Quiet quitting is synonymous with low engagement. If you want to boost retention, you’ll want to follow this checklist.
Here's what you need to know about increasing engagement and combatting quiet quitting with this People operations checklist:
- You want your employees to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
- The phrase has spawned another term: quiet firing.
- Whether you call it quiet quitting or low engagement, the fact remains that it's essential that HR and People Operations Groups create an employee-centric experience.
Are employees quitting quietly? What does quiet quitting entail—and is it even real?
Small business owners and HR managers have many questions about this new term. Employee turnover is still high, and the pressure to improve productivity is even higher. It’s a good question.
But before we get into how small businesses can reduce the effects of quiet quitting, we need to better define the term.
What is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting has been making the rounds as a buzzword for the last few months. This practice describes employees doing the bare minimum of the job description.
The term, coined by Zaid Khan on TikTok, has run amok after the Great Resignation.
Employers feel frustrated and that employees should go “over and above” their requirements—or at least be engaged.
On the other hand, employees often consider quiet quitting to be non-existent. They are doing what they are paid to do. So what more can an employer ask for?
In fact, the phrase has spawned another term: quiet firing. This describes an employer who offers no support or actively makes the job challenging in hopes that the employee will quit— which, by the way, is illegal.
But, based on social media posts, it’s clear that there’s tension in the air when it comes to employee-employer relations. The controversy over quiet quitting highlights the importance of:
- Defining job roles
- Promoting engagement
- Encouraging employee well-being in the workplace
And when we look at quiet quitting in detail, it becomes apparent that it’s synonymous with a lack of engagement.
Why engagement matters for combatting quiet quitting
Quiet quitting may or may not be a ‘thing,’ but workplace enthusiasm matters. Ultimately, you want your employees to enjoy their work environment and who they work with.
An employee’s feeling of internal motivation at the office is often referred to as employee engagement, which is affected by several factors. Regularly maintaining a high percentage of engaged employees is no easy feat.
The cold and honest truth is that engagement is complicated.
Only about 35% of the total U.S. workforce is engaged. At the same time, Gallup discovered that there are several benefits to keeping employees happy at work, including:
- 81% decrease in absenteeism
- 18% decrease in turnover for high-turnover organizations
- 64% decrease in safety accidents
- 10% increase in customer loyalty
- 23% increase in profitability
In other words, businesses not only save when investing in employee happiness, but they also earn more.
So what does it take to boost engagement? These are just a few drivers:
- Feeling safe at work
- Contributing to meaningful work
- Experiencing caring and considerate managers
- Receiving regular feedback
- Believing there are opportunities for career progression
- Having access to a better work-life balance
Thinking about an ideal work environment will move you in the right direction.
People operations checklist to increase engagement
Accomplishing all of these tasks can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a checklist to help you move forward.
Value and purpose
You want your employees to feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. To establish this, foster a positive company culture that considers company values and how they translate to meaningful or purposeful work.
Effective communication is a must when creating an inclusive company culture.
Some questions you can ask to accomplish this are:
- Do you recognize employees for exhibiting company values?
- Does the work you delegate to employees gives them a sense of purpose and align with company values?
- Do employees feel like they are part of a community?
- Are there company events or processes that instill values?
Effective communication is a must when creating an inclusive company culture. As part of that metamorphosis, you’ll want to get employee participation by providing easy-to-access information like what’s listed below.
Communicating employee value and purpose is essential, so we’ve created this checklist to guide you through the process:
- Ensure company values are listed in the employee handbook and all work materials.
- Provide employees with information about their objectives and the reasoning behind their work.
- Be sure employees have time to communicate and connect with their coworkers and company leadership.
- Schedule company-wide events that are optional but widely attended.
Employees want to grow. Workers in stagnant positions are more likely to leave or disengage from work. For that reason, it’s helpful to have a strong understanding of what your professional development roadmap looks like.
Some key questions to ask are:
- Does every employee have access to training materials?
- What does employee feedback say about training and development materials?
