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The Year of Quiet Quitting or Flipping the Pyramid?

In a recent blog, we discussed one of today’s biggest trending topics in the workplace, Quiet Quitting. The trend isn’t quieting any time soon. According to Gallup, at least half of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting—and globally—only 21% of employees are engaged at work.

By: Gal Rimon, CEO

In a recent blog, we discussed one of today’s biggest trending topics in the workplace, Quiet Quitting. The trend isn’t quieting any time soon. According to Gallup, at least half of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting—and globally—only 21% of employees are engaged at work. It’s especially high for younger employees, with the percentage of actively disengaged employees increasing by six points among remote Gen Z and younger millennials between 2019-2022.    

From the Great Resignation to the Great Reshuffle, and now Quiet Quitting, it’s clear one of the biggest shifts coming out of the pandemic is our relationship with work. And, while backlash coming from business leaders and other professionals critiquing today’s anti-work movement is growing louder, there’s no denying it – something needs to change.  

But contrary to popular belief, people aren’t giving up on work, but rather seeking greater purpose and meaning. If they can find that purpose at work, it’s a win-win for the employee and the business. 

Companies weathering the storm and coming out ahead recognize this and are making tangible investments in their people and transforming their culture to meet the expectations of today’s employee. And they’re doing much more than offering flexible work or greater pay.  

They’re flipping the pyramid. Shifting from a culture of top-down management where senior leaders dictate goals and priorities and communicate and monitor the execution of those objectives, to a bottom-up approach, where organizations leverage employee input and collaboration at every level to drive the business forward and support the ongoing growth and development of their people. By doing so, they lead from the frontlines. 

How to Flip the Pyramid 

1. Start with your people. 

Everyone is CEO
Imagine every employee is CEO. They no longer work for the company, but the company works for them – listening, responding, and supporting their individual and collective needs to drive business growth. It’s a very different way of work, but it’s a surefire way to build engagement and motivate employees. If you’re looking to retain your talent and keep them truly invested in their success and yours, treat them like owners.   

Provide clear goals with a personalized and guided experience
Every successful business leader has clear goals and a solid strategy to execute. The same must go for employees. They must understand what success looks like. Equally important, they must be fairly recognized and rewarded to sustain their motivation. 

Help people see what success looks like, how their performance is impacting the organization’s broader goals, and what their next best action is to guide their success. Make recognition a part of your DNA, at every level of the organization. Not just the top. If performance is lagging, respond with targeted learning and real-time coaching. Open the lines of communication to better understand performance issues and how to solve or them. This is the foundation for creating a shared sense of purpose and accountability, and motivating people to be their best. It also enables greater agility when business objectives change because everyone sees the bigger picture and is driving toward the same goal.   

Make the journey meaningful and fun
Think of your best flight experience. You may have been upgraded after watching your name move up the list on a screen before boarding. You likely earned rewards for flying with your airline of choice. And in-flight entertainment, a helpful crew, and a friendly seatmate probably made it even better. We know experience matters when it comes to customer satisfaction and can make or break customer loyalty. This isn’t always the case with employees, but customer loyalty and employee loyalty are not all that different. It’s time to find ways to make the employee experience more meaningful and fun and keep your people engaged. Gamification is great place to start. 

  • Everyone likes to share their wins. Celebrate, recognize and reward the success of your employees publicly 
  • Everyone is wired to play games. Encourage more learning and challenge employees to improve performance with healthy competition 
  • Everyone yearns for meaningful connection. Keep employees connected and help them feel a part of something bigger than themselves

2. Empower your frontline managers. 

Ease the administrative burden to make coaching easy, and consistent
Frontline managers have the power to truly impact team engagement and performance. Leverage AI and ML to augment their intelligence and save them time and effort by automating low-value work, so that they can invest more time supporting their teams. For example, at Centrical, our AI provides daily triggers to managers identifying who to coach and recognize in real-time.  

Measure managers not just how well their team is performing, but how well they are following coaching process standards. This will ensure consistent performance across all teams. Aim for a regular cadence of team meetings, 1:1s, and direct coaching to ensure every employee receives the level of support they need to succeed. 

Develop managers to keep them engaged
With so many managers being promoted into their roles simply to fill a gap created due to high turnover, developing their skills, and providing clear expectations around performance is critical. Invest in building structured reskilling and cross-boarding programs to guide new manager success. Leverage performance management and gamification to keep them engaged and motivated, and ultimately drive higher team performance.  

Support empathy-based management
Empathy has always been a critical skill for leaders, but that need has been amplified today. For managers to build empathetic relationships with their employees they must be able to connect with their teams in meaningful ways, regardless of physical location. Leverage technology to enable continuous listening and connect at a deeper level with social recognition and continuous feedback. And be sure to include soft skills in your training programs to ensure managers understand how to lead with empathy. The significance of empathy in the new world of work cannot be understated. It’s a key driver in what keeps people engaged at work. 

3. Enable your organization for change. 

Choose bespoke, hyper-personalized solutions
When it comes to employee engagement and flipping the pyramid your business needs should drive your solution. You may be solving for challenges with recruitment, onboarding, and retention; inefficiencies and low productivity; poor sales performance; or a combination of things. Whatever your needs, when investing in solutions to support your initiative, make sure they’re flexible, can be hyper-personalized, and are easy to manage to minimize your cost of ownership and maximize business impact. 

Why Flip the Pyramid Now? 

When it comes down to it, everyone from the bottom of the chain up needs a reason to believe that their work matters, that they’re making an impact, and that they are growing. In the age of Quiet Quitting, if you make your people your competitive advantage, your business will succeed.  

Centrical is an employee engagement and performance management solution that can support your organization in meeting the expectations of today’s employees by personally guiding their success and growth. Learn more >> 

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