’t his just having firm boundaries? And that’s Okay right?
Then I read in many publications that working to the rule of the contract could be seen as an employee not really engaging in their work efficiently, and that it could be detrimental to their future career prospects.
Having worked within the corporate world for many years, I can see this from both sides of the argument.
Having also suffered breakdown and burnout, I have a more rounded deeper inside view of the positive aspects of this developing trend.
But is the issue really that, systemically we are hard wired to have to work hard for longer hours; go above and beyond what is expected of us, in order to be held in a level of regard that we believe we deserve, and to be able to climb the so called career ladder?
There are a few things that I have learned to question about this.
Why do we all have to be “climbing a career ladder”?
It wasn’t until I was 47 years old that I realised that I had quite literally broken myself through work. I never questioned why I worked the way that I did. I never questioned why I wanted promotion. It was just the way it was. Work hard at school to get a good job, to pay for the mortgage, yada yada yada. Our standard societal hamster wheel.
As a Manager and Senior Exec within those corporate years, I too was guilty of feeling frustrated when people left their desks bang on 5 o’clock! Why? Because I wasn’t one of them and I too was indoctrinated into thinking that to do well you had to put in the hours.
Age, breakdown and burnout is a great teacher.
A Global Pandemic has also created the space for people to stop and consider their career and life choices.
Now I “get it”. Life is about so much more than work and money.
Maybe this isn’t just a new trend that emerging. Maybe it’s people starting to wake up to the fact that life is for living and that a work life balance is vital to living a long and healthy life. Maybe people are now learning this much earlier than their 47th year! Personally, I really hope that this is the start of a better way. I for one am teaching my children that there is another way.
Why is working within the boundaries of a contract of employment deemed to have an impact on productivity?
Surely if the workflow numbers have been calculated properly, assuming everyone does what it says on the tin within their contracted hours and they do it to the level that is contractually expected of them, surely that’s enough?
From a corporate standpoint, it feels as though the organisations feel that they are being short changed.
Personally, I really hope that this is the start of a better way
Maybe this Quiet Quitting trend is the catalyst for employers to start understanding their staffs needs and motivations better?
Maybe it’s time to make systemic changes that look at how productivity can be maximised within the working day by understanding employees’ holistic needs?
Gallup carried out a recent research survey on why Manager experience matters and how it affects each employee. The report found that “when companies understand what causes managers stress, and what motivates them, they can transform every employee’s experience within the company” ACCESS GALLUP PAPER
Rebecca Holt, clinical psychologist and co-founder and director of Working Mindset, says the key to preventing employees getting in to this Quiet Quitting mindset is to ensure that employee is engaged in their work and that work provides purpose and meaning for them .
“Employees need to feel part of a bigger picture, to have autonomy and control, and to feel psychologically safe – all the things that we know make a good day at work,” she says.
Holt emphasises the importance of employers making sure workloads are realistic, that there are appropriate boundaries and that looking after your mental health is made a priority.
As a Corporate Wellness Advocate and High Performance Executive Coach, I have seen a slight increase in organisations feeling the need to “tick a box” with regards staff wellness.
Feeling the need and delivering on it is a different kettle of fish.
Investing in what they may deem to be each own employees responsibility, is not in the budget. In my humble opinion this is a naive and blinkered approach.
Is “Quiet Quitting” a
Catalyst for positive change?
As we head into recession, I would argue that now is the exact right time for employers to put their arms around their staff and make sure that they are doing okay.
There may be stressful times ahead for everyone. Employers need their staff to be engaged now more than ever.
Forbes (2019) claims that the UK, stress, anxiety, and other work-related conditions cost the economy approximately £70billion annually.
Introducing wellness in the workplace initiatives positively contributes to the productivity and performance of employees and inspires them to become more engaged in support of their health by improving their life choices towards a more balanced life.
According to a Harvard Business Review, employee wellness programmes have a measurable return. They found that, on average, employers who invested in comprehensive wellness initiatives saw nearly a 3 to 1 return in money saved.
Surely this kind of proactive approach is a smarter and better way of increasing productivity; employee wellness and staff retention and reduces the need for the Quiet-Quitters to disappear from the payroll.
Sometimes you must slow down to speed up.
If you are ready to talk about how you want to invest in you and your employees please get in touch at www.spaceandfreedom.com. Claire and I would love to talk to you.