As Greg Rosalsky and Alina Selyukh so perfectly put it in a recent NPR article, “Quiet quitting…, is not really about quitting. It's more like a philosophy for doing the bare minimum at your job.” In this same article, they also rightfully suggest that ‘quiet quitting’ may be the wrong term for what we are seeing en masse right now. I agree. In fact, corporate coasting is a better term—though what we are seeing is not the same corporate coasting that has always been around forever, it’s more. Market uncertainty, coupled with drastic shifts in work-life balance, has left many more professionals feeling unmoored, confused, and anxious. Regardless of what we call it—how do we turn it around? To begin:Incentivize Goal-Setting
Goal setting should start before the hiring process begins by determining what success looks like across key milestones. This should be carried through the onboarding process and with specific check in points along the way. When members of the team don't know what is expected of them or what they are working towards, it is easy for them to become disengaged and lose motivation. A Fall 2022 Gallup Survey suggests the solution lies in managers dedicating 15-30 minutes each week to every one of their team members:
- “Only one in three managers are engaged at work. Senior leadership needs to reskill managers to win in the new hybrid environment.
- “Managers must learn how to have conversations to help employees reduce disengagement and burnout. Only managers are in a position to know employees as individuals—their life situation, strengths and goals.
- “Gallup finds the best requirement and habit to develop for successful managers is having one meaningful conversation per week with each team member—15-30 minutes.”
When team members feel their opinions and ideas are not being heard or valued, they often feel disconnected from the company and their work. To combat this, employers should create opportunities for team members:
- Encourage team members to initiate new and challenging projects, and offer resources to help them succeed.
- Offer training, mentoring, and stretch assignments. When team members feel that they are learning and growing, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated. A happy employee is a productive employee.
- Design for Passion. HBS Assistant Professor Jon Jachimowicz encourages leaders to “think more broadly about their organizational design… What processes and structures do you have in place to ensure your organization is cultivating passion in their workforce? How do you move beyond just hiring for passion, and actually creating an environment that keeps passion alive?“
Finally, it's important for leadership to create a positive work culture. When team members feel valued, appreciated, and respected, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in work. Appreciation can take many forms:
- Recognize and reward team members for contributions with awards (quarterly or annually).
- Foster open and transparent communication by rewarding team member feedback and hosting listening roundtables.
- Create opportunities for team members to connect and collaborate with offsite meetings that include social activities.
- Encourage personal advancements and clearly convey expectations using tools such as individual development plans (IDPs).
- Model work-life balance at the leadership level and accommodate it for the entire team with policies like no-meeting-Fridays.
Want help combating corporate coasting? Let us know, 360 can help.
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