One of the biggest buzzwords on professional platforms like LinkedIn and social media sites like TikTok is “quiet quitting.” While some debate about what quiet quitting means, it does bring a major issue to the forefront: talent scarcity.
Teams across industries felt the pinch of the pandemic and now, are faced with continued talent droughts and productivity loss. And as deadlines hold firm and client expectations remain high, understanding the employment landscape is more important than ever.
1. Team Structure and Workload Management Matters
When was the last time you took a close look at your organizational chart? As technology has advanced, teams have gained more skills and expectations have risen. If you’re still working with a 20-year-old model, it could likely be leading to inefficiencies and burnout.
Employees admitting to “quiet quitting” may be setting up boundaries on what they will and won’t do on the job. If you’ve got a team of developers who regularly work 60-hour weeks for normal client deliverables, they’re likely burning out. While stretching for a major deadline is reasonable, demanding 50% more work is dangerous for both employees and work quality.
To ensure you’re setting your team up for success, review your team’s structure compared to your output needs. If you’re not allowing for the realities of workload limits and project delays, your structure may need work. Moreover, examine your project management protocol, its effectiveness, and improvement opportunities. Sometimes, poor workflow management can cloud satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty from even the most tenured and well-respected colleagues.
Don’t let disorganization and an antiquated structure drive dissatisfaction and lagging productivity. Instead, partner with one of the reputable engineering staffing agencies serving your area to staff an org chart that’s well-balanced. Their industry insight can provide valuable data and benchmarking to support a structure that’s best for your employees and deliverables.
2. Roles Without Training, Support, and Growth Potential are Silent Killers
Decades ago, it was commonplace for workers to land an entry-level job, work up the corporate ladder, and retire. Today, people stay with an organization for around four years, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means, your investment in onboarding and retaining talent is one with a short life span.
Over a 40-year career, this four-year marker means people change jobs 10 times in a lifetime. But why are people leaving roles so frequently? Such significant churn can be inspired by many things: pay, work conditions, and job satisfaction. And as leaders, it’s important to understand what you can control, and then use that knowledge to manage turnover.
Many times, what leads to job dissatisfaction and quiet quitting is a lack of training, support, and growth paths. Your team members should have a progression path that helps them grow within and out of their roles. Even if an employee’s personal goals don’t involve the c-suite, they do want to feel supported and nurtured.
Build out progression paths inclusive of the promotion track as well as job mastery to create a dynamic talent bench. Meet with employees to learn more about their goals, desires, and vision for their future. This process is time-consuming, but the qualitative data you’ll gather during candid conversations is invaluable. Use individual interviews to craft customized growth and learning paths that keep employees engaged and doing their best work.
3. Feedback from Current Employees Can Help Shape Recruiting Efforts
Candid, honest feedback from current employees is worth its weight in gold. Structure an ongoing employee engagement practice to gauge the current state of your organization. Unfortunately, a great deal of valuable feedback is often learned during an exit interview. Details offered about missed opportunities, toxic environments, and even simple fixes are left on the doorstep of an employee exit.
Sometimes, the departing employee felt unsure about sharing their dissatisfaction. Other times, the company never asked, so elevating issues seemed petty or even risky. Avoid this fate as you navigate the conversation about quiet quitting with your teams. Build an employee engagement loop that includes strategic annual benchmarking, pulse surveys, and quarterly manager-employee feedback sessions.
Using best practices from organizations like the Society for Human Resources Management, you can create an effective program. Beyond benefitting your employees’ experiences on the job, you can improve customer satisfaction. When your employees are happy, engaged, and encouraged to seek creative solutions, they do their best work. And when they’re delivering high-quality results, your clients will likely be more satisfied, and it’s all thanks to employee engagement.
When it’s time to hire new employees, whether due to an exit or organizational growth, you’ll start out right. Teams will be well-suited to onboarding new employees, job descriptions will be well-balanced, and you’ll be ready to listen. What’s more, your new employees will enter a work environment that’s ready to help them develop for years to come.
Support Employees Through the Entire Employment Life Cycle
You’ve done the work to strengthen your organizational structure, job plans, and trust within your team. Everything should be easy from here, right? If only that were true. In reality, employee engagement is a lifelong pursuit, requiring constant attention and nurturing.
Commit to measuring and acting on the information you gather through multiple channels. While some data will be outliers, trending topics can tip off leaders to rumbling issues and opportunities alike. Managing issues head-on can help diffuse potential engagement and productivity issues that can lead to talent loss and missed deliverables. Treat your leadership role as one of career stewardship, and you’ll be rewarded with engaged talent for years to come.