What Tech Companies Need To Know About Quiet Quitting
Picture this: your employee is on vacation. Before taking their time off, they submitted all the tasks assigned. But, the manager reviewed their work after they left and drops them messages after messages. Two cases would happen:
- Case 1: Employee checks the messages and edits their work while on vacation.
- Case 2: Employee turns off their notifications, enjoys their vacation, and checks the messages after returning.
When employees choose the latter approach, they quiet quit their work.
However, numerous misconceptions are floating about the term.
Let’s understand what exactly quiet quitting is and what you as a tech company need to know about it.
What is quiet quitting?
Employers’ and recruiters’ perspectives on quiet quitting: employees quitting their job or being lazy. It’s neither.
When employees quiet quit their job, they do exactly what their job description says. They don’t choose to overwork, cling on to after-work calls, and shut their emails once they head home.
In other words, quiet quitting is all about maintaining healthy boundaries and creating a work-life balance.
What does quiet quitting look like in practice?
Because quiet quitting focuses on creating a healthy work-life balance, employees practicing it usually:
- Say no to projects that do not come under your job description
- Leave work on time
- Don’t check their emails and slack messages after work hours
Quiet quitting in tech: Why does it happen?
- Higher expectations: Imagine a manager overworking, staying late (even on weekends), and working while employees enjoy their weekends off. Because they are driven toward their job, they expect their team members to have a similar approach.
- But here’s the thing: not every employee has similar career aspirations and not all of them want to work day in and out—especially Gen Z.
- Unable to take full advantage of health and wellness benefits: Half of the employees fail to utilize the health and wellness benefits companies provide. They may go on once-a-year vacation but it (still) leaves room for burnout.
- Poor management: According to Gallup, quiet quitting is a consequence of poor management. Managers fail to show leadership skills their team needs where empathy and compassion count first. That’s why, when employees overwork, managers fail to recognize their efforts—leading to disengaged employees.
Also, read: 7 Ways To Reduce Burnout In Your Tech Teams
How can tech companies respond to quiet quitting?
Tech companies have been changing their approach to creating a healthy work environment for their employees ever since the companies transitioned to on-premises. Why?
Working remotely helped employees create healthy boundaries that have been disturbed after their return to the office.
For those interested, here’s an insightful thread on what quiet quitting means for people working in different sectors.
For some people work is just a job. You do it, you leave it, you live your life. For other people work is craft and mastery—it’s a large part of your identity and a big source of fulfillment. Both are totally fine.
A thread on quiet quitting, which is becoming a thing:
— Brad Stulberg (@BStulberg) August 28, 2022
So what can you do to make sure your employees are engaged and minimize quiet quitting?
#1 Transition to a 4-day work week
Companies have already started transitioning to a 4-days work week model. Employees in these organizations work for four days and have the remaining days off. This gives them ample time to rejuvenate. Does this mean they‘ll need to work extra hours on the 4 working days? Not at all.
A great example: MyCheckins, a Bangalore-based SaaS company functions Monday to Thursday for 32 hours.
#2 Switching teams internally
Are the employees disinterested in working with your team? Instead of pushing them to give quality output, get them to work with another tech team in your department for a few days. If they feel engaged working with the other team, help them make the switch to the other team.
#3 Run employee pulse surveys
Running regular employee pulse surveys is a great way to keep a tab on what’s happening on the ground level. By reviewing the survey, you can find the loopholes and work on improving the reasons for disengagement.
#4 Recognize them for their efforts
Many times, employees work hard only to feel unappreciated. When they put in extra effort, they expect two things from their managers—to be appreciated or rewarded with a pay rise.
When neither happens, they pull themselves off from the overwork they had been doing. To tackle these situations, managers must learn to appreciate their team members more and reward them whenever relevant.
For example, when a team member does incredible work on a project, send them a thank you note or celebrate their efforts in front of fellow team members.
Become a healthy employee-first company
As a company, HackerEarth has a healthy employee-first perspective on things. If employees are indulging in producing lesser output than what their job says (instead of creating healthy boundaries!), relook into the few ways we shared above to create a meaningful and healthy work environment.
On our latest episode of This Is Recruiting, we spoke at great length with Crystal Lay, CEO of GBS Worldwide about what talent teams can learn from the Quiet Quitting trend to improve employer branding and workplace culture. Watch the full episode here!
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