Our People & Safety Services team has highlighted an area of growing concern for employers and something to be aware of during this challenging period for recruitment and retention in our sector.
What is ‘Quiet Quitting’ and is it linked to burnout?
The phrase “Quiet Quitting” has emerged in the last few years and describes employees who seem to have lost interest in their jobs and perform the bare minimum of their responsibilities. It can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as missed meetings, decreased productivity, failing to contribute to team tasks, and turning off email and message notifications during working hours.
Some argue that this idea is not new, but rather that it has become more prevalent since the pandemic, when people began to reevaluate their professional choices and place greater value on work-life balance. It has also been blamed as a reaction to burnout.
Burnout is the result of unrelenting stress placed on employees and the last few years have pushed many to their limits. In particular those working in the third sector may have been more affected due to the nature of the work. In fact research published last year by Third Sector cited that 9 out of 10 charity workers had felt stress, overwhelm or burnout in the previous year. It is more important than ever to address staff wellbeing and working conditions.
Before taking steps it is crucial to consider the potential causes of the issue. For instance, staff may be feeling undervalued at work; it could be they are suffering exhaustion, or that they want to find a better work-life balance. As with any changes in staff behaviour, this can be addressed informally first, by approaching the employee in conversation to explore what might be going on.
How can we support staff?
Your organisation may be able to address burnout and prevent quiet quitting might by ensuring:
- Staff are engaged in their work, with clear goals
- Their work provides them with both purpose and meaning
- Workloads are realistic
- Regular support checks are put in place with line managers
- Mental health is made a priority for staff
The People and Safety Team are here to help and offer advice. For instance, they could carry out a staff engagement survey or focus group to help ascertain challenges and how to tackle them.
If you require any further support with your organisation including your HR, Health and Safety, Recruitment or Wellbeing, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org. and arrange to speak to a member of the team.