Stop Letting The Latest Trend Dictate How You Run Your Company
QUIET QUITTING. Silent firing. Quietly progressing. What’s the next viral term in the workplace?
Businesses today are not bothered by these “new” movements—except the reactionary movement of buying into the latest buzzword and letting it affect their workplace culture.
As mentioned in this Business Insider article, these trends have caused panic among leaders in all industries, who are now looking to combat these “new” issues, and consultants are with them, offering all kinds of “solutions.” A quick search on LinkedIn will bring you pages of coaches and consultants who claim to solve the “silent pause,” using the keyword to get clients.
The truth: These are not new problems. These are old issues with trendy, new names. “Quiet quitting” is a rebranding of employee layoff, which describes workers who choose to wade through their work hours instead of putting in the effort. “Silent firing” occurred in response to this, which describes the passive-aggressive behavior of managers who withhold opportunities from silent quitters instead of eliminating them entirely.
The list of new terms goes on and on, but the point is that while these problems cannot be ignored, they are not new trends. There is a common denominator behind them:
Most organizations today are not talent-centric.
If a company prioritizes its talent in strategy and decision making, these problems will not arise in the first place.
THE “WHY” BEHIND THE TRENDS
Instead of looking to protect your company from the latest viral movement, look at why your employees are dissatisfied, disengaged, or quitting in the first place. Most likely, this is due to one of the following reasons: They do not feel connected to the business perspective, they do not feel heard or appreciated, there is a lack of communication, or there is a lack of opportunity for growth.
The simplest way to ensure these needs are met is to center your company around your employees.
START AT THE TOP
Asking questions is the best way to start changing your company. Where are your company’s decisions primarily made? Usually, this is done within your executive team. So, when thinking about your employees and talent strategies, that’s where you should start: at the top.
Ask each person on your executive team what the vision is for your company. Then prepare to be surprised: Your CEO, CFO, and COO may give different answers. If your executives have different views, you have a problem.
Multiple visions make for stagnant companies, with each member of your team rowing toward a different destination. There is no way to achieve a goal if everything is not in sync. How do you work in a company where each of your leaders wants to achieve something different? You don’t. This causes employee turnover.
Company leaders and managers must be able to communicate the same vision. It may seem small, but this one statement sets the tone for all subsequent actions.
When your leaders are aligned, your talent will hum on the same frequency, and you’ll notice increased engagement and connection to the larger purpose of your business. If your talent doesn’t know the company’s vision in the first place, disconnection can quickly become the norm.
SEE FEEDBACK AS A PLUS
As a business committed to focusing on your talent, you must commit to listening to employees. Being talent-centric isn’t about posting “we put employees first” on your website or on a placard on the office wall; it’s about taking the time to hear from your employees and really listening.
I call this a culture of feedback. This, too, starts with the executive team. Those in leadership positions set the tone for the entire organization, so everyone should openly demonstrate their commitment to desired feedback from any employee and give it their own. Feedback should be offered without fear of repercussions. Open up your schedule—and your team’s schedules—to allow one-on-one meetings with any worker.
Listening to your employees builds trust with peers, managers, and higher ups, leading to loyalty and engagement. Additionally, these one-on-one meetings provide a great time to check in with employees and ask what they need, what their goals are, and how you can help them achieve them. Maybe all they need is a mental health day or advice on a new project. By having active conversations, you can prevent them from falling apart at the end.
COMMUNICATION OF NEEDS
Putting your talent first starts at the beginning: the interview process. Stay true to the position you are offering. Don’t embellish or leave out important (or unpleasant) duties that the job requires. Most importantly, do not downgrade the hours required for the position.
Imagine you accept a 10-hour-per-week position. After the first month, you find yourself working 30 hours to keep up with the workload. If there is any way to cause an employee to lose work, this is it. Be honest from the first conversation. This will ultimately lead you to fire workers who don’t fit your expectations.
IT’S TIME TO REFOCUS
It’s time to look inside—and not outside—your organization for solutions to your problems. If you take steps to refocus your company on the people in it, these problems will begin to disappear.
Carol Schultz, founder and CEO of Vertical Elevation, a talent equity and leadership coaching and advisory expert with 30 years in business. He has helped hundreds of companies transform their organizations and create sustainable, talent-centric cultures that run at maximum efficiency. He is the author of the Amazon bestseller People Driven: How Talent-Centric Organizations Master Recruitment, Retention, and Profit (and How to Build One). Learn more at vertical elevation.com.
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