You’ve probably heard of this phenomenon on social media or around the workplace, or you might have experienced it yourself, even if you didn’t associate the feeling with the concept of quiet quitting, the great resignation, the great rethink, or whatever people might call it these days. So, what is quiet quitting? “Despite the name, the philosophy of quiet quitting is not connected to quitting a job outright, but rather, employees avoid going above and beyond at work by doing the bare minimum required and engage in work-related activities solely within defined work hours” (source).
A lot of things have changed in the working environment in the past few years, there's been a major shift in people’s roles and a constant need for adaptation, which has led to a change of perspective upon the way people work. There are various facts which have contributed to this quiet quitting, such as high rates of employee burnout, the budget cuts, the increase in work requirements, the shift from working from the office to remote work, which made the lines between personal and professional space unclear. Some professionals, a lot of them actually, are quitting their jobs.
According to a McKinsey’s study, “the share of workers planning to leave their jobs remains unchanged from 2021, at 40 percent”. People are either reshuffling, changing the industries in which they perform their work, or reinventing themselves, i.e. they change their type of work, choosing part-time roles or even opening their own businesses instead of the traditional, full-time roles they used to have. People who are not actually quitting their job, join the great resignation phenomenon, showing signs of disengagement, a need for self-preservation, an acknowledgement of the burnout phenomenon, and setting boundaries between their professional and personal lives.
And this happens in every work area, from retail to finance, healthcare to education, logistics to technology. So, what can be done to put a stop to this phenomenon, and not in how people overwork themselves and stop caring about their personal lives to perform better in their professional lives, but rather a shift in the organizational culture which would benefit all sides.
eLearning, a way to motivate and inspire your employees
We don’t say that learning and development alone can fight this phenomenon, we just say it can be a great contribution to make a change in professionals’ lives. As we were saying before, people are leaving their jobs, which calls for talent development, so that people can stay relevant in their industry and cover the skill gaps brought by constant changes.
You might say that you already offer learning and development opportunities to your employees. If you’re talking exclusively about mandatory training programs, that’s not really what we mean. We’re talking about letting people learn what’s important to them, besides what they need to learn. Professionals should feel that their employers care about their career growth and professional development, that they are more than a wheel in the corporate system.
Forbes has been talking about the importance of relevant learning, encouraging employers to make some changes:
“Give employees the opportunity to pursue the development that they choose for themselves. Invest in awarding them a stipend to fund some of their learning on programs that are outside your company’s professional development catalogue.”
Also, the eLearning should focus on people being part of learning communities, creating connections in the workspace, building team cohesion, and increasing the engagement rates. This is even more important in the context of remote work, where professionals lack the human connection they used to have when attending their meeting in a face to face context, in the office. Also, you should not expect people to actually engage in learning if this is seen as an “after finishing the daily tasks” action. People are tired, stressed about their responsibilities, and they need to have time to actually like and get engaged in the eLearning process, rather than to perceive it as a new task.
Another good practice according to the previously mentioned Forbes article is to integrate life-long learning into the organizational culture:
“Integrate it into everything you do. Make it clear in the hiring and onboarding process that professional development is a priority, an opportunity and an expectation. When you build a learning culture and your people know from day 1 that learning is an important part of their job, they’ll be more likely to engage in learning programs without feeling guilty that they didn’t respond to an email within minutes of its being sent.”
To wrap it up, eLearning is