Quiet Resignation; Straight out of Office Space
Like most people I enjoy movies and when I see some movies on TV I immediately stop channel surfing. One of my all-time favorites of course is Office Space.
What makes it a great movie is that just about everyone who works in an office can identify with its message about office cultures. We’ve all known a Bill Lumberger or two. (Don’t worry the KangoGift team assures me I’m not him) We certainly all identify with Milton and who hasn’t had to deal with business consultants or, dealt with their own version of the torturous TPS reports.
This came to mind recently because I can’t help but think if we’re moving closer to those offices at Initech. (that’s the company’s name, I looked it up) and some of the unique reactions seen in the movie.
There is considerable discussion about the validity of quiet resignation. Here’s my opinion, do you want to know it’s real when your employees start restricting what they will do? Real or not the challenge it presents will always be real and a true test of your employee engagement.
I’m talking about the recent “quiet resignation” phenomenon we’re seeing. I don’t know if the great resignation is over but the quiet one is here and real. If we take responsibility as HR leaders, we can say it’s a breakdown of employee engagement. If we want to cast a little blame on the employees, we can say that work will be uncomfortable sometimes, live with it. For this post, we will focus on what we leaders can do.
Let’s start with a few questions.
- Do your employees feel underappreciated given the new work conditions, limited staff support, or that they are overlooked?
- Is your management making sure employees feel appreciated and that they are contributing something of value to the organization? CEO coaching is for another piece.
- Is your leadership engaging with employees to determine if real dissatisfaction is going on even if it is of a quiet and subtle nature?
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Do your employees feel underappreciated or out of sight in these new times –Well this is a seemingly simple question do they or not? Seems to be a simple question and like all simple questions, it has a very complex answer.
Happy/satisfied employees do not quite resign. If it is happening then your managers need to tell their bosses and so on up the ladder what the employees are thinking. Better yet make sure your managers are proactively engaging with employees so this doesn’t become a problem at all. If you’re engaging with your employees and make sure they know they are more than just cogs, quiet resignation should be limited.
Is your management making sure employees feel appreciated and that they are contributing something of value to their organization-this of course is the lead-in from the previous question? Just how well are you engaging your employees? I will tell you that the best answer to this is to say not enough. That’s what I tell the HR executives at the companies KangoGift works with. Employee engagement is something you can always improve on.
Another way you can ensure employees feel like they are contributing something of value is to recognize those key contributions on a regular basis. It doesn’t take a big project to recognize someone. Maybe they are pitching in on a daily basis and you can recognize that. But be sure to recognize them for something you deem worthy of recognition so the teams don’t feel they are being patronized.
Is your leadership engaging with employees to determine if real dissatisfaction is going on even if it is of a quiet and subtle nature-One of the truly great thing about employee engagement is that it is a two-way street. It’s one where your teams feel like management is seeing them and recognizing them and what they do.
When I am meeting with HR executives at all types of companies I tell them that KangoGift helps their employees realize they are seen as more than cogs. When I ask them how sure they are that their employees feel they are seen as such and when they take that hard look they realize they need to work on this part of their employee relations and engage better.
One piece I would suggest to all organizations is that your employees are not as engaged or happy as you think they are. Assume you have a lot of work to do engaging your employees and preventing quiet resignation because you almost certainly have a lot of work to do.
So what next? Can you stop the quiet resignation? Here’s my answer, don’t let it get that far. I’m telling you that if you are properly engaging your employees it should never get that far. Here are my recommendations for action items to start right away.
- Talk to your employees. Create an open dialog and let them know they can provide feedback to their managers.
- Make sure your managers see the need for engagement and that engagement is about giving employees an opportunity to share as much as receive
- Your employees are your most important customers work to retain them as you would your most important customers. Solutions like what KangoGift offers to make it easier than ever to do so.
Again, there is considerable discussion about the validity of quiet resignation. Here’s my opinion, do you want to know it’s real when your employees start restricting what they will do? Real or not the challenge it presents will always be real and a true test of your employee engagement.