Quiet quitting: 3 tactics to determine what’s important to employees and keep them engaged
Use the three strategic steps to build flexible benefits programs that support your workforce and prevent employees from quietly quitting.
In this piece
What is quiet quitting?
More than a buzzword, quiet quitting is a real thing. But what is it? Quiet quitting happens when employees are doing only the bare minimum required of their job. It’s a trend brought on by a combination of circumstances: pressures of a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and higher output demand. Workers are left feeling stressed and burnt out. In response, they’re pulling back on effort and simply coasting through their work day. According to Gallup, this currently describes at least half the US workforce.
Ignoring the quiet quitting trend can have negative consequences on workforce productivity and retention, as well as an organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work. Ignoring employees who are quietly quitting may send the message that the employees themselves are being ignored.
So how can an organization support and engage employees to help them plug back in?
Research shows that when employees feel cared for, they’re more than three times as likely to feel happy at work. In turn, happier employees are more productive. Employees want to know that you care about them as people, and they want to feel it in more ways than just their salary. This blog recommends ways to help understand what’s meaningful to employees and how to support them to prevent them from quietly quitting.
The quiet quitting prevention plan
When it comes to re-engaging a quietly quitting workforce, actions speak louder than words. These actions include developing meaningful benefits that reflect employee values. According to Metlife research, 80% of employers say meeting the needs of employees across all life stages is an important benefits objective.
A flexible benefits program accounts for a wide range of needs. What are flexible benefits? In short, a program that offers employees a variety of choices. The construct is flexible and adaptable in nature, giving employees the freedom to choose benefits meaningful to them and support moments that matter.
Below are three actionable steps you can take to design a flexible benefits program and prevent your workforce from quietly quitting.
1. Gather employee feedback to inform plans.
Just as the market changes, so do your team members and what they care about most. To avoid quiet quitting, organizations need to stay current and maintain open lines of communication between leadership and employees. Keeping employees in the loop helps keep you relevant as employee needs and wants evolve. How will you know what they need and want? Ask them.
Employees are the best source of input and feedback. They'll provide valuable insight into whether or not their current benefits align with their personal needs.
Employee feedback also provides leadership with an honest look at what makes their employees tick. Then, if they realize changes are needed to keep the workforce engaged, they can adjust the benefits faster and smarter. With solid feedback, employers have the information they need to design a program aligned to what matters most to employees and show them that they matter.
2. Understand what’s important to your workforce.
Knowing what makes your employees feel cared for and happy is a win-win for the organization and its workforce. In fact, LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trend report notes that employees who feel cared for are 3.2x happier at work and 3.7x more likely to recommend their workplace to a friend.
While compensation plays a significant role in the hiring process, salary isn't the only thing that matters. Remember, your team members have lives outside of the office. They may have families, hobbies, goals, and aspirations that you can support with a flexible employee spending account package. It’s important to look at your workforce holistically to support them.
- Are they looking to lead a healthier life?
- Perhaps they're enrolled in college-level courses?
- Maybe they're new parents with dependents to care for?
- Do they want more training to hone their skills?
- Is stress taking a toll where mental health coaching would be helpful?
As a means of addressing diverse needs, consider introducing lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs) as part of your flexible benefits program. LSAs appeal to employers and employees because they support a variety of needs and goals, offer choice, and provide a tangible expression of a company culture that supports employee values. LSAs can be customized to cover a multitude of options meaningful to a company’s workforce from DEI, adoption assistance, physical well-being, mental health, and more.
Modern LSA systems like Forma work well for employers because they provide opportunities to adjust the benefits to meet employer and employee needs at any time. A modern, scalable solution like Forma helps you offer solutions that are agile enough to meet changing needs. Flexible benefits solutions that can be refined and expanded to match emerging trends will continue to engage employees.
As a result, the solution may be the ideal option to show employees support.
3. Regularly reevaluate what’s important to your workforce.
Eventually, what your workforce values will change, which can lead to more quiet quitting. Leaders shouldn't wait until a disconnect occurs. Based on feedback and trends, keep a running list of values important to the company workforce. Companies must be prepared to adapt at a moment's notice in order to stay ahead of the hiring curve and retain top talent.
Routinely reevaluate company values and how they align with your workforce. This value audit helps find commonalities among your staff while phasing out irrelevant practices and employee benefit options that might lead employees to disengage.
As you collect the intel, be transparent about it and what you’ll do with it. Communicate the results to employees and let them know you plan to use their feedback to reassess the benefits programs. While you might not be able to deliver everything everyone wants, open and honest communication will continue to demonstrate you value employees.
Clear communication can be a game changer for benefits in particular - which can be very confusing. In fact, Metlife’s 2022 Benefit Trend Study reports that 94% of employees are more likely to feel valued and appreciated when they understand what is and isn’t covered in their benefits. Tailor communications to note what’s meaningful to employees. Doing so can help attract, retain, and engage employees.
Provide flexible benefits programs to support your workforce and keep them engaged.
Flexible employee benefits programs are an effective way for employers to show support for employee values. The inclusion of lifestyle spending accounts can be a key differentiator to engage employees. Informed by employee feedback, the combination of a flexible benefits program with LSAs meaningful to employees can be a powerful solution, preventing a quiet quitting epidemic from taking place.
Schedule a consultation with Forma to learn how to customize your benefits programs and show support for your workforce.