Your Employees Might be Quiet Quitting. Here’s How to Deal.
Five suggestions for what to do when your employees lose motivation.
For employers, it’s rough out there right now.
The Great Resignation is still happening. According to a July article on Fortune.com, “The number of employees who are considering quitting their jobs right now is around 40 percent, a number that hasn’t changed much in recent months.”
But it isn’t just employees leaving that’s an issue. Many employees, as a result of feeling burnt out, are now quiet quitting, or deciding to not go above and beyond at their jobs. Basically, they’re doing just enough to not get fired.
Of course, quiet quitting is nothing new, though there was never a name for it. There is a scene in the cult classic 1999 movie Office Space where Jennifer Aniston’s character Joanna, a waitress at a TGI Friday’s-esque restaurant where they have to have kooky pins on their uniforms (the ’90s were a wild time, man), is told by her manager to add more flair. I condensed some of the dialogue below:
Manager: “We need to talk about your flair.”
Joanna: “Really? I have 15 pieces on.”
Manager: “Well, OK. Fifteen is the minimum, OK? Now you know it’s up to you whether or not you want to just do the bare minimum.”
Joanna: “You know what, Stan, if you want me to wear 37 pieces of flair…why don’t you just make the minimum 37 pieces of flair?”
A lot of people still work from home (what can’t we blame the pandemic on?), even in the multifamily industry, and feel like they constantly have to be working. Leasing agents and property managers already are expected to answer resident and prospective resident questions and complaints at all hours.
And it’s not just burnt out workers. Gen Z in particular are quiet quitting. It’s true: Everyone really is just working for the weekend.
Of course, you can’t expect everyone to be a star performer. But you also don’t want quiet quitting to lead to real quitting—you want to retain your good employees. So how do you motivate your team?
Encourage time off. Employees get days off for a reason. And their reasons are their own. Don’t demand that your employees justify their days off. Maybe they’re going on a family vacation. Maybe they have an embarrassing appointment. Maybe they need to sit on their couch and do nothing so they can come back refreshed.
Let your team keep regular hours. Even if they’re working from home. Some of your multifamily employees are resident facing, or have to respond to requests or questions from prospects. And some of your team might be working from home. But they should only be expected to work during reasonable hours. It’s one thing if it’s an emergency from a resident; it’s another if it’s an email about a regular task. Not many things need an answer at 11 pm, and it’ll help your employees destress to know they don’t have to respond to non emergencies after hours.
Recognize the successes. When your employees do go above and beyond, make a big deal about it! Acknowledging it can go really far in making people feel good about what they’re doing, and want to keep at it.
If you want 37 pieces of flair, ask for 37 pieces of flair. Be clear with what needs to be done. If you expect more, ask for it.
Understand that for some people, work is not their life. And that’s OK.