There is no doubt that the future of work is shifting. Have you noticed the viral term ‘quiet quitting’ making waves lately, especially on the social media platform Tik Tok? In this week’s solo episode, Aoife questions if this trend of quiet quitting is just a new name for an old problem or a startling reality within the working world. Aoife also explores what can drive employees to this level of Job dissatisfaction, how organisations can prevent such issues from arising and why effective communication is key. Further points covered throughout include:
– The definition of quiet quitting
– The impact of disengaged employees
– Are you managing based on outcomes?
– Why managers need to set clear expectations
– Mastering time management at work
– The importance of employee recognition
– How Covid-19 ignited the great reflection
– Striking a balance between work and life
– The rocketing strain of work overload
– The two-way street of loyalty in an organisation
– Is high performance the new working norm?
THE LISTENERS SAY:
Do you have any feedback or thoughts on this discussion? If so, please connect with Aoife via the links below and let her know. Aoife would love to hear from you!
Employee Recognition: the key to a happy workplace with Aoife O’Brien
Bruce Daisley podcast: Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat
Social Media platform Tik Tok
Connect with Happier at Work host Aoife O’Brien:
Aoife O’Brien 00:00
Are you looking to improve employee engagement and retention? Do you struggle with decisions on who to hire or who to promote? I have an amazing opportunity for forward thinking purpose-led people first organisations to work with me on the first pilot Happier at Work program for corporates. The program is entirely science backed and you will have tangible outcomes in relation to employee engagement, retention, performance and productivity. The program is aimed at people leaders with responsibility for hiring and promotion decisions. If this sounds like you, please get in touch at Aoife@happieratwork.ie. That’s A O I F E at happieratwork.ie. You’re listening to the Happier at Work podcast. I’m your host Aoife O’Brien. This is the podcast for leaders who put people first, the podcast covers four broad themes, engagement and belonging, performance and productivity, leadership equity, and the future of work. Everything to do with the Happier at Work podcast relates to employee retention, you can find out more at happieratwork.ie.
Hello, and welcome back to the Happier at Work podcast. This week’s solo episode focuses on the concept of quiet quitting. Now it’s something I haven’t really weighed in on for the for the last little while I’ve been reading about it. I’ve been watching videos about it. I’ve been really trying to get my head around exactly what it is. So I have I suppose an episode that poses some questions, looking for answers and would love to get you involved in the debate. And as always, the best place to do that is on LinkedIn or Instagram. So look for me on LinkedIn, Aoife O’Brien, or Instagram happieratwork.ie.
In the interest of understanding where this concept of quiet question came from, I went to the original source, which was Tik Tok. And I watched that video and it was hard to find what video was actually the first one because there’s been loads of other videos pop up on Tic Tok, all talking about this concept of quiet quitting. But I managed to find the original one, just to see like, what is it actually saying? Like, what is the definition of quiet quitting? And so really, the definition is not going above and beyond and clocking out on time. So it means that people are working, you know, if they’re in a nine to five job that they’re starting at nine, they’re finishing at five, they’re not going above and beyond the duties that are assigned as part of their, their job description, essentially. And I suppose the first question is, is this just a new name for an old problem? Is this something that’s been happening for a while? Is that something that you have been aware of? Is it related to employee engagement? So is it that employees are no longer feeling engaged, and therefore they’re not willing to go above and beyond? I’ll have a few more kind of questions related to leadership versus individual employees as I go throughout the episode. But then is it also related to leadership? So is the fact that employees are quiet quitting, is that more to do with leadership and the behavior of leaders in organisations, which is resulting in employees becoming more disengaged or pulling back from the work or not going above and beyond? But how important is it that employees go above and beyond? Is it necessary has that become the new standard? Now, another slightly related idea and concept that I have spoken about before multiple times on the podcast is this idea of the time versus outcomes. So again, going back to this idea of being in a nine to five role, and the idea that we work those hours, and we don’t necessarily focus on the outcomes that are achieved in the time that we work, we focus more on the amount of time that we spend at work. But I see the future of work is shifting more towards the outcomes. So what outcomes were you able to achieve in the time that you were working? And were you able to prioritise effectively? And I think this goes back to the idea that managers need to be able to set really clear expectations and if they don’t know the expectations that are placed on them, they need to understand those better so that they can communicate those expectations to their teams. So managers need to know what outcomes are expected in order to be able to communicate and set really clear expectations and also hold people accountable for reaching those outcomes and reaching those expectations at work anything beyond what the what is expected in the role. Can you know, that kind of blurs things a little bit but focus really on the core of what is expected and when I talk about that, I mean, set expectations for what good enough looks like so people don’t spend too much time working on something. Set expectations for around how long some things should take, if they’re doing it effectively and efficiently. So the people again to the people don’t waste time doing stuff. Another thing that we need to do as leaders is to reward and recognise people for the work that they do and the outcomes that they achieve as well. And not necessarily for the amount of time that the input into work. So it’s about rewarding and recognising people again, one of my previous podcast episodes goes into a bit more detail on reward and recognition, and why it’s so important to drive a sense of happiness at work, and to get people feeling more engaged at work as well. So reward unrecognised people for the outcomes that they deliver at work.
