January 31, 2023

"Quiet quitting, the French way



5 min reading

What is "Quiet Quitting" and what can be done about it?

After the "Big Quit", the "Quiet Quitting" is the new Buzzword that is making social networks and the Human Resources world vibrate.

So what is this "quiet quitting" claimed by a growing number of employees? Why is it important to monitor this phenomenon? And what are the solutions to remedy "Quiet Quitting"?

To find out, read the following carefully.

What is Quiet Quitting?

In any case, this expression popularized by TikTok users in summer 2022 refers to a form of disengagement at work.

"Quiet quitting": definition

More specifically, Quiet quitting can be defined as an employee doing only what is recommended by their job description, without any additional effort.

Quiet quitters" thus scrupulously respect their work schedules and their missions, but do not get involved, refusing all tasks that exceed their attributions.

It is out of the question for them to stay late to finish a file, to do the work of an overworked colleague or to cut into their lunch break to attend a meeting.

An already widespread phenomenon

As the numerous videos posted on TikTok suggest, this desire to "do the minimum" is spreading among employees.

According to Gallup, by the second quarter of 2022, one out of every two U.S. employees will be a quiet quitter.

In France, the situation could be even more worrying. According to Gallup, in 2022, only 6% of French employees will be engaged in their work.

A multifactorial trend

This lack of investment and motivation is due to several factors, including:

  • An increase in cases of psychological suffering with 41% of French employees in a state of psychological distress and 34% in a burn-out situation (source: Empreinte Humaine);
  • Poor management practices (lack of recognition and support, excessive workload, unclear objectives, etc.) that increase the probability of "quiet quitting" among employees by a factor of 4 (source: Harvard Business Review);
  • Salaries that 7 out of 10 French employees consider too low in view of the rising cost of living (source: Empreinte Humaine);
  • A work-life balance that 65% of French people consider unsatisfactory (source: Robert Half) and a lack of time to disconnect attributable, in particular, to a permanently accessible digitalized work environment;
  • A feeling of loss of meaning in a context of environmental and climate crisis where 57% of employees would like to contribute to the challenges of ecological and social transition (source: Audencia and Make Sense).

"Quiet quitting" is therefore a significant disengagement phenomenon that is rooted in the dysfunctions of the world of work.

Quit quitting

What are the risks of "Quiet Quitting" for the company and its employees?

Quiet quitting is a real threat to both the company and its employees.

A decrease in productivity  

Quiet quitting is characterized by a decrease in motivation, which can affect the company's capacity for innovation and productivity.

Indeed, when an employee loses their drive, they are less creative, less "forceful" and ultimately less effective.

According to a Gallup study, engaged employees are 18% more productive and 23% more profitable than disengaged employees. The latter represent a great loss of earnings for the organization.

A risk of contagion

The risk that "Quiet Quitting" poses to the company is all the more important as the disengagement of an employee can quickly spread.

And for good reason, whether they work in the same office or remotely, the colleagues of a "Quiet quitter"can be affected by the latter's low morale and lack of involvement.

Above all, the teammates of a "quiet quitter" can be put in difficulty by the excess work they inherit because of the latter's disinvestment. A real "domino effect" is thus set in motion.  

A decline in the employer brand

Finally, the decline in team motivation can have a negative influence on the employer brand.

Indeed, co-workers (employees, trainees, apprentices, etc.) who have or have had a bad experience within the organization spread a degraded image of it.

As we can see, the consequences of Quiet quitting for the company and its stakeholders are therefore potentially significant. So how can we remedy this phenomenon?

What solutions can be put in place to combat "Quiet Quitting"?

There are many solutions that can be put in place to counteract "Quiet Quitting". Here are the main ones:

Communication is key

Re-establish a dialogue with employees

The first step is to re-establish a dialogue with employees.

The objective: to evaluate their degree of satisfaction and to work together to find solutions to their possible grievances. To avoid being tempted by Quiet quitting employees must be able to express their concerns before their situation gets out of hand.

As a manager, it is therefore necessary to schedule one-on-one discussions with each member of your team. These discussions will allow you to identify the sticking points (desire to evolve, excessive workload, deterioration of mental health, etc.) and to seek relevant answers.

But that's not all. Management and HR can also use the digital tools at their disposal (Microsoft Teams for example) to create surveys to "take the temperature" of the workforce.

What can I do to feel good in my job? What training would give me more confidence? What subject would I like to work on? These are all questions that can be asked to employees in order to understand and anticipate their expectations.

⚡ To go further, discover our guide to communicating effectively internally

Ensuring work-life balance

Another key point in the prevention of Quiet Quitting is the preservation of the work-life balance.Quiet quitting and the fight against this phenomenon.

This can be done by establishing new work rules such as banning emails outside of office hours or requiring regular breaks.

It can also take the form of a real reorganization of work with the introduction of the four-day week or the implementation of remote work, for example.

Here again, technology can support the company's strategy. With the Viva Insight platform, the employer can, for example, set time slots during which employees will not be disturbed by any notifications.

Adopt good quality managerial practices

As mentioned above, management also plays a major role in the engagement or disengagement of employees.

To prevent employees from becoming disengaged, it is therefore necessary to banish bad management practices such as micro-management, lack of availability, unclear instructions or lack of recognition.

On the contrary, managers must listen, define clear objectives and make employees responsible by involving them in decisions, encouraging initiative and giving them the right to make mistakes.

Above all, managers must actively contribute to the emergence of a true feedback culture, and in particular positive feedback. To do this, they must not hesitate to congratulate their teammates when they succeed in an assignment, but also when they make an interesting proposal or deploy an ingenious work method.

