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Supply Chain employees are ‘quiet’ quitting: How leaders can cultivate an engaged productive workforce

What would you do if you knew 67% of your team were passively looking for work? Would you approach your team differently? Would you communicate differently?

A recent 2023 report released by Gallup, “State of The Global Workplace”, found that 67% of the Australian workforce are ‘quiet’ quitting and not engaged at work. 

Quiet quitting is when employees are psychologically disconnected in their role and put in the bare minimum work required to keep their job. This might look like:

  • employees not actively participating in meetings unless directly addressed

  • not volunteering for tasks or projects, or turning down tasks outside of their job description

  • isolating themselves from the rest of the team

  • increased absenteeism

This may come as a result of some workers feeling stuck in roles due to the labour market slowing down and a reduction in opportunities. Stagnant wage growth coupled with the increased cost of living may also play a role, as pay is one of the main reasons employees decide to move on, according to Seek. According to the Gallup report, Australia and New Zealand have the “second highest regional percentage of daily stress” and quiet quitters are more likely to experience stress and burnout. 

Compounding the high disengagement in the workplace, 81% of workers in Australia and New Zealand also believe “now is a good time to find a new job.” With 43% of workers “watching or actively seeking a new job”. Employee disengagement has a significant impact not only on the company culture but also in loss of productivity. 

Company leaders can have a significant impact on mitigating quiet quitting in the workplace and cultivate a more engaged, happy and productive workplace. 

Here are 3 ways leaders can combat quiet quitting and cultivate a productive happy workforce:

1. Start with a top down approach

Engagement and company culture starts from the leaders, and poor management is one of the main reasons employees leave a job. Leaders should be approachable and be actively engaged with each member of their team. Gallup suggests leaders should “have one meaningful conversation per week with each team member - 15-30 minutes.” Managers should build their leadership skills to foster a collaborative team environment where employees feel valued, and to help reduce burnout and disengagement.

2. Give employees a sense of purpose

According to the Gallup report, employees are seeking more autonomy and opportunities to develop and build on their skills, to give them a sense of purpose in the workplace. Employees also need to see how their work contributes to the company’s mission and values.

3. Provide recognition

Employees want to be recognized for their work and contribution to the company. Leaders may implement employee reward and recognition programs, but it may also be as simple as thanking employees and sharing their achievements with the wider team. According to Deloitte, companies who provide reward and recognition see a 14% increase in productivity and engagement.

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