“Quiet quitting” is the newest buzzword in the business world. While this term evokes mental images of employees leaving their job without saying a word, the reality is much less terrifying. Quiet quitting is when employees stop going above and beyond at their workplace. Quiet quitting is a response to the idea of hustle culture, a form of workplace culture that can lead to severe burnout.
Unfortunately, for many small businesses, the idea of employees doing the bare minimum for their job is unsustainable and can cause stagnant business growth. However, there are plenty of things that you can do to prevent quiet quitting. Things like valuing your employees, clearly communicating work expectations, and offering advancement opportunities can all go a long way toward preventing the “quiet quitting” phenomenon.
Preventing Quiet Quitting at a Glance
- Avoid Employee Burnout
- Work Downtime into Schedules
- Set Clear Work Responsibilities
- Offer Opportunities for Advancement
- Show You Value Your Employees
- Create Reasonable Goals
Preventing Quiet Quitting at a Glance
One of the largest frustrations in the workplace is burnout. Employee burnout is one of the leading reasons why someone leaves their job. Employees burned out at work are likely to do the bare minimum to keep their job and avoid taking on new or complex projects. This lack of drive, in turn, can lead to business stagnation and can set your company back significantly.
Avoiding employee burnout in the workplace is an ongoing topic of research. One way to prevent quiet quitting due to burnout is to create an environment where your employees feel they can discuss workload concerns directly. By being able to communicate their concerns about how much work is expected of them, you allow your employees to manage their own schedule.
Work Downtime into Schedules
Another way to avoid quiet quitting is to create work schedules that have downtime built into the timelines. While it can be tempting to try and optimize every second of your time, allowing yourself and your employees time to rest between projects is crucial. This downtime will enable you to refuel your creativity and can help stave off burnout.
Scheduling your work expectations in one place can give you a good idea of when you need a break. Then, approach each project to avoid crunch time, and you’ll be well on your way toward preventing quiet quitting. Of course, this isn’t to say you’ll never have a tight turnaround deadline again, but scheduling in advance and giving your employees time to breathe between major projects can help stave off burnout and prevent quiet quitting altogether.
Set Clear Work Responsibilities
One frustrating aspect of quiet quitting is employees refusing to go beyond their job descriptions. While it is not reasonable to expect your employees to work in positions they were not hired for (at least without proper compensation), motivating your employees to help other departments as part of their base job can be as easy as making their job requirements clear. In addition, be open to employee feedback about their workload.
Remember, while it may be tempting to have your employees take on multiple roles for efficiency, the more time they spend on other positions, the less time they can spend on their original tasks. While it is tempting to hire a team of “Jack of all trades,” not being able to focus on one task or one job can muddy the production line at your business. Also, dividing attention between several tasks can lead to missed deadlines and mistakes. Be transparent with your employees about their job expectations, and listen when they tell you they are stretched thin on other projects.
Offer Opportunities for Advancement
Employees who feel trapped in the same dead-end position are more likely to quit. This is understandable, as if they think their hard work will not pay off, why would they continue to focus on their work? By giving your employees opportunities to advance in the company, you allow them to take control of their work experience and feel valued by their employer. This advancement can come from something other than upward mobility.
Allowing time for personal development training and educational seminars can also inspire employees to go above and beyond. In general, the more you encourage personal career growth from your employees, the more invested in their job they are. Plus, employees that continue to grow and learn in their position bring said skills to the business, leading to long-term benefits for your company.
Show You Value Your Employees
While it is easy to say you value your employees, showing this is another story. Providing the proper tools for the job is one way to show your employees you matter to them. Another way to show your employees they benefit the company is to ensure their workspace is outfitted with everything they need to do their job. Good office furniture like Aeron chairs and standing desks can go a long way in showing your employees that you value them.
Another way to value your employees is to ask for their input on projects. Not only does this show you trust your employees and their information, but it can also lead the way to new and innovative solutions to problems. In addition, allowing employees to contribute to the business gives them a chance to regain their passion, preventing quiet quitting down the line.
Create Reasonable Goals
Setting reasonable turnaround dates for projects can help avoid quiet quitting. Being upfront about project deadlines, and expecting reasonable results from your employees can help them avoid burnout altogether. Scheduling your business around added work time can benefit your entire company in the long run. Of course, these goals also apply to personal development. While you may be tempted to push your employees to excel daily at their job, giving 100% daily can lead to burnout and frustration. Instead, be aware that everyone needs time to recharge, and award hard-working employees with lower-stress projects and time to themselves.
If you’re interested in finding new ways to schedule your life or would like to organize your business so that your employees feel in control of their schedule, check out our products. We offer ways to manage your workflow easily, so you can spend less time stressing over projects and more time working on what you love.
America’s SBDC works with local small business development centers to provide business advice, employee communications hacks, and more to businesses that are just starting or looking to expand. There are many articles that cover a wide range of topics to give you insight into best work practices for small businesses and ways to get the most out of your investments in employee productivity. If you’re interested in learning more, find an SBDC near you to help you get your small business started right.
Small businesses are under cyber and data-breach attacks. This has grown even more true in the last few months given the current climate. Cyber attacks happen every day, and for a small business, they can be very costly and cripple business operations. To help provide small businesses with the education and resources to protect themselves, America’s SBDC has developed a national cybersecurity program called North Star. To learn more about America’s SBDC cybersecurity resources and the North Star program visit https://americassbdc.org/cybersecurity/