Digital solutions can of course help managers improve their practices. In the context of a project, the use of Microsoft Teams will allow them, for example, to transmit instructions in a clear manner, but also to give recognition easily (notably thanks to the "compliments" badges available from the Teams text editor).

⚡ To go further, discover the 5 key benefits of digital communication in-house

Better sharing of the created value

Finally, the question of money is of course at the center of the concerns of many quiet quitters, and this even more so in a period marked by high inflation and a drop in the purchasing power of households.

Many quiet quitters thus demand a salary that matches their efforts, without which they will not invest in their job.

To remedy quiet quitting, it is therefore relevant to ensure a better sharing of the value created by the organization.

This can take the form of a salary increase, but also the allocation of bonuses, particularly profit-sharing bonuses. The latter are particularly relevant, as they are linked to the company's results, and therefore to the efforts made collectively by the employees...

Quiet quitting in France: what you should know

Although not totally unprecedented, the phenomenon of quiet quitting that is currently affecting France is a cause for concern for employers.

And for good reason, this wave of disengagement reflects a real malaise in the workplace, affects a very large number of employees and has serious consequences for the company.

However, there are various solutions to the problem of "Quiet quitting". These solutions can largely rely on technology, and more particularly on the Digital Workplace, to create a motivating and engaging work environment

3. Streamline your digitalization strategy

The rationalization of the digitalization strategy is crucial for the success of a digital transformation. On the one hand, it limits the resources invested in the project to the useful elements. On the other hand, it spreads the digital transformation over time, giving employees time to adapt.  

Moreover, the proliferation of tools increases the risk that some software will be put on the back burner and gradually forgotten.  

Opting for tools that are integrated with your existing solutions can therefore be a winning strategy. For example, Mozzaik integrates with your Microsoft work environment. As a result, you rationalise your investment. Another example of integration is Klaxoon, which provides a suite of collaborative tools. The interoperability between Klaxoon and the Office 365 suite allows you to access the tools directly from Microsoft Teams.

One thing is certain, you can't do everything at once. Picking your battles is therefore essential.

Remember, streamlining does not mean cutting back on the user experience! The goal is always to create a seamless experience and give users a sense of simplicity. This brings us to the next point.

4. Keep it simple

Target the primary needs of your teams with great precision. This will allow you to create an ecosystem of tools adapted to their reality in the field. Adoption will be the best and change management will be the smoothest under these conditions.  

For the Digital Workplace, simple things are often the best. They are more effective because they can be deployed more easily in your business units and because user satisfaction is higher when they are easy to learn.  

Do not hesitate to anticipate uses and choose tools that will be easy to change when new needs emerge.  

This is also simplicity: agility.

5. Move with agility

When a project is implemented over the long term, the initial needs may evolve. The users' needs change and the expression made at the beginning of the project is often different from the one expressed during the delivery.  

The agile method allows you to learn from your mistakes and adjust the focus quickly. This method emphasises collaboration and promotes the autonomy of everyone. How do you do it?  

In the agile method, we advance by iteration, planning actions for only 2 or 3 weeks. This brings flexibility and agility. At each stage you are able to adapt your development to the feedback from users.

Agile methods are above all a culture. One that emphasizes sharing and values feedback. This notion is important, because it allows us to progress and improve.

Don't worry, you don't need to know how to do everything. If you are not an expert in this new software or in change management, don't hesitate to ask for help.

6. Get support

The integration of a digital tool is just as important as the selection of the tool. The integration and configuration of the tool must meet your expectations. Change management support is essential to facilitate adaptation.  

Once you have chosen your tools, your technical stack, the integration stage will come.  

This is the job of the integrators!  

Their role is to support you in all technical aspects, implementation, configuration, and also adoption by end users. The integrator is like a bandmaster, who will take your digitalization from the idea stage through to reality.

This is also where change management comes in. It is a crucial step. Indeed, a study conducted by Moovone shows that 67% of employees feel that management does not take their feedback into account and 63% say that they have not had the opportunity to express themselves on this subject. So, integrating your employees into digitalization is key. This will allow you to bypass a major issue: resistance to change.  

7. Become autonomous with your tools

While getting support in setting up tools is a key point. Becoming autonomous is the ultimate goal. Indeed, it would be unthinkable to have to call on an external service provider for the slightest request. So take advantage of the support provided by integrators to train yourself.  

Be aware that a tool is constantly evolving. So remember to keep up to date with its uses by constantly training yourself. Subscribing to the newsletter can be an excellent way to keep yourself informed of updates and new features. At Mozzaik, Clément Poulain, our Product Owner, does this job. He sends a monthly summary of Mozzaik365 news to users.

8. Keep your tools alive

The worst thing that can happen after implementing new tools is that they are not used. To keep the tool alive, a committed community must be created. They can help each other and can later train other employees.  

Don't hesitate to dedicate a few minutes to presenting your new tools in a team meeting. Conviviality is an excellent way of dealing with change.  

9. Make your employees actors

Involving your employees in the implementation of your digital transformation is essential. You can designate referents for each tool. For example, a community of referents for the Office suite, another for Yammer, etc. These are people who develop specific expertise and take on an additional transversal mission.

In practice, a company directory is an excellent way of finding internal experts on each subject. If employees have questions, they can turn to a member of the community for help.

You are ready to take up the challenge of digitalizing your company! What about you? What good practice would you add to this list?  

Things to remember

📌 Prioritize important actions;

📌 Listen and exchange with your employees;

📌 Code your digital transformation;

📌 Keep it simple;

📌 Adapt to the different changes.

📌 Get assistance.

📌 Be independent on digital tools

📌 Coconstruct your tools with your community

📌 Transform your employees

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