Hot on the heels of the ‘great resignation’, a new buzz phrase is in town. ‘Quiet quitting’ might be new to you, but over half a million videos are dedicated to it on TikTok alone. While the phrase was previously unknown, the concept of quiet quitting is nothing new. In this article Mobas MD Adam Tuckwell argues why it’s simply the natural result of an imbalance between employers’ and employees’ expectations.
Quiet quitting is having a moment, especially among young people who, in many ways, have suffered the worst over the recent pandemic years. The notion of quiet quitting suggests a norm where people must perform extra, often undesirable tasks outside their job description and where not doing that additional work is considered a form of ‘quitting’ your job.
Forcing employees to do this extra unpaid work is wrong, but this shouldn’t be a new or controversial viewpoint. Working to rule has for decades been a tool used by workers to secure better remuneration, working conditions and rights. So, what can be done to combat it in this modern age if it isn’t new?
Put simply, quiet quitting, along with all other forms of quitting, is typically triggered by an imbalance of expectation and the value exchange between the employer and the employee. At Mobas we specialise in helping firms to establish their employee value proposition, a programme of work to define and create balance within a firm. Employers outline what needs to be done to help their firms grow and flourish while supporting and developing their teams.
An Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is a business’s offer to employees and why they should believe in the business, stay with us and join. Namely, it should answer the following:
Why do I work here?
Why do I stay?
What’s in it for me?
What’s expected of me?
Why should I care?
Firms struggling with quiet quitting could hugely benefit from an EVP that resonates with the whole team, which is why it’s so important that this comes from within the business. When developing an EVP, the process should involve people from across the business to avoid taking a top-down approach and resulting in an EVP which lacks authenticity. The EVP also needs to resonate with new and current employees, and so developing this also means understanding where the business is going and what makes it unique.
The EVP needs to be:
Credible – employees should believe and trust that the organisation can live up to it
Relevant – it needs to resonate with your organisation and market
Unique – it shouldn’t be generic, but should be specific to your organisation
Sustainable – it needs to be for the long term
Our Mobas approach doesn’t just take into account the aspects that are owned by HR – the benefits package, the ping-pong table, the beers on a Friday – but it also builds in the market drivers, the essence of the brand, as well as the employee and employer needs for both now and the future. All of this is brought together into the unique value promise that is made between employer and employee: the EVP.
Our advice to any firm feeling the impact of quiet quitting is not to write off those who are disengaged. Rather take the opportunity to engage, rethink your cultures and expectations, and design jobs to be more appealing by championing your firm and what makes it different. If you’d like any help, just ask.