Burnout to Leadership

Ep#52 Quiet Quitting

November 03, 2022 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 52
Burnout to Leadership
Ep#52 Quiet Quitting
Show Notes Transcript

Quiet Quitting - turning up for one's job and doing the bare minimum - what do you think ? I've been hearing many opinions that strike me as unsympathetic, so here I choose to redress the balance.

If you're burnt out and quiet quitting, that seems like a rational response, but it's unlikely to help you feel better. I believe resolving burnout itself gives you much broader and more powerful options.

So, listen for tips on resolving Quiet Quitting as an individual or as a leader.

Show Notes:
Good to Great, Jim Collins
Creativity Inc, Ed Catmull & Amy Wallace
Big Potential, Shawn Achor
What’s Happening at Work, Part 2 of 2, Brene Brown, Adam Grant & Simon Sinek

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For more insights see @coachdexrandall

Hi everyone. My name is Dex Randall, and this is the Burnout to Leadership Podcast where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello my friends. This is Dex and I'm really glad you are here for this week's recording on Quiet Quitting. And it's gonna be kind of a short one, but important I think. And the term Quiet Quitting sprang up quite a few weeks ago now and it really provoked a big response out in the social media world, particularly in the business world. Immediately kind of everybody piled on and had an opinion about it. And I've just held off a little bit. But today is the day. Today is the day I've decided to jump in. partly 'cause I was listening to a podcast about it and I became a little bit activated, shall we just say. So just in case you are not familiar with the term Quiet Quitting, it really means turning up to your job but doing the bare minimum to avoid losing that job. I think of it in some ways as similar to presenteeism. Being at work when you're sick, sitting and going through the motions, contributing at the lowest level you can get away with really. And part of the reason I draw that comparison is because I think the drivers are quite similar. Often presenteeism is really occurring in people who want simply not to lose their job or their pay from their job gig workers particularly or low paid hourly workers, for example. And so the podcast I was listening to this week that kind of triggered all this was the Brene Brown, What's Happening At Work Parts One and Two. So this is Brene's reflections when she's coming back from a long Hiatus between May and September this year. And she was discussing Quiet Quitting with Adam Grant and Simon Sinek. And Adam Grant said, "Quiet Quitting was a terrible term for something that managers are blaming on individual employees. When in fact it's a sign of meaningless work, which I thought was interesting. And Simon Sinek just described it as a rebranding of disengagement. And I do somewhat agree with each of these views. The reason I haven't spoken about Quiet Quitting until now is because to me it does sound like victim blaming. It sounds derogatory. If employees are disengaged or Quiet Quitting, and particularly I'm talking about professionals here because that's what I work with. Then basically they're not happy bunnies. And that suggests to me that their leaders are not doing their jobs effectively for whatever reason. And Quiet Quitting is therefore a symptom of a much bigger problem. Disengagement and loss of motivation, which are both huge factors in burnout, don't happen in a vacuum. And unless you are talking about casual staff on a minimum or low wage, money is not usually the biggest factor incubating disenchantment at work. It really does take a lot to knock the wind out of the sales of Taipei High achievers. So they're overworked perhaps with tasks that don't contribute directly to results or where they can't taste the results themselves, the benefit of that and derive meaning from them. They're lack a sense of purpose, belonging, autonomy or control. But they don't feel seen, heard and respected in their roles. And in COVID, where many people got really reacquainted with their values, with what makes them tick with what makes them tick, what makes them get up in the morning, how they want to reflect on life from their deathbed, all of this matters more. They realized work wasn't the center of their universe after all. That work perhaps no longer defined them. And this for many people, led to greater disillusionment and loss of trust I think. Because what happens then when you are kind of going through these realizations, you might flip into this disorienting free fall once you detach a little bit from your work as identity. And all those things together contribute to exhaustion, cynicism, de motivation, disengagement, and finally burnout. And by the way, I do think that term Quiet Quitting is inaccurate. People aren't quitting, they're still doing their work. They just aren't going over and above their key functions. When people are dissatisfied with their job, Adam Grant suggested that in organizational psychology speak because that's his expertise, it's called neglect. It's kind of horrified me a little bit. It sounds even more victim blaming. And I think it gave even him pause when he heard himself say it. 