Well with a new article or take coming along daily on the subject I figure I might as well weigh in.
Fluid Definition –
Depending on who you ask there are different definitions, Executives and Management Stakeholders see this as employees not going for the stick and carrot anymore. To be fair, the stick continued to stay out of reach, and after a while carrots go rotten, so there’s that.
From what I have seen Gen Z is taking the heat for the movement, but in actuality, I think it is just a change of view in how they want to work, make work life balance an actual thing, not just a buzzy phrase.
Just for fun, I do believe there are plenty of workers who are now a bit more bummed out. The secret of doing the bare minimum, task dodging, pro delegation, and the like, has been called out and now they might feel the microscope a bit.
My belief is that the truth is somewhere in the middle. I will say that most of the coworkers I have interacted with are the same as they were six months ago, same as six years ago, sure, there are those who give 1000% and want the promotion, there are those who play the bare minimum game and are professional job holders in their own right.
I think I would put myself into the boat of those who do what they can to make a difference while at work, then have a clean break when work hours are done. As you have seen from my past thoughts on keeping work equipment separate (Link), when to shut off for the day (link) and all I believe that work life balance is extremely important to overall well being and quality of work.
Quiet Quitting, COVID and Remote Work
It is hard to deny there is a certain employee renaissance going, many key players of the last decades are giving every ping pong table they can to get people back in office, and to my shock and awe (not really) it isn’t working? Cue shocked Pikachu meme template. Apple employees are sending back another petition for more flexible work. Google continues buying up more office space but is meanwhile still struggling to get their workers back in office even the 3 day minimum.
Other industries may be seeing some traction back in office but we know things will not be the same. Remote Work has shown so much positive for individuals, and the companies who embrace it. For Employees it is time back in the day, the most valuable currency. This does leave some employers wondering how many more air hockey tables could win people over.
Jokes aside it is definitely not all employers. Our list of Best Remote companies to work you will find there are plenty out there who dove all in, they listened to their teams and found out how to work the Remote Life into their business.
Some Fun For My Executive Friends
This next part is in good fun, but if you find that maybe it hits hard, it could be a chance to see if it might be applicable to the Company Culture or Team Culture. It is no secret there are companies who are getting scared, upset, and confused over the Quiet Quitting movement. The question is why?
Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. Listen to the employees. If you are terrified that your teams are no longer motivated, or they are not giving the 80 hour weeks anymore, it is probably time to look internally. Is the company survey showing they want Remote? They want more fair pay? Better Benefits or PTO? If all answers return to those topics, there is the answer.
I have worked for leaders that inspire, they listen they bring out the best in their teams, they do this through listening, being genuine and truly wanting to provide a great experience for their teams. I have worked for others that are very set on their promotion path (stick and carrot again) but it leads them to only be out for themselves. I encourage you to see that a team set up for success can bring in the results you seek along with that story for a promotion.
Also, as I mentioned the employees who are subscribing to the extreme definition of Quiet Quitting where they work as little as possible to get by. They have been for a lot longer than the last few months or last couple years. Managers, be careful not to confuse your top performers or your consistently dedicated workers for slacking out of insecurity.
I have been lucky to have had incredible, life changing bosses (just in case they are reading this). But really, I have crossed paths with leaders who challenge me to be better, but not by forcing me to work extra hours, they helped me improve in ways that impacted my normal working window. They encouraged me and set real paths to help me move forward with my career, the biggest differentiator being, they didn’t care what company I went to. They hoped I would stay within the organization, but I was encouraged to look outside if I felt I needed to. That is confidence, that is leadership, that is employee first.
I consider myself a high performer. I put in the effort to make an impact, I make certain that I exceed the requirements of a job to build a story for either a promotion or an external role. On the flip side, outside of work hours, it is very tough to get a hold of me. I give my work their time, and I believe that my family is deserving of that and much more. My family and friends will be there to celebrate, face struggles and be there to face every other aspect of day to day life. I understand that my work helps me pay my bills, but it is up to me to set up a path for freedom in that regard (separate topic for another day).
Anyway, the bottom line, leaders and companies who are nervous about the movement, listen to your employees, meet them a bit over halfway, a lot of these asks are not unreasonable. Be a company that helps inspire and cultivate a culture of excitement for your teams. Listen and be there for them in a real way.
To all those who have been avoiding work and truly only finding ways to do the minimum, I get it, but it could be a chance to take your passion and invest it elsewhere. I love comfort and security as much as the next person, but its also exciting to branch out. Or just keep doing what you are doing, enjoy!
To the great majority of those who make a difference at work and walk out that door when time is up, keep doing what you are doing. Being positive and helping your team accomplish the goals is great, don’t over analyze your value, or if you are doing enough to prove you are busy. Good leaders can see the intention and will appreciate you for it. Great leaders will tell you to make sure your family and friends are given the right share of your energy.
I am sure this will bring more thoughts but for the time being, if you are able, help the next person. And until next time, See You Around!