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How to combat 'quiet quitting' in your workplace

Managers have seen more changes to their role over the past two years than they did during the last decade. Today their role has a dual purpose: to drive business growth and invest in their employees' experience.
Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President at Salesforce South Africa
Zuko Mdwaba, Area Vice President at Salesforce South Africa

A positive employee experience is not a nice to have, it’s essential. This is made all the more clear in the era of “quiet quitting”, a term coined to describe employee withdrawal and disengagement.

Engaged employees mean higher productivity, better retention and happy customers, which leads to better business outcomes. That’s a win for everyone. To achieve this, businesses need to understand who their people are, what they need, and how they can meet those needs.

All managers need to be connectors

Employees are craving connection after being apart throughout the pandemic, but they also want to retain flexibility in how they work. Managers therefore have a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between employee needs and employer policies - supporting employees in their personal as well as professional lives, paving the way for better work-life balance, and career growth.

The first step is recognising that employees have unique constraints. Every member of a team has a different home environment. Some have children. Some don’t. Some have private home offices. Some take meetings in a busy kitchen. Some may have greater responsibilities outside of work.

Forcing all employees to work in a certain way or be in the office at specific times can lead to employee disengagement and resentment. We need to move on from the “where” we work and focus on the how we can create exceptional employee experiences wherever we are.

By leading with flexibility and giving employees choice, we can deepen engagement, drive productivity and build a more inclusive workforce.

Managers should be recognised and listened to, as the main connection point to the company for many employees, and a critical retention and performance indicator.

Technology as an enabler of culture

We know that when technology is well-integrated with an organisation’s culture, employee engagement goes up and attrition goes down.

And whilst we can survive — and thrive — without an office, we cannot exist without the tech we rely on for work.

With the right collaborative tools we can make day-to-day work more efficient and more enjoyable. Accelerating connections across teams, regions and time zones, streamlining administrative tasks, curating and sharing documentation with time-saving automations are just some of the ways companies are unlocking productivity from anywhere.

This is why Slack introduced Slack canvas, a new surface where teams can create, organise, and share essential information.

Just like most customers say that the experiences they have with an organisation are as important as the products and services they provide, employees too, seek people-centric experiences.

Amid increasing digital skills gaps and ‘Great Resignation’ trends, for companies to continue evolving and improving their digital HQ, they must ensure they are investing in and attracting the right IT professionals.

To fill roles, IT leaders must look to broader, company-wide process improvements, through automation, that foster innovation, enhance user experiences, and drive efficient growth.

Employee experience is not a one time fix

Flexibility and collaboration are growing markers of driving engagement and retention. Yet the ‘quiet’ withdrawal trend shows that employee experience is not a one time fix.

Companies must continually listen and adapt to ensure they are meeting the needs of their people. By making the employee experience more simple and efficient, they can prevent disengagement and increase productivity, which directly benefits a company’s bottom line.

The sooner businesses recognise this and equip their managers with the skills and technology they need, the sooner they’ll reap the benefits.


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