A new Gallup poll shows workers around the world are becoming more stressed and disengaged in their work, and as a result more are starting to actively rebel against their bosses. The survey found 59 percent of workers might be considered “quiet-quitters” (doing the minimum to get by), while another 18 percent are now considered “loud-quitters” (actively stating objections to their work environment while still employed).
This growing group of loud quitters are not only disengaged but also dissatisfied with their employment; and engagement and satisfaction create unique outcomes in workers. Employee engagement is correlated with higher levels of performance and customer satisfaction, while employee satisfaction is correlated to higher levels of retention and dedication.
Loud quitters are not only a threat to leave, but if they do stay they can sabotage the quality of work performed in a team and undermine faith in leadership. They also may be a cancer in the breakroom—spreading dissatisfaction to other employees.
And according to Gallup, loud quitters now make up one in every five employees. The question for managers is how to deal with the issue.
Listen To Squeaky Wheels
Before attempting to purge yourself of so-called malcontents, it can be beneficial to take some time to listen to their concerns. Sometimes the squeaky wheels are making good points. Your people might be getting overly stressed and burned out. If so, you can attempt to address overload. If your people are affected by rising inflation and no longer able to meet financial demands, addressing compensation issues may be moved to the forefront. Only by asking with an open mind can a leader discover the root causes behind discontent.
It would be hard to overstate how important meaningful work is to us humans. People who have found deeper meaning in their careers find their days much more energizing and count their employment as one of their greatest sources of joy. Managers can make a big difference in this process. By taking just a few minutes a month to meet with each employee to have a career discussion, you can begin to understand what you might add, alter, or transfer in each of their responsibilities to make their work more motivating. Small changes can make a big difference to engagement and satisfaction levels.
Few things cause more anxiety than the unknown, and few things generate more uncertainty than our modern workplaces. The biggest unknown of all: Will my job last? Workers today often feel intense worries about a myriad of uncertain issues, from big picture challenges like how the economy and civil unrest will affect their organizations, to more-personal issues such as, “What is my boss really looking for in this report” or “Am I using the right procedure for this workflow?” To keep people from disconnecting, frequently give them the answers to three basic questions: Where are we heading as a team/organization? Am I adding value? Do I have a future here?
Be More Grateful
The point of gratitude isn’t just about thanking others for their accomplishments, it’s about helping people see their worth as a colleague and a human being. And it pays off for managers as well. In one recent Glassdoor survey, more than half of employees said feeling more appreciation from their boss makes them want to stay longer at their company. In interviews with thousands of employees over the past decade, I can attest that many people feel a considerable amount of anxiety about how they’re doing in their jobs. They want to know how their managers perceive the quality of their work. In fact, it is the most engaged, highest-performing employees who often perceive a lack of attention from a manager as a sign that things are not good at all—leading to them start actively worrying and then complaining to colleagues and others. Silence can cause discontent to creep up on even the best of workers.
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