Quiet Quitting: Ways CEOs Can Stop the Trend

Are you worried that some percentage of your workforce is checked out? You’ve probably heard of ‘quiet quitting’, but how can you be sure it isn’t happening in your organization? I view engaged employees as those who act like they own the place even when the boss is not around. Are your employees engaged or are some of them bumbling around waiting to be told what to do?

The concept of “Quiet Quitting” has gained momentum in recent times. This is a phenomenon where employees stay employed but have mentally and emotionally checked out. They are present physically, but not truly engaged and this results in a tremendous loss for the individual, the team, and ultimately, the organization. The question is, how can CEOs ensure that this isn’t happening in their organization?

Here are five strategic approaches that CEOs can adopt to stop the quiet quitting epidemic:

1. Foster a Culture of Openness and Transparency

Transparency leads to trust, and trust is the foundation of every successful relationship, including those between leaders and their employees. As a CEO, cultivate a culture where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns, ideas, and feedback. Not only will this make employees feel valued and heard, but it also provides leaders with invaluable insights into any underlying issues that may cause employees to disengage. If you haven’t already, consider skip-level meetings or visits to the shop floor. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Make it ‘safe’ for employees to raise issues and you’ll be rewarded for it.

2. Prioritize Employee Wellbeing

Workplace stress can lead to disengagement and, subsequently, quiet quitting. Prioritize your employees’ well-being by promoting a healthy work-life balance, implementing mental health programs, and providing avenues for professional growth and personal development. Remember, healthy employees are happier, more engaged, and more productive.

Pay attention to the hours people are working, even if they aren’t in the office. When are you receiving emails? Make sure employees have time for things outside of work that are important. If you’re getting emails at 9 pm because someone left to attend a child’s sporting event at 4, so much the better, but if you’re getting emails at midnight because someone couldn’t get to their email in a day full of meetings, watch out. Jobs should be designed to be completed in 8-10 hours…not 12-15 if you want people to stay engaged.

3. Embrace Flexible Working Conditions

With the evolution of technology, in many cases work is no longer a place but an activity that can happen anywhere. As a CEO, consider introducing more flexible working conditions such as remote working options or flexible hours. This can significantly improve job satisfaction, engagement, and reduce the chances of employees feeling overworked and underappreciated – key triggers for quiet quitting.

(This also helps create relationships that can lead to promotions down the road. Listen here as Jennifer explains:

4. Reinforce Purpose and Vision

Employees need to feel that their work matters. They want to be part of something bigger than themselves. As a CEO, constantly reinforce your organization’s purpose and vision. When employees understand how their roles contribute to the overall success of the company, they are more likely to feel motivated, engaged, and less likely to quiet quit. If you can get your organization to rally around a “cause” or a “why”, it will go a long way towards capitalizing on their extra discretionary effort when you need it.

5. Recognize and Reward Effort

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Recognition and rewards are powerful motivators and can significantly boost morale and productivity. As a CEO, make it a point to recognize your employees’ hard work. This can be as simple as a personal thank you note or as formal as an employee of the month program. The quiet quitting phenomenon is a challenging one, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. As leaders, fostering an organizational culture where employees feel valued, heard, and motivated goes a long way. By implementing these strategies, you can mitigate the likelihood of quiet quitting and create a more engaged, productive, and passionate workplace.

Keeping employees engaged is critical to your success. Stay focused, stay committed, and remember: leadership is not a destination but a journey….even at the top.

***Don’t forget to check out Jennifer’s recent article 5 Ways To Attract & Retain Employees without Ping Pong Tables as she explains how to retain employees in the workplace.

***If you want help building leadership strategies that work, call us. It’s what we do.