How to Avoid “Quiet Quitting”
Do you feel disconnected from your employees? Do you feel frustrated at their indifference or apathy? You can’t understand why some of your most promising hires appear to put in the minimum effort. You think back to your early 20s when you were building your career and think, “I would have never gotten away with this!”
Every generation thinks and acts differently than the one before it. Gen Z is no exception. But they are often misunderstood. What appears to be laziness is self-protection. While it may sound foreign to you, your younger employees will not follow the same grueling schedule you did to climb the corporate ladder. Gen Z values flexibility at work, time freedom, self-care, and relationships above corporate accolades and titles. They want to protect themselves from burnout and exhaustion and avoid spending all their time in the office. So, a new phenomenon known as “quiet quitting” is hitting the business world. Younger employees are choosing to do the bare minimum—exactly what they are paid to do and nothing more.
However, this does not mean the future of your company is doomed as your workers decide to, well, not work. It does mean that leaders must get creative in the way they manage their Gen Z employees. Making necessary adjustments will ensure that you foster a work environment that enhances your employees' job satisfaction. This in turn will motivate them to increase their effort and job performance. By implementing the following strategies, you will reduce “quiet quitting” and win your employees’ trust.
1. Provide Multiple Work Options
If you expect your employees to sit at a desk for twelve hours a day, six days a week, you will soon find yourself working alone. This new generation of workers prioritizes a flexible workplace when looking for a job. It may take some creativity, but try to find areas where you can offer job sharing, flexible work time, hybrid work (from home and the office), a compressed work week, or part-time employment. When you can offer multiple work options, you’ll increase the number of new-hire candidates.
2. Help People Prioritize
Many leaders today grew up in a work environment where a meeting with the boss was usually negative. You came into the office, kept your head down, asked very few questions, and got the work done. Today, younger employees are desperate for more interaction with their leaders. They want one-on-one meetings where they feel the freedom to ask questions, get feedback, and most importantly—get support. Meet regularly with your employees to help them sift through their schedules, assignments, and upcoming projects. Help them prioritize and set them up for success.
3. Give Clear Expectations
Gen Z employees are reported as saying that they easily become overwhelmed and discouraged with their work, afraid that they won’t complete it perfectly. Many share the mentality that, “If I won’t get this right, then I won’t try as hard.” Another way you can set your employees up for success is to provide clear expectations for what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and what a job well done looks like. When employees feel empowered and believe they will succeed, they’ll deliver. When you give a little extra time on the front end, you’ll reap the rewards.
4. Lead By Example
If Gen Z employees want to be certain there is no expectation for them to be available outside their work week. To protect their time, they will reject the unspoken notion that emails will be read—and given a response—during vacations or weekends. As the team lead or manager, you may say that you respect their time off, but deliver a different message when you email the team on a Sunday afternoon or call into the office while you’re on PTO. Instead, lead by example. You may even find that you enjoy your time away to recharge by turning off email notifications or putting your phone on “Do Not Disturb” while you’re away from the office.
5. Show Appreciation
Everyone needs validation–from the CEO to the remote, contract worker. Enhance your company’s work environment by expressing gratitude for your employees and colleagues. Let them know that you appreciate their work ethic, are pleased with an outcome, or enjoy their presence on the team. When employees feel valued, they are more inclined to work harder and remain loyal to the company.
At Trinity Training & Development, we want to help managers and team leads learn how to successfully communicate and motivate their employees–especially Gen Z. Contact us today to learn more about our leadership programs and training solutions that will establish a healthy, productive work environment.