- Could some employees benefit from mentorship?
- Are there workshops or conferences your employees would benefit from?
- Do you promote from within the company?
- Does every employee have a career progression plan?
- Do managers and supervisors provide additional training?
Implement this information by using this development checklist:
- Ensure there are regular check-ins for professional development goals.
- Create a professional development roadmap for each employee.
- Provide employees opportunities to network with colleagues across the organization.
- Communicate promotion opportunities for current employees.
- Develop optional training opportunities.
- Allow employees to be reimbursed for attending training or professional events.
Employee recognition and feedback are one of the most straightforward elements to implement. But it must be consistent. Ask yourself the following questions to determine how often employees are given the attention they need to grow and feel valued:
- How often are employees recognized for good work?
- Does staff receive constructive feedback?
- Do employees have responsibility and agency over their decisions?
- Are employees recognized in front of their peers?
- Is there a reward system in place?
This recognition communication checklist will assist you in implementing your program:
- We have an employee of the month program.
- We recognize workplace and outside achievements.
- Employees are given additional responsibility as they progress.
- There is a reward system for meeting goals and objectives.
- Employees are encouraged to provide positive feedback to each other.
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While compensation and benefits aren’t everything, they can be a motivational force for team members to do well in their roles. Ensure that you’re keeping up with employee needs by regularly reevaluating your benefits package and compensation.
Some valuable questions to ask are:
- Is there a budget for salary increases or bonuses?
- Do benefits meet employees’ needs?
- Are flexible or remote work benefits an option?
- Can employees mix and match their benefit choices?
- Are there cost-effective perks that employees are requesting?
Communicating the benefits you offer is critical. Our checklist will help:
- Benefits packages are reevaluated on an annual basis.
- We budget bonuses or reward perks for those who have proven their diligence.
- Our company offers flexible and work-from-home benefits.
- This organization offers flexible PTO and unpaid time off days.
- We include detail of our company benefits in onboarding documents and annual reminders.
Another critical aspect is consistent communication. Honest and transparent communication with employees builds loyalty and trust, thus improving productivity. Some questions to ask yourself about your messaging habits are:
- Are you open and honest about reasons for change to your employees?
- How often do you give and receive employee feedback?
- How often do you act on that feedback?
- Do you have regular 1-on-1 meetings with employees?
As you prepare various employee communication strategies, this checklist will provide you with assistance:
- We have monthly and weekly check-ins with employees.
- There is an open feedback loop encouraging staff input.
- We have quarterly employee engagement surveys to provide additional insights.
- We explain every change we implement related to employees’ suggestions or insights.
When employees trust their employer, they are likelier to stick around and be enthusiastic about their job.
Finally, there are foundational elements to consider about where the employee works. You want your staff to feel safe—that the company has their back and will follow described procedures.
Routine questions to review in this aspect are:
- Do employees feel safe from discrimination and harassment?
- Are proper safety risks accounted for?
- Do employees know what to do in case of an emergency?
- Do employees feel secure in their jobs?
Environmental effectiveness communication checklist:
- We have strict anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in place.
- Our company has procedures to investigate and enforce all employment policies.
- We regularly conduct check-ups and audits for safety equipment and processes.
- This organization ensures that all work areas are clean.
- We are clear about our policies regarding termination, layoffs, and restructuring efforts.
Working toward better engagement may seem intimidating when evaluating the entire process. That said, breaking it into various strategies makes the process much more approachable.
Forget quiet quitting and build retention
Whether you call it quiet quitting or low engagement, the fact remains that it’s essential that HR and People Operations Groups create an employee-centric experience. Fostering a secure and balanced work environment will work wonders to build team member trust and boost morale.
When employees trust their employer, they are likelier to stick around and be enthusiastic about their job. Study after study has shown that organizations that go beyond the bare bones of HR to consider employee needs, staff development, and benefits offerings improve employee engagement too.
For strategies and tips on improving engagement and retention without breaking the budget, check out our complimentary guides and checklists: