Avoid quiet quitting by keeping employees engaged

by Larson Gross

ARTICLE | November 04, 2022

Many employers struggle to keep their workers engaged. Only a quarter of employees say they feel connected to their culture, and only a third say they feel like they belong at their organization. This sense of disengagement can lead to what is known as “quiet quitting.” Quiet quitting is when an employee is no longer emotionally or mentally present at their job, even though they continue to show up for work physically. This can be highly detrimental to a company, as it can lead to decreased productivity, decreased morale, and increased turnover. 

 There are many ways to combat this problem, but the most important thing is to ensure that employees feel engaged. When employees are engaged, they are more likely to be excited about their work, value their role in the company, and contribute to its success. 

Why is employee engagement so important?

Employee engagement has several positive impacts on employees and employers, from increased productivity to a higher quality of work and lower absenteeism. Engaged employees are more likely to go above and beyond for their company leading to better customer service, higher sales, and increased profitability. Better yet, engaged employees tend to be brand advocates who help improve marketing reach for their companies. For employees, engagement plays a huge role in their job satisfaction. And satisfied employees are less likely to leave their job, which can save businesses the time and money required to recruit and train new employees. Finally, engaged employees tend to be more customer-focused, leading to improved customer satisfaction and retention rates. 

Measuring engagement

It’s essential to understand what factors engage and motivate employees. By taking regular measurements of employee engagement, you can assess where your organization currently stands with its employees and identify specific areas of concern. You can measure engagement with regular employee surveys or by meeting with employees individually. 

For example, some common questions to ask your employees include: 

  • Do you feel like you’re part of a team while at work? 
  • Do you have opportunities for advancement? 
  • Do you feel the company’s values, mission, and goals are clear and explicit? 
  • Are you recognized for your efforts? 
  • Do you feel as if your opinions are valued? 
  • Would you recommend the company to potential customers? 
  • Would you encourage friends or family to work at this company? 

Additionally, consider measuring your employees’ Net Promoter Scores (NPS) to see how likely they are to recommend your business to others. In general, higher NPS scores tend to indicate greater job satisfaction and engagement. It’s also useful to analyze your turnover rates and absenteeism, as these are symptoms of poor engagement. 

Understand what engages employees

While there are many ways to motivate and engage employees, here are a few valuable strategies: 

Recast your vision, mission and purpose

A company’s vision and mission define where you want to go and how you will get there. Together they paint a target for employees so each employee understands the larger goal beyond themselves.  

Many companies are purpose-driven, striving to achieve goals beyond revenue growth and profit maximization. Purpose-driven companies seek to positively impact their community and the world while generating a return for shareholders. 

A vision, mission, and purpose unites and excites employees. By understanding the larger goal, employees gain satisfaction from the collective achievements of the organization. Unfortunately, employees often lose sight of the vision, mission, and purpose as their daily tasks tend to dominate and overshadow anything else. For this reason, leaders should consistently recast the company’s vision, mission, and purpose to all employees and make sure each employee understands how they contribute to those goals.  

Offer opportunities for growth and development

Limited career paths are one of the top reasons employees give for leaving a job. Studies have found that employees who feel like they have opportunities for growth and development are more satisfied with their jobs and less likely to leave. In a word, it’s important to ensure employees have the best possible work journey and plenty of growth opportunities. This helps employees stay engaged and allows them to learn new skills that can help them in their career journey.

After leadership has taken the time to discuss the company’s goals and objectives with employees, discuss how meeting those goals can translate into growth and opportunities for the employee. Educate each employee on their potential career paths and relevant in-house promotion opportunities. Don’t be afraid to give employees new tasks that require them to develop new skills, as this can help them grow into their next role.  

Another way to help employees grow is by implementing a mentorship program. Mentorship enables employees to learn from more experienced colleagues and gain valuable insights into their field. 

Recognize employee achievements

Employee recognition is a vital tool for engagement. When employees feel their hard work is seen and appreciated, they are more likely to give their best effort. Recognizing employees’ achievements is also a meaningful way to show them they are valued team members and that their contributions are significant. 

Whether announcing a sales goal achievement in the company newsletter or offering small perks like gift certificates, bonuses, parking spaces, or an employee of the month award, show employees they are valued for their contributions. Other forms of recognition may include sending employees to a conference or allowing them extra work-from-home days. Either way, you’re empowering employees to stand out from their colleagues by going the extra mile. 

Celebrate successes as a team

Celebrating success as a team can also be a highly effective strategy. For one, it helps to build a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. It can also motivate employees to continue achieving results that align with your company’s goals.  

There are many different ways to celebrate success as a team. Some popular methods include team lunches, dinners, or other outings. Another option is a team-building event, such as a company picnic or scavenger hunt. The key is to find an activity that everyone will enjoy and that will help to strengthen bonds between teammates. While team-building and team recognition are two different strategies, both help strengthen and motivate teams (or departments) within your organization simultaneously. 

Promote work-life balance

Work-life balance is an important factor in employee motivation. Many employees feel constant pressure to perform their best while juggling family and personal commitments. This can lead to stress and burnout, negatively impacting their work performance. However, by providing the flexibility to balance work and personal lives, you can potentially prevent burnout and boost engagement. Telecommuting, personal days, and reduced work weeks are all ways that you can promote work-life balance for your employees. And by offering this flexibility, you can ensure employees can better focus all of their attention on work tasks during working hours. 

This article is intended to provide a brief overview of ways to keep employees engaged. We offer information like this as a service to help your business grow and succeed over the long term. If you’d like more personalized advice and recommendations on ways to grow and protect your business, please contact our office.

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Colleen Malmassari SHRM-CP, PHR

Colleen Malmassari SHRM-CP, PHR

HR Consulting Services Manager

Colleen graduated from Central Washington University with bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Spanish. She began my career in public accounting, providing assurance and tax services to many agricultural family-run businesses. About six years into her public accounting career, she became involved in recruiting and was instantaneously hooked on honing her skills in the Human Resources field.

For the past decade, she has helped lead HR teams at two different large Agriculture family-run businesses and in 2021, she joined Larson Gross to implement and lead the firm’s HR consulting services practice, helping clients cultivate their businesses and create improved workplaces for their team members.