Addressing the Quiet Quitting Movement

by | 7 Oct 2022

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What is Quiet Quitting?

Thanks to Tik Tok, ‘quiet quitting’ has become quite the buzz term. But what is it? And what does it mean for businesses?

In essence, quiet quitting indicates that employees are no longer going above and beyond their role requirements. While they’re not necessarily quieting by the traditional definition, they are simply fulfilling the job description, no more and no less.

More and more, employees are saying “au revoir” to overtime, “adios” to overwhelming workloads and “auf wiedersehen” to unrealistic expectations from their employers as a way of claiming back their own time and prioritising their life outside of the workplace.

There is no denying that there is fierce debate over the practice of quiet quitting and whether or not it’s just ‘being lazy,’ but the issue of quiet quitting goes beyond the question of ‘slacking.’

Senior Editor from The Financial Brand, Jennifer Robison, suggests that “it’s hard to argue that people should do work they’re not paid for, and emotional engagement isn’t in anyone’s job description. But quiet quitters’ disengagement is a real risk to strategies, fintech, new product development and customer experience.”

For this reason, addressing potential disengagement within the office is critical to maintaining operational capability and a high level of service for all wealth management and financial service providers.

What is Driving Quiet Quitting?

The quiet quitting movement has gained momentum in recent months, with experts citing economic factors and burnout as key factors.

With many financial services and wealth management firms feeling the pressure of staff shortages, retention issues and pandemic stressors, some employees feel left by the wayside; overworked and underappreciated.

Jessica L. Bier, U.S. Human Capital Finance Transformation Leader at Deloitte explains “at the heart of this, people want to be seen and understood for the contributions they’re making. Sometimes, there are tasks at work that we just have to slog through,” she says.

“It makes a big difference when a CFO, another finance executive or a manager takes a moment to speak to the individual and say I really appreciate that you got this done; I know that it’s been very intense, but you persevered,” she says, adding that it makes the finance worker feel like more than just a number in a spreadsheet.

While it may seem like a new phenomenon, for some businesses, it is déjà vu; one might almost describe it as an industrial action reincarnated.

In much the same way as China’s ‘Lying Flat’ Movement, quiet quitters have shifted focus away from high performance and high outputs in an attempt to create a better work-life balance.

Quiet Firing vs Quiet Quitters

Businesses fed up with the quiet quitting trend are responding with their own remedy; ‘quiet firing.’

Managers are using this equally passive-aggressive tactic as a means to discourage quiet quitting by not rewarding an employee for their contributions to an organisation, providing little to no development or support, and offering no benefits or incentives, ultimately forcing them to leave their jobs.

But the reality is quiet firing is not a solution to quiet quitting. Instead, the culture within the workplace must be addressed.

How to Prevent Quiet Quitting

At the end of the day, your employees’ work determines whether or not your business is a success.

As recruiters, we emphasise the need for balance between employer expectations and employee performance; employees doing a good job – not just the bare minimum, and employers not placing unreasonable expectations or workloads on their people.

A study into Employee Engagement found that employees who are engaged contribute 57% more on-the-job effort and are 87% less likely to quit, highlighting that employees who feel valued are far more likely to put in the extra effort and stay loyal to the company.

To better prevent quiet quitting within your business, aim to:

  • Address the need for a healthy work-life balance for all employees
  • Offer reasonable remuneration packages in-line with the cost of living
  • Rethink and restructure workload and provide clarity on how work is meaningful
  • Provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities
  • Set targets or goals and recognise employees who go above and beyond
  • Build a strong and positive workplace culture that rewards hard work
  • Consider allowing more flexible working arrangements such as hybrid work or the ability to adapt hours.

At the Godfrey Group, we can help you find staff who are the right fit for your business. Give our specialist recruitment team today on 02 8004 9350.

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