‘Quiet Thriving’ – A tool for better workplace engagement
By Ben Harris, Vice President EMEA North, Visier
It is common for everyone to experience the highs and lows of work life. The feeling of stress and anxiety during difficult periods is something we are all familiar with. However, it is essential to keep in mind that we have also experienced the satisfaction and elation of successfully completing projects and meeting targets during productive weeks.
The cost-of-living crisis has intensified the ups and downs of the workplace, placing additional pressure on employees. Visier data found employees felt pressure to make ends meet on their wages, which left them no choice but to search for different ways to generate income and even assume new roles if they lacked the necessary support from their employer.
It’s likely that economic pressures like this have contributed to the emergence of workplace trends such as “Quiet Quitting” which took the workplace by a storm towards the end of 2022. This refers to employees who choose not to leave their jobs, but instead, opt to stop going above and beyond the bare minimum requirements of their role. The impact of this can be felt throughout a business, especially when it comes to overall productivity. But, there is good news for businesses. This year we’ve seen the antidote to ‘Quiet Quitting’ surface as employees strive to take steps to maintain a positive working life. The new trend currently shaping the workplace is ‘Quiet Thriving’. This is when employees actively change their workday in order to shift their mental state and help themselves to feel more engaged in the workplace.
This is a positive move. With economic pressures higher than ever before, workplace wellbeing should be front of mind for employees and employers alike. So how do employers create a working environment that encourages ‘Quiet Thriving’ in a healthy and sustainable way?
Investing in staff wellbeing through the tough times and good
In an unstable economy, businesses often prioritise company survival over creating an environment where employees can thrive. As a result, employee wellbeing has a tendency to be overlooked and pushed lower down on the business agenda. However, a focus on employee wellbeing goes beyond offering simple perks and stress reduction programs. It requires a comprehensive strategy that effectively manages employee performance while reducing burnout and prioritising company values.
But, investing in staff wellbeing is not an optional luxury. It’s a sustainable way of ensuring the good health of any business, particularly when times get tough. Employees are a businesses most important asset, vital to growth and success. This means investment in employee experience, engagement and wellbeing, in their many shapes and forms, is critical.
According to Visier data from last year, of the Brits planning to ride out the recession with their current employer to ensure job security, 30% of respondents said that they are likely to ‘Quietly Quit’ their job to work out their next move, focus on personal projects and allocate more time for learning and development activities. This presents a challenge to employers that employees become disengaged from the business and here’s a much greater chance of higher resignation rates. But there is still ample opportunity for employers to mitigate this risk by investing in what matters to the team. The same survey revealed that if employers – or prospective employers – focused on wellbeing by offering bonus schemes (39%), better learning and development opportunities (29%) and permanent hybrid working schemes (24%) employees would feel more content with their job.
Implementing such measures can contribute to fostering a positive work culture. Cultivating a supportive and motivational ethos that benefits team members on a daily basis is essential for retaining top talent.
Prioritising taking time off to create a healthy work environment
Encouraging employees to thrive goes beyond creating a healthy environment. The saying ‘you are your own worst enemy’, can sometimes ring true when it comes to work, with many of us struggling to step back and switch off. In fact, recent Visier research shows that fewer than 60% of employees in the US have actually taken time off work since 2020. That’s an incredibly high number.
This data underscores the responsibility of employers in ensuring that employees take necessary time off and prioritise their wellbeing. Line managers and HR personnel have a crucial role to play in monitoring annual leave patterns to prevent a decline in productivity and the emergence of burnt-out and fatigued employees.
With people analytics, line managers can be empowered with the timely insights they need to ensure team members are using their leave allowance. The largest African bank, Standard Bank, is doing just this by empowering their data hungry employees with the insights to make better line management decisions.
Enhancing employee engagement
Given the cost-of-living crisis is at the forefront of employees’ minds, the constant pressure to achieve high output coupled with the fear of burnout and stress about the future is understandably leading to feelings of frustration and disengagement among employees.
To encourage the ‘Quiet Thriving’ trend, and find creative ways to engage employees, there’s an opportunity for employers to tap into the human desire to work towards clear and achievable goals. For employers, this means placing a renewed emphasis on finding ways to support teams’ work-life balance and finding creative ways to keep employees engaged.
Figuring out what employees need to keep them engaged is imperative to sparking positive mindsets in the workplace. Visier research found that nearly one-third of employees who changed jobs within the past year (32%) did so to learn new skills. This highlights the importance of personal development to our workforce.
People analytics can also be used in tandem with skills data to understand which skills are available, most in-demand and under-used across the organisation. In tandem with employee and line manager empowerment, organisations can map out unique employee pathways that allow everyone to feel proactively engaged and satisfied at work. As a result, employees will have a clear view of their progression opportunities and will feel in control of their careers beyond their current roles. But, it also means that at an organisational level, businesses will have a clearer picture of the current talent and skills landscape and be able to map this against business strategy.
Having a workforce that is content and motivated will contribute greatly to positively influence a company’s success over any technology implemented. Every individual has an inherent desire to feel acknowledged, understood and appreciated, so celebrating even their small personal wins and hard work can significantly enhance employee retention. With this in mind, businesses must progressively work towards establishing cultures that invest in individual development in the workplace. Such a culture where the individuals of the workforce are validated for their contributions and supported where necessary will be an example of the benefits of employees thriving.