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Quiet Quitting: Boosting Employee Engagement Could Help The U.S. Economy

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Earlier this year, Indermit Gill, Chief Economist with the World Bank, offered a stark warning that the world could be facing a “lost decade” due to a lack of action on current economic challenges. 

“The ongoing decline in potential growth,” Gill said, “has serious implications for the world’s ability to tackle the expanding array of challenges unique to our times.” 

The overall message of the World Bank report was that as economic growth slows worldwide, every other challenge gets bigger. 

What does that have to do with quiet quitting? When it comes to how teams and individuals on a local level contribute to the economy on a global level, it’s not only about economics or finance, it’s also about people. 

Gallup’s State of the Global Workforce report for 2023 suggests exactly that: For business leaders to help steer the world back in the right direction, they must adapt how they manage people. 

Unhappy workers cost money

Low engagement in the workplace costs an estimated $8.8 trillion annually, equivalent to 9% of global GDP. In other words, a large-scale boost in employee engagement would go a long way in offsetting the warning offered by the world bank. 

That is the global view, but at the other end of the spectrum, the personal view is well-established: poor management means unhappy workers, lost profits and negative growth, not to mention the relatively new phenomenon of quiet quitting––unmotivated and unengaged workers doing only what they are paid to do, no more. 

Gallup’s report examines the rate of employees thriving at work, those quiet quitting and those “loud quitting” (i.e. actively undercutting the organization and opposing its goals). The current rate of quiet quitting is a startling 59%, almost six in ten, while 23% can be said to be thriving. Interestingly, both of these figures represent a record high. 

Opportunity to drive growth

However, the number of quiet quitters, the report adds, should not be seen as an obstacle to be removed, or problematic bad apples to be set straight. They are in fact an immense opportunity to drive growth. They also are a living signpost within organizations of what elements need to change, if they can be identified.

And with some proper leadership and encouragement, they have the potential to transform into motivated and productive team members. Here’s how a growth in engagement can transform business.

Reduce stress levels

While 23% of employees thriving is a record number, so too is the amount of team members suffering the effects of stress, at 44%. It should go without saying that, were these numbers reversed, individuals and the world would be better off. 

Gallup’s report finds that US workers are tied with those in Asia for feeling the most stress. In addition, evidence suggests that the more workers are engaged, the lower their stress levels. 

Cut staff turnover

There’s quiet quitting, and there is actual quitting. The State of the Global Workforce states that 51% of staff are actively considering leaving their current role. Fully engaged employees are far less likely to leave their role due to their salary expectations being significantly higher than quiet quitters. You could say highly engaged employees come with a layer of insulation around them. 

Gain useful insights

Naturally, leaders and employers are always encouraged to listen to their teams in order to drive the business, but in the case of quiet quitting it is more vital than ever: those with one foot out the door know what needs to change in order to convince them to stay. 

It’s rarely a simple case of increased salary either. When process, management style and culture are on the table, among others, a brave change of direction can transform a business.

Quiet quitting presents a challenge for employers but is also a potentially unhealthy approach for workers. Reignite your passion with the NextPit Job Board right now before you fall into the same pattern.

Reflecting the surge in healthcare digital transformation in recent years, New York-based Talent4Health is seeking an IT Software Developer for contract work. In this hybrid role, you will contribute to technical design discussions that help shape the company’s healthcare solutions and strategy, while maintaining legacy applications in order to future proof them and implement new features. If short-term work is suitable for your needs, get in touch. 

Also in New York, the city’s Unified Court System is currently advertising an opportunity for a Cyber Security Technician. In the role, you will manage a comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure including physical and virtual endpoints, networks and equipment. Being a state role, this position includes significant benefits including health insurance, retirement planning and more.

In Los Angeles, Series C startup Bambee is taking on a Senior Software Engineer to manage the backend of its human resource and services platform. As a member of this team, you will use data to drive innovation and results at a company with a bold and ambitious long-term plan.

Start your job search today by discovering thousands of jobs on the NextPit Job Board. This article was written by Doug Whelan.

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