1.Enough is enough!
Perhaps we are just on the cusp of over-exhaustion and burning out. In this new normal of working from home, work-life balance is diminishing for most. Meeting are scheduled at all hours, an act that has shifted from being occasionally to business as usual. In response, the ‘yes men’ (and women) of the past have now summoned the courage to say no to late hours. They are more focused on self-care and mental well-being. Hence, this may be a clear indication to those who govern corporations to start setting healthy boundaries.
2. Bad Bosses
It is time to shift the blame from the quiet quitters and reevaluate company leaders. A study done by the Harvard Business Review posited that ineffective managers are three to four times more likely to have quiet quitters in their midst. While this may be a tough pill to swallow, here’s the hard truth that most take for granted. If you want your employees to go that extra mile, inspire them to do it and at the same time, reward their sacrifices. Because let’s face it, is the tale of endlessly working for that promotion only to be let down at the end not as old as time? If your employees have started “acting their wage” as revenge against false promises, can one really blame them?
In short, many of the inhabitants of the world of work are now unsubscribing from going above and beyond for their employers. So then the question is, what can be done to address this?
For starters, get on the right side of this phenomenon. Promote, nay advocate for work-life balance in your organization! We’d advise a top-down approach where company leaders are educated on the importance of creating a culture where workers do not have to feel like they need to apologize for their personal lives. Set policies to minimize meetings after 6 pm, prevent uncompensated work on weekends and enforce consequences on rule breakers.
Next, rethink your management approach. If you have multiple direct reports who are deemed as quiet quitters, then a key point to reflect on is whether it is the fault of your workers… OR…. is it a shortcoming of your leadership abilities? If you can bring yourself to accept that it might be the latter, perhaps you can work on fostering better relationships with your team. We think that this starts with open communication. If there is an urgent need to work late, help your direct reports understand the criticality. When your team does work late, acknowledge their efforts and compensate when possible, even if it is just a cup of coffee. In our experience, a cup of coffee goes a long way!
Let me sign off with this final thought. It is worth remembering that while a company’s profitability, key performance indicators, and other growth targets are important, employees are not just tools at a manager’s disposal. They are human beings. And more often than not, if you give them your best, they will give you theirs.