Quiet Quitting – What can be done about it?

quiet quitting

Last week I wrote about quiet quitting.  It raised a few eyebrows and comments from some people exclaiming they have never heard of it before.  However, now that we’re familiar with the topic, the question is, what are we going to do about it?

If this new phenomenon is indeed a response to a “hustle culture” or “employee burnout”, then a starting point to reducing or eliminating the risk it poses must surely be to investigate the cause. 

Hierarchy of Controls

hierarchy of controls

Can it be as simple as applying the rules in the hierarchy of controls regarding risk prevention to minimise the hazard?

Elimination

Looking back over the last two years, it appears there are a host of contributing factors to employee burnout across all sectors.  It would be a near impossibility to eliminate all risks of burnout because it is influenced by many different areas of our lives – additionally, each of us will react differently with varying degrees of resilience. 

There is no graph to depict with certainty how long it will take for a person to disengage from work.  It may be difficult for a person to consciously pinpoint the time they started to disengage, until they are well and truly down that path and at risk of burnout and quietly quitting.

How Employees can Re Engage with their Work Life

So, with our precious energies, let us explore avenues to help your employees and colleagues positively re-engage with their work lives.  

Substitution and Control

Since workplaces have begun reopening post-covid lockdowns, organisations are paying even more attention than ever before to employee health, safety and wellbeing.  They are looking to substitute old ways of working through one-way communication channels, with encouraging employee contributions and continuous communication loops. 

By changing work practices and introducing policies and guidelines, workplaces are trying to ensure workplaces are healthy places to be with proper control mechanisms. 

It is time to remove the virtual mask that veils an indifference or inability to work and nip this quiet quitting as soon as possible.  It is time for us all to be more intentional with our self-care.

Minding our own wellbeing puts us in control of our lives.

The HSE is driving the idea of self-care, as is the WHO (World Health Organisation). Both organisations have lots of resources, the links to which I have included here for you to share with your employees.

World Health Organisation

What I like most about the WHO web page is that it provides lots of infographics with  information on how to live well in the different life phases, examples can be seen below.

who advice keeping well on adulthhoodwho advice talking to others

The WHO recommends taking control of your own health, being responsible for it and speaking to a health care professional if you have any health concerns. 

This is easier said than done when a person might not be used to asking for help, might be dismissive of their condition or too embarrassed to ask for help. 

If the last few years of supporting people back to work has taught me anything, it is that people find it hard to ask for help. They hold tightly onto their fears.  Workplaces need to recognize that they can play an active role in changing this mindset by empowering people to ask for help when needed and that it is ok to ask for help.

My top tips for this week is to adopt the Green Ribbon Campaign theme for this year and communicate to your teams that there is no shame in mental health.

Encouraging People to Talk by Facilitating Talking Opportunities

  • ERG – Employee Resource Groups have sprung up in popularity in recent years and can be very effective in addressing challenges through empathic peer support groups.
  • Monthly Supervision Meetings – not to talk about performance, KPIs etc – but to give people a safe space to answer the question – “how are you – really?
  • Talk about psychological safety in your workplace – explain what it is and why it is important.
  • Empower employees to ask for help by promoting a culture of openness. 
  •  Always include mental health on the agenda of team meetings

Here’s a series of important questions…

What does your workplace do to empower employees to talk openly? To feel safe about raising concerns? To share information about a disability? To plan for a return to work after a prolonged absence? To ask for help?

In conversations I am having with employers, I am hearing that people are quitting.  HR Departments, Team Leads and Management Teams all want to help – they just do not always know how. They feel helpless themselves.  Are they too at risk of burnout?

If you found this article interesting – don’t hesitate to share it with colleagues and your network. Let’s create some talking opportunities – you never know, you may learn something new, understand better, gain different perspectives or see your colleagues in a whole new light.

I am always interested to hear your thoughts, please do email me at [email protected].

Thank you for reading or sharing!