I was once part of a digital marketing agency Asia that was like a family full of high-performing teams. The people loved each other’s company and motivated their teams to work. They went above and beyond their assigned roles and out of their way to help each other meet deadlines.
If the client asked for one design, the team came up with three so the client could pick the best one. People were willing to work late into the night and even arrive early to work and get things done. The best part was how nobody worked just for themselves. It was all a matter of the team winning and landing better conversions.
But then one day, the team just lost sync with each other. The employees began to feel burnt out due to overwork and did the bare minimum each day. Some of them began to arrive late and leave early, taking longer lunch breaks. They stopped being open with the team and lost the motivation to work more than what was assigned to them.
This practice was new during my time, but today it goes by the name of quiet quitting. It is when employees simply completed the bare minimum tasks and did nothing more. They refused to work more than the basic level assigned to them and prioritized their work-life balance above everything else.
How did this trend come into being and how do we make it go away? How can we greet 2023 with a better culture in which employers can identify such issues early and combat them before it’s too late? In 2023, your business can move towards building effective teams. Here’s how–
1. Frequently check in with your staff members
Make your team feel valued and acknowledged by having personal talk sessions with them. Ask them how they are feeling and do they feel stressed in any way. Do they wish to rebalance any client or do they have any conflict with the team? Can you as a manager support them in any way?
This will help you stay in touch with your team and notice any early signs of quiet quitting. If the team seems detached and uninterested, you will know they are facing burnout. Give them some time off or rest periods so they can unwind. Let them know you appreciate them and their efforts — this is the best way to keep them going.
2. Permit breaks and frequent performance reviews
Appraisals and incentives are a great way to keep your team engaged. It works to permit breaks for your team to catch up with each other and unwind after a busy day. It will help them relax rather than have a sense of urgency to rush off somewhere at the back of their minds. It will also help others notice signs of quiet quitting and do their best to prevent it — hey, it’s not always on your shoulders!
“I was once part of a team that had strange incentives to retain employees. They were on an app called Strava to track their health and fitness. The team was added to a challenge for a year, and they had to maintain fitness and stay on top of the leaderboard. At the end of the year, people received rewards and it never even occurred to them to do make their way out slowly! People were motivated to stay at least till the end of the year,” said a perky young content creator from Asia.
Have frequent performance reviews to provide constructive feedback. It is almost like having an open-door policy with your business acumen skills. People can step in and approach you at any time to get their grievances sorted. It will avoid conflicts within the team that could make the office turn toxic if prolonged.
3. Encourage resting time and switch off periods
A lack of rest could lead to a reduction in trust and cooperation. Your team will lose their morale and motivation to work more than required. I knew an employee at work who would come up with thirty creative campaigns if twenty were required. The extra ideas would be split between the teams or enhanced during brainstorms.
This was possible because my colleague would take half an hour break for every hour she worked. She would sometimes even go to the sick room and take a nap if she had plans of staying back late at the office. It boosted morale and helped the team work in tandem with her good leadership skills and alertness.
Allow your team to take breaks and leaves whenever they wish to. Let them work during their moments of flow or whenever they feel productive. If they wish to work remotely or flexibly, permit them to do so only if that ensures tangible outputs. Quiet quitting often begins if the team is forced to follow a daily routine that doesn’t align with them.
4. Welcome side hustles (within limits)
Moonlighting is a recent trend that has received negative remarks from various global leaders and managers. It is when an employee works on a side hustle without the main company knowing about it. It could hinder your goal of building effective teams and nurturing employee relationships.
While this is not suitable for the company, permitting some degree of maintaining a side hustle could help your employees in many ways. It will help them pursue more tasks they are passionate about and expand their portfolios. It offers the chance to explore and level up their skills while still staying loyal to their full-time job. The best part is how they can perform better at their main job if they have the mental stimulation.
“My boss allowed us to freelance provided our side hustles were not the same as our full-time jobs. I was a graphic designer at my main job, so I picked book reviewing as a part-time role. I love reading and being able to monetize this talent gave me new opportunities for my career growth. Doing things I love energized me, and I could bring better energy to my full-time job,” said a graphic designer from Chennai.
5. Compensate your team and plan their career growth
Remunerate your team for the efforts they put in and ensure they feel acknowledged and appreciated. It will ensure they feel recognized and the thought of quietly quitting won’t even occur to them. If you are paying them well for achieving more, they will stay loyal and go out of their way to do their bit.
Adequate compensation ensures a positive culture and your employees will feel financially stable while working on things they love. This should be one of the main strategies for your 2023 goals, as money is a major cause of quiet quitting and even resignations.
Your employees are more likely to stay with you if you plan their career growth and help them progress. Invest in their development and chart out their plans and the potential directions they could take. If your employees are driven towards a mutual goal, they will perform better, and the high-performing teams will benefit the company.
Your team’s relationship with each other will stay strong and you can ensure they stay aligned with your goals. Give them opportunities to lead the team and interact with other departments. Engage them with good client collaborations and welcome their input at every instance.
Try speaking to a mentor or coach to learn more about how you can impact your team personally and professionally. It will help you provide better opportunities for your teams and prevent quiet quitting.
One major strategy to avoid quiet quitting in 2023 is to truly care about your employees and check in with them often. Make them feel valued and incentivize them with breaks and team activities. Engage them and listen to them when they approach you with any grievances or concerns.
Get a head start this new year by learning better leadership practices and business acumen skills. Speak to our coaches and direct your team on the right path!