In the world of business, it’s easy to get caught up in the bottom line. Revenue, profits, and growth are all important metrics, but they don’t tell the whole story of a company. One of the most critical factors in the success of any company is its employees. Still, many businesses haven’t realized the value of creating and maintaining a positive employee experience, leading to low engagement, poor morale, and, possibly, a failing company.
A phenomenon that has emerged in recent years is what has been dubbed “quiet quitting.” This is when employees become disengaged from their work and their company, but instead of quitting outright, they simply go through the motions, doing the bare minimum to get by. What starts with a lack of engagement can quickly escalate to lunchtime job interviews. This seemingly innocent disconnect can have a significant impact on a company’s performance, leading to decreased productivity, increased turnover, and a loss of talent.
The Root Cause
The root cause of quiet quitting is a failure in leadership. When workers feel undervalued, disrespected, or unsupported, they are more likely to disengage from their work and their company. This can be due to a lack of recognition, inadequate compensation, or a toxic work environment. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: employees who are not fully invested in their work, and a company that suffers as a result.
The world of sports provides plenty of clear examples of this dynamic. Take Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Manchester United after a falling out with the team’s manager. Ronaldo was unhappy with Manchester United bosses who doubted him when his newborn daughter was ill. He has since left the team after being made a multimillion-dollar offer by Saudi Arabian Club Al-Nassar. Manchester on the other hand had to forge onward without the scorer.
Another example is LeBron James, who made the difficult choice to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 to join the Miami Heat. James was frustrated with the lack of support he received from the Cavaliers’ front office and felt that he could not win a championship with the team. In Miami, James was able to surround himself with a strong supporting cast and went on to win two NBA championships with the Heat. The Cavaliers, meanwhile, continued to struggle in James’ absence, missing the playoffs in each of the four seasons after his departure.
The James example illustrates how important it is for players/employees to understand and communicate what they need from their employers. It’s also a lesson for organizations on the value of establishing a culture and environment where employees feel respected and supported in their goals. Just as sports teams need to support their star players to be successful, businesses need to support their employees to thrive.
This means providing competitive compensation, opportunities for advancement, and a positive work environment where all employees feel they’re treated with respect and dignity– which includes fair compensation, recognition for a job well done, and opportunities for growth and development. Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens illustrate how highly skilled employees today are willing to gamble when they don’t feel they are being justly compensated. Even with the uncertain job market, employees are willing to look for opportunities elsewhere if they feel unappreciated.
While profits and growth are important, creating a culture of respect and appreciation goes a long way to sustaining a successful business. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to the success of the company.