When the calm is worse than the real thing

While most employers are aware of the challenges associated with resignations, the new trend – quiet quitting – has somewhat more subtle implications for organizations. Quiet quitters continue to do all their business as usual, but refuse to go any further and engage in what researchers refer to as citizenship behaviors. And to be sure, for jobs with responsibilities that can be fully defined in advance, this isn’t necessarily an issue. But many companies rely on a workforce that is willing to step up and take on additional tasks when necessary. Moreover, workers themselves benefit when they engage in citizenship behaviors, both in terms of their personal well-being and professional growth. As such, this trend has the potential to harm not only employers, but employees – and it is up to leaders to understand and address its root causes. In this article, the authors identify three research-backed strategies for managers and leaders: redefining workers’ core job tasks; Listen, then invest in employees; Replacing an unhealthy crowd culture with sustainable “citizenship crafting.”

While much has been written about major resignation, a new term has emerged to describe an increasingly popular alternative to resignation: “quiet resignation”. Driven by many of the same fundamental factors as actual resignations, quiet resignation refers to withdrawing from tasks beyond the duties assigned to the individual and/or becoming less psychologically invested in work. Quiet quitters continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities, but are less willing to engage in activities known as citizenship behaviors: no more staying up late, showing up early, or attending non-compulsory meetings.

At first glance, this may not seem like a problem. After all, these employees are inseparable from their primary tasks – they just refuse to transcend them. But for many companies, a workforce that wants to go beyond the call of duty is a critical competitive advantage. The truth is that most jobs cannot be fully specified in a formal job description or contract, so organizations rely on employees to come forward to meet additional requests as needed. As such, it is not surprising that many leaders reacted completely negatively to the trend of quiet take-off. In fact, many leaders we spoke with argued that losing employees who want to leave is difficult, but having them Not Quitting smoking is even worse, as their unwillingness to put in the extra effort often puts the burden on their colleagues to do the extra work instead.

Moreover, while going above and beyond can come at a cost to employees, in a healthy organization, these costs are usually balanced by benefits such as increased social capital, well-being, and career success. The quiet take-off trend suggests that employees are increasingly feeling this exchange has become unbalanced: employers demand extra effort from workers without investing enough in them in return. More importantly, as the economic outlook deteriorates and complete smoking cessation becomes less feasible for many people, this quiet alternative is likely to become increasingly popular.

The good news is that there are steps leaders can take to address the root causes of a quiet takeoff. Through both our work and literature review, we have identified three research-backed strategies for employers:

Redefine the main job functions

Some career creep — the gradual expansion of an employee’s core duties over time — is only natural. But after more than two years of fighting epidemic-fueled fires, during which more and more activities that were once considered “up and beyond” become expected parts of workers’ jobs, you may increasingly feel that the benefits of citizenship behavior are outweighed by the costs.

Thus, now would probably be a good moment for managers to reset the basic job responsibilities of employees to more accurately reflect what work is really necessary, and what should really qualify as additional. Managers can then focus on motivating workers to perform their most important job tasks at a high level while giving them space to take care of themselves outside of work.

Listen and invest

Next, companies need to listen to their workers and then invest in them. An extra effort is less likely to lead to citizenship fatigue when employees feel supported by their organizations, and effective support begins with an understanding of what people actually need. This means that leaders must not only take the time to connect with the employees themselves, but also encourage and motivate managers to keep up with how their employees are feeling — and make sure that managers are given the time and resources to do so effectively.

This is not just about showing empathy. Real listening requires employers to collect qualitative and quantitative data about what each employee needs to feel engaged at work. HR analytics tools can provide accurate insight into the factors that drive employee well-being and performance, and one-on-one conversations such as proactive “survival interviews” can provide key insights into the employee experience. In addition, leaders must prioritize creating an environment in which workers feel safe speaking, in which they believe the organization cares about them, and in which they can trust that leadership will hear and address their concerns.

After all, your workforce is not homogeneous: one employee may value career development opportunities, another may be more interested in having a flexible schedule, while others may simply want a higher pay. Only after consulting with employees will leaders be equipped to make targeted investments that meet the unique needs of employees, whether it’s an extended mission, shift in working hours, or a more transparent reward system.

Less hustle, more crafting

Finally, leaders can retain the positive aspects of citizenship behavior without exposing their teams to an unsustainable “hustle” culture. Rather than promoting a perpetual burn-in mindset, leaders should encourage employees to pursue what we call crafting citizenship.

In an unhealthy workplace culture, employees often feel compelled to go further in ways that are detrimental to their well-being, such as taking on extra projects that make them miss important family or social events. But if employees can prioritize citizenship behaviors that align with their own motivations and needs, these activities can be energizing rather than stressful. For example, some employees may be motivated to help others and thus may be motivated to take on additional tasks when there is a positive social component. Others may be more motivated by public recognition and thus may benefit more from focusing on highly visible citizenship activities within the organization. The job of managers is to listen to their employees, help them identify specific forms of citizenship that align with their intrinsic motivations, and encourage workers to focus on these tasks if and when they have the leeway to go beyond their primary job duties.

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While its disruption to organizational performance may be less obvious than that of a major resignation, a quiet withdrawal may actually be more damaging. To meet this challenge, leaders must focus on motivating employees to perform their primary tasks, listening to workers and addressing their unique needs, and creating cultures that invite workers to craft their own approaches to citizenship.

#calm #worse #real

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