Culture Jan, 2023

Resolving quiet quitting starts and ends with your company culture

By Michael Bowden | Share:

Can analysing your company culture provide the answer to quiet quitting?

When you think of recruitment trends, 2022 will go down as the year that started with the great resignation and ended with quiet quitting.

In the year that saw Matt Hancock receive more votes on I’m a Celebrity to eat bugs than Rishi Sunak did to become Prime Minister it seems unsurprising that quiet quitting, a term that started on Tiktok, has now been immortalised in the Collins English dictionary.

Feelings of dissatisfaction at work is certainly not a new phenomenon, nor is the damage they can inflict on both the employee and the business where they’re working.

It’s estimated that actively disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report. That’s equal to 11% of global GDP. Gallup also estimates that over 50% of the US workforce are quiet quitters.

So if more than half your workforce are doing the bare minimum of their workload, what’s the solution? Of course that’s the million dollar question but considering the root causes is undoubtedly one of the first steps to diagnosing and hopefully restoring your staffs’ motivation levels.

One suggestion for the main cause of quiet quitting mentioned in the same article by Gallup is that it’s down to broken brand promises, but what does this actually mean and how does it impact staff?

Quite simply it’s when our perception of a role doesn’t meet our lived experience. So for example, if a new starter has joined your organisation with the perception of being given flexibility and autonomy with managers who care about their wellbeing, if this doesn’t materialise it results in a disillusioned employee.

Making a great first impression of how amazing it is to work at your company to reel in staff is easy, but actually delivering on promises is often where the process breaks down. Therefore understanding how to create that perceived company culture that reflects your brand promises and make them a reality will help reinforce the expectations of your workforce.

Here are three questions you can ask to help identify if your organisation is delivering on their brand promises.

Do we deliver what we promise?

The factors that motivate staff to pursue and then enthusiastically execute a role are constantly changing.

Defining your existing company culture and its working ethos will enable you to then take a step back and think about how this is perceived and most importantly understand if the reality is an authentic match to how staff perceive it.

Are you tracking and measuring your culture?

While the idea of measuring something as abstract as culture might feel alien, understanding what factors motivate the people who work for your business is crucial. Where are your touch points for staff to communicate these to you and what is being done with the information?

If you have this you will then be able to understand what meaningful moments help to create the reality of your employees’ experience and what data-driven changes are required to increase employee commitment.

What work is required to change?

So you’ve diagnosed the issues that need to be resolved to ensure your company culture matches your brand promises, what happens now? The keys to successfully cultivating your company culture on a daily basis are your managers.

The influence a manager has on an employee and their ability to work to their strengths is extremely significant. Managers shape a person’s day-to-day experience of the workplace and therefore ensuring they are committed to helping build a compelling culture is the cornerstone to delivering on your brand promises.

It’s easy to brand quiet quitting as a negative term, but actually providing words for feelings that are often extremely hard for people to articulate should be encouraged. And if a movement, regardless of its origins, helps to kick start employers into listening to the staff and focusing on the authenticity of their company culture, this can surely only be a positive thing.

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