Quiet-Quitting Hype or Actual Business Issue?

Human Resource Management System

All hiring starts with retention. I recently heard the term quiet-quitting used to describe when employees were not outright quitting their job, but they were quitting the idea of going above and beyond. They still performed their duties, but were no longer participating in the hustle culture mentality that work has to be their life. In other words, the reality that a person’s worth is not defined by their labor.

To me, quiet-quitting is just an extension of “The Great Resignation”…or better yet, just a new buzz word for the old “do I work to live or live to work” question that has been around for years. The folks who derive great satisfaction from excelling at work have what researchers call a “career orientation.” Others see their jobs as just a means to put food on the table. That’s called “job orientation.” A third group made of clergy people, artists, and similar professions see their jobs as a “calling.”

Quiet-quitting sounds like a simple shift from a career to a job orientation. An employee viewing their job as simply a job, isn’t a problem when everyone’s expectations are aligned. Issues arise when employers thought they were hiring an ambitious “go-getter” but instead hired an employee that was only in it for stability and a paycheck.

I recall a real “go-getter” when first hired that during her third year performance appraisal, we redirected work expectations to allow her to follow a more balanced work-personal lifestyle. We were able to redefine her job and future growth expectations…communication kept a valued employee and revised her future professional growth to fit the business needs and her personal life-style needs.

This reinforces the old question/quiet-quitting lesson for all employers and employees…recommit to self-knowledge, openness, and communication. This lesson also applies to the hiring process. If the employer is clear about which orientation is needed for a particular role (and the true scope of the job), and both employer and prospective hire are open about their preferences, quiet-quitting should be more hype than an actual business issue.

As an employer, learn to appreciate employee differences like communication style, flexibility and career-growth objectives in order to retain top talent. Managers need to make sure they understand each employee as an individual — what motivates them, what they’re passionate about, and how they’re feeling. Employers and employees need to see to it that their work experiences reflect their needs and desires through communication and expectation setting. Remember, small business provides two of the greatest social benefit outcomes: products/services wanted by the public and jobs that provide a paycheck for employees to fund their individual life-style needs.

For more thoughts on communication and expectations, view the free video entitled “Does Accountability Improve Motivation” or read “Improve Motivation Using Accountability & Expectations”.

Copyright ©John Trenary. All rights reserved.

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