Organizations worldwide have adjusted to the new workplace ecosystem, egged on by pandemic-induced challenges. However, the abrupt change to operating in remote and hybrid setups has created longer-term and seminal challenges for organizations. Challenges like the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting have mandated a thorough assessment of employee engagement and welfare measures.
What Is Quiet Quitting?
This article focuses on the phenomena of Quiet Quitting, a trend that sees employees performing their minimum duties without assuming additional responsibilities; they work just enough to remain employed, but prioritize their personal lives and mental and physical well-being over work.
Quiet Quitting is not a new phenomenon. Economist Mark Boldger first used the term in 2009 to describe the diminishing ambitions of the Venezuelan workforce. Since then, prominent names like Thomas Sowell and Nick Adams have referenced the trend regularly.
What’s Causing “Quiet Quitting?”
The findings of Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report offer profound insights into the reasons behind Quiet Quitting. For example, the report states that, when surveyed, only 21% of the global workforce identified as being actively engaged. It also reports that employee stress is at an all-time high of 44 percent, surpassing even the level of disengagement reported in 2021, when the pandemic was at its peak.
Remote work and increased work pressure amid an unpredictable job environment have contributed to employee burnout, stress and emotional insecurity. These distressing findings underline the disconnect between organizations and employees, indicating that workers believe they are unappreciated and undervalued. Plus, they believe there is an unequal relationship between workers and employers, with the latter overlooking the former’s needs and demands.
Are Employers Doing Enough?
Organizations are re-evaluating their employee value proposition (EVP), which is the balance of rewards and benefits that employees accrue for their performance. This recalibration involves positioning organizations as attractive workplaces that allow prospective employees to seek more from their employers.
However, when re-evaluating EVPs, companies usually take a sweeping, “one-size-fits-all” approach that doesn’t address employees’ unique challenges. For instance, some workers may desire a more flexible work environment that helps them maintain a healthier work-life balance, while some may prefer higher remuneration and more growth opportunities. Others may be concerned about the lack of adequate upskilling and reskilling opportunities – and rightly so, as one out of five jobs will be redundant by 2025. And the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report reveals that half of all employees will need reskilling by then.
Given these diverse challenges, identifying employee needs and curating personalized incentives is critical for organizations to address the pressing issue of diminishing employee engagement.
PSAs Can Help Employers Address Employee Grievances
Digitization and technology are great enablers that can help organizations create better value for employees and are excellent tools for addressing Quiet Quitting. Thus, many organizations have expedited the shift from legacy systems like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERPs) to Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools to address dwindling employee engagement, along with issues around data accuracy, user experience, and analytics.
PSAs can help organizations:
Improve Employee Engagement
PSA tools can help engage employees by automating bandwidth-sapping and repetitive tasks, and freeing them to work on more enriching and productive assignments. They also help create an enabling environment for upskilling and reskilling as they give employees the necessary time to undertake skills enhancement activities.
PSA tools can help organizations and team leaders analyze how teams are allocating resources using real-time data, and identify employees who are over-stretched. This insight allows team leaders to allocate projects and tasks based on team members’ bandwidth, ensuring optimal utilization of resources.
Enhance Inter-and Intra-team Coordination
Working with team members located across the globe, in different time zones, can lead to data silos. This lack of coordination can affect a team’s ability to make decisions and stay on top of deliverables, which can, in turn, impact business outcomes. Implementing a PSA tool can help enterprises boost coordination; intelligent PSAs feature in-built resourcing workflows that facilitate collaboration between resource managers and project managers.
Empower Leaders With Data
Adapting to the demands of the modern workplace requires new strategies and workflows, which, in turn, mandates the creation of actionable and deployable plans based on real-time insights. Leaders and managers with access to tools that give them these insights will witness vastly improved business outcomes versus those who are unsure about important KPIs.
Polaris PSA is a tool that leverages Artificial Intelligence (AI) to offer real-time visibility into critical business metrics, streamlining resourcing, financials, and project information, and giving an up-to-date live view of business performance. Organizations can use Polaris PSA to leverage historical and real-time data to quickly adapt to changes and make informed decisions.
The Road Ahead
Technology, automation and process optimization are helping address some of the challenges facing workers and employers in the post-pandemic workplace. Still, organizations must define what constitutes an active and engaged employee, since traditional gauges, like the willingness to go above and beyond, may no longer describe a committed worker. For example, an employee could be committed to the organization’s cause, yet may only choose to focus on their core responsibilities and delivering exceptional results.
While companies must strive to keep individual workers engaged, the bigger challenge lies in creating a nurturing ecosystem where employees feel empowered and motivated to do more for their companies without being asked or forced to do so. Attaining such an environment will require not just new technology and human intervention, but a genuine desire to create a forward-looking and empathetic workplace.