Before leaving you with one kind of final really important question to ask, I want to pose a few thoughts from the perspective of employees. So COVID brought with us shifting priorities and perspectives. So I think when it comes to work, it’s really safe to say that a lot of people have had time to reflect on their purpose, and whether or not they’re getting that sense of purpose from the work they do, whether it’s bringing a great deal of meaning into their lives. And they’ve really had the opportunity to think about that. I don’t know if this is related. I’m sure it is related. And I don’t know if you’re experiencing the same thing. But what I’ve noticed a lot recently on LinkedIn is announcements of new jobs that people have have taken, you know, so there seems to from my feet anyway, a huge increase in the number of people announcing that they’ve started a new job, which I think is quite interesting. The other thing that people want is a better work life balance. Now, if you’re a longtime listener of the podcast, you’ll know, this term balance is kind of something that’s a bit challenging for me, many of my guests have shared their own approaches. So it’s work life fit, it’s a work life integration. It’s just life fit, work, life, harmony, or just life harmony. So there’s loads and loads, different examples that we can use. But I think the common term that people tend to use, and so I continue to use it is this idea of work life balance, there’s also been a shifting of expectations, so the bar has been set higher than before. And we’re almost expected as employees to go above and beyond. And that has become the new norm. COVID has also resulted in more work for a lot of people. So a lot of what I’m seeing out there is people are overworked, they have so much more work, but they’re not necessarily getting recognised for all of the additional work that they’re doing. And this ties in with the shifting of expectations. So they’re they’re expected to do more work. And they’re not necessarily getting recognised for that and not necessarily getting paid more, but there, but that’s become the bar that’s become the new norm. And what people are expected to do. Another perspective from the employees is that it’s about setting healthy boundaries. So it’s reducing the possibility of burnout. Again, going back to this idea of having a better work life balance, I wanted to share a thought on my own professional journey as well. And the expectation when I was working, that you would be doing the next level role for months before you would be recognised for it. So before you would actually be promoted into that role, the expectation was that you were already able to do that role. So I don’t know, again, if other people have had a similar experience, and that expectation of of doing more before you necessarily get to that next level. So I thought that was something, you know, this is before the concept of quiet quitting before talking about all of this kind of stuff. And they’d love to know if that was your experience as well, or if that’s tends to be the experience at work. So again, you know, reflecting on what this concept of quiet quitting is, is it a real thing? Is it just a, something that is a new name for something that’s been around for a long time, I would love to know your thoughts on that. Do get involved in social media. happieratwork.ie is the website, It’s also the Instagram handle, or feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and get involved in the conversation. Happier at Work has a podcast page as well, and the podcast is released onto that page every week in the form of a newsletter. Feel free to sign up to that so you can get notified every time the podcast gets released every week.
Before posing the final question. And couple of more thoughts again, around this idea of loyalty. So loyalty being a two way street. And if companies are not being loyal to their employees, or if they’re pulling back on their support and their recognition, then is it any wonder that the employees are reciprocating by pulling back on their discretionary effort that they would typically put into a role? I also wanted to pose the other side that as an employee, how important is that for your career? So is it really important for you to go above and beyond in order to get recognised in order to succeed and progress in your career? Just another thought from the other side that how important is that and and if you are kind of retreating from work What’s the underlying issue there? Is it that you don’t feel engaged, that you don’t feel happy? Are you going to be quitting anyway? Are you happy enough where you are, but you feel like you’re taken for granted. And you just therefore don’t want to put in any discretionary effort and think about what impact that will have on the long term in your career? If that’s something that you know that no that no one else is doing, but you’re just kind of pulling back you’re retreating. And you’re not seeing the progress that you would like. Now the final question that I have, and again, would love to get your answers any thoughts around this is – does high performance equal going above and beyond? So are we equating people going above and beyond with high performance now is that kind of is that the new norm? Is that the new bar?
I would love to know your thoughts, do feel free to connect with me across social media. And I look forward to sharing more insights with you in next week’s podcast, where I will be talking to the brilliant Bruce Daisley we have a wonderful conversation and if you don’t already listen to his podcast, it’s really really brilliant. So do stay tuned and listen out for next week’s podcast episode with Bruce Daisley. That was another episode of the Happier at Work podcast. I am so glad you tuned in today. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, I would love to get your thoughts – head on over to social media to get involved in the conversation. If you enjoy the podcast, I would love if you could rate review it or share it with a friend. If you want to know more about what I do or how I could help your business head on over to happieratwork.ie