'Cause he talked about job dissatisfaction resulting in traditionally three possible responses, voice, exit, or loyalty. Now four, Quite Quitting. And I think that rather than Quiet Quitters neglecting their jobs, they are being neglected in their jobs. They're in some sort of dysfunction in the organization. So I think one of the questions about Quiet Quitting is, does it bring relief? I really doubt it. It sounds like giving up, burnout, depression, or despair. At minimum, it surely indicates hopelessness and helplessness. And in some ways therefore it's a rational response to a perceived unwinnable situation. We are people under pressure as a group, as a society even more so since the COVID era. Our expectations of ourselves changed our work, the work... Has the expectations of us changed, the workplace environment itself changed. So really it becomes why are people Quiet Quitting? What happened to engagement? And how can we find ways to reconnect and motivate people? How can we support people to re engage in a meaningful way that doesn't deplete them even further and 'cause or exacerbate burnout. I'm not answering any of these questions right now at a macro level because it's a much bigger gain than that. I see the problems to some extent as cultural and systemic, so that only cultural shift will create the solution. But I do think we need our current paradigm to be a bit more supportive for both workers and their needs as well as protection of the bottom line of business. Because the two are essentially inseparable. People are not single use resources, are they? So you need to look after them to make a sustainable profit. And I think we kind of need time to digest all of this, our post COVID work environment. And it makes sense to me that so many leaders and experts are talking about how we can do this. But I will say a lot of them professing the answers don't sound to me like they're saying anything new or particularly plausible that might fix our work culture at the broader level to the point where it will support us as workers or that we'll cater for our personal needs. The burnout epidemic, financial insecurity, the drawbacks of the gig economy, corporate expectations, relentless growth, the speed of innovation and also our leadership models. There's quite a lot going on in there and the jigsaw kind of fell apart a little bit. So I think there's work to do, but I do think there is a healthy balance that can be drawn. The captains of industry will just have to heed the right advice and take the time to apply it within their verticals, their professions, their states, their countries, because this is an international issue. And it reflects, I think, a more general worldwide cultural malaise. And here's what I will say, if you are listening, wondering what can be done in your workplace right now for your team, here are three things that you can do. Firstly, educate yourself. And I'm gonna put a couple of things in the show notes that indicate kind of business models that I believe fulfill both human needs as for the workers and business needs for profit sustainability. And there are a couple of books in particular that I think are marvellous that offer a proven blueprint for success of human centered business. And I think that's so, so important. Secondly, I myself work with leaders to create high performing human centered teams. So if you're interested in a program in your workplace, contact me, if you want to boost employee attendance, engagement, morale, quality of problem solving, ingenuity, cooperation and reward, and at the same time boosts staff retention, then that bit is for you. And then thirdly, I work with individuals in burnout with a guaranteed success rate. If you are quiet quitting yourself. And if that's an indicator of chronic stress or burnout for you, then a solution is available. Whether you quit your job or quiet quit or change jobs or just keep slogging away, all the same, still the recovery is available. Like, 'cause I really, to be honest, I really hate seeing people suffering at work. And much of the suffering that we have at work is not strictly necessary whether we stay in our jobs or change jobs. And it could quite simply be minimized or avoided. So if that's you and you're fed up being stressed and frustrated all the time, and who can blame you, I can show you how to move beyond burnout. Come and talk to me @dexrandall.com. D E X R A N D A L L.COM. And don't forget, added bonus, when you recover from burnout, you're gonna automatically support the people around you better, if they're in burnout, or if they're stressed, you're gonna connect with them more strongly and be a supporting presence. And also you will be that in your partnerships, in your family and with your friends as well. So it doesn't just lift one area of your life, it kind of lifts the whole thing together when you work on some new tools to live your life in a more elevated way. And I would just teach you those tools. So that's what I have for you today. Quiet quitting the symptom of a bigger problem. The canary, if you like, in the coal mine. I think it's like this sort of silent communal cry for help that we're all emitting on some level these days. So do not wither quietly in a corner muttering dark, 'cause that's not gonna change anything. Do something, come and talk to me. I can help. Thanks for listening. Appreciate you being here. Listen at the end for a link if you are in burnout, because you must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably, get back to your best performance leadership and most of all, enjoyment inside work and out. If you are in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout to Leadership program. You can book in to talk with me @burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.