As ongoing economic difficulties driven by rising energy costs, inflation and the cost of living crisis mean organisations are less able to invest in recruitment, many business leaders will instead be looking to maximise the potential of their existing workforce. However, the quiet quitting trend hasn’t gone away, and so while business leaders are contending with increased running costs, they’re also relying on employees who may have mentally checked out of their roles to drive results for the organisation.
With a recession looming, job security is increasingly becoming a top priority for many employees, and 81% of UK workers are planning to ride out the recession with their current employer, despite nearly half admitting that they’d like to change jobs. But perhaps even more concerning is that 30% also said they would be more likely to ‘quietly quit’ their job during a recession, remaining in their role but putting in minimal effort.
Normally, employees demonstrating loyalty to their organisation would be a good thing. However, with so many individuals willing to do the bare minimum simply to stay employed, business leaders are unlikely to see the productivity and performance levels needed to ensure organisational success in these challenging times.
So, what can be done to ensure employees stop quiet quitting, and that those who may have already ventured into that mindset feel encouraged to break out of it?
Coaching as a tool for engagement
Many individuals who have made the decision to quietly quit have likely done so because they’ve become dissatisfied or disengaged with their job. And this could be for any number of reasons, from a poorly managed workplace culture, to unnecessarily cumbersome tasks impacting their enjoyment of work, or even a lack of career progression opportunities leaving employees feeling stagnated.
In fact, recent research has found that one in four UK employees feel like outsiders at work, despite wanting to feel a sense of belonging; while over 40% of employees have said their business is being slowed down by inefficient processes and that they’re spending too much of their time completing tasks that have nothing to do with their job.
Employee dissatisfaction usually occurs over an extended period time, when workplace issues and inefficiencies are left unaddressed, and hope that they’ll ever be fixed is lost. As a result, many quiet quitters may be unable to recall exactly why or when it was that they became disengaged with their work. And it’s here that the power of coaching shines through.
Our research has found that 89% of coachees say coaching improved their sense of job satisfaction, 67% cite enhanced job performance and 65% say it helped improve one or more of their professional skills.
Coaching support provides employees with a safe, confidential space where they can speak with a qualified professional about the intricacies of their working life. During these sessions, they’ll be actively encouraged to engage in self-reflection and identify the reasons behind any dissatisfaction at work – helping them understand why they have already, or are perhaps looking to quietly quit. Once this level of insight is reached, employees can then work with their coach to identify what it is they want from their work, and how they can reconnect with their career.
When employees understand their own individual wants and needs, they’re able to communicate more effectively with their line managers and the wider business. No two individuals will be looking for the same things in their working life; one employee might want more DEIB initiatives in place, while another is looking for career progression opportunities within the company. One demographic may value flexibility in their work above all else, while others are demanding greater ESG efforts from their employer. Managing the expectations of an entire workforce is a difficult and ever-evolving process – but it’s one that each organisation has to get right if they wish to retain talent.
And while nobody is expecting businesses to bend to their employees’ every whim, concessions will have to be made if leaders wish to build and maintain an engaged workforce, with the onus falling on both parties to do what they can to make the relationship work. Once business leaders acquire insight into what their people value most, they will need to ensure the right tools, processes and opportunities are put in place to meet these expectations and encourage engagement. Employees will then be expected to utilise and pursue these opportunities once they’re made available – providing live feedback to help any necessary tweaks to be made.
However, none of this would be possible without coaching reopening a line of communication between employee and employer. While many employees are falling silent and quietly quitting – coaching has the power to reengage and get these individuals talking again.