The team at Gartner (a consulting firm) has been asking around and they recently reported that the number one trending new workplace term is "quiet hiring." After overheating our brains over here trying to guess what that means, we found a very nice explanation from Forbes. Aditya Malik writes, "Quiet quitting is when employees do not put more effort into their jobs than is necessary. In contrast, quiet hiring involves rewarding employees who have gone above and beyond their job roles."
What a great concept! Although we think that this is a new name for something that has been around forever, we'd like to suggest some things a workplace should be focusing on to support quiet hiring.
Develop a culture of safety.
A "culture of safety" means a workplace where employees are regularly encouraged to speak up, ask questions, and provide feedback. Building your culture of safety boosts the influence and productivity of already high-performing workers. Managers will benefit from getting critical feedback from top workers that they can use to improve things for everyone. What's more, employees on the whole perform better when they feel safe. Productivity and engagement will rise, and the likelihood of quiet quitting can be reduced.
So how do you develop a culture of safety? It's all communication. Provide regular opportunities for employees to check in with their managers one-on-one, without pressure, to say how things are going and what they need or want. Provide channels for employees to give feedback or make requests, and encourage them to use them. Normalize asking questions by having top leaders talk about this at meetings: employees feel safer to ask questions if their executives are saying its okay in meetings. For example, "we ask questions when we don't understand things. I ask questions about things I don't understand all the time!"
Ask for feedback, and act on it.
It's great to make it safe, but it means little if you don't use the new information you get. Information gained from check-ins, feedback channels, and surveys is critically important. Acknowledge you heard it, follow up to say what you are doing with the feedback, and then act on it. Employees love to feel heard, but they feel bad if they speak up and nothing happens. Always acknowledge the feedback and act on it uniformly and fairly. Beware of listening to some groups better than others--that gives employees a feeling of unfairness.
Don't underestimate the power of the feedback you are receiving. Employee feedback often contains information that can instantly improve team performance like, "We could work much faster if we had access to this piece of software" or "Could we work on customer support in the morning and the expansion project in the afternoon? I think customers would be happier and we'd all get more done." Seize on these, thank the contributor, and act on the requests.
Grow your quiet hiring through stronger teams and a sense of belonging.
Quiet hiring is just a way of saying you want to magnify the effects of your best employees. The best way to do that is giving your best employees every opportunity to influence their teammates. The employees that you are "quiet hiring" should be chosen as mentors for newer employees. They can run meetings when someone is needed to fill in. They can put together training so their practices are passed on to others.
Strengthen the teams themselves. Give people time each day just to talk together. Offer optional game times. If you are in-office, consider weekly team meals. Encourage employees to have fun doing their work just like they would anything else! For example, managers or team members can make their own (work appropriate) memes based on team's most common pain points or performance indicators. On the whole, boost the idea that "we're all in this together" even if we are remote.
Amazing Workplace's Employee Happiness Survey™ can help you build stronger teams and resist turnover. You can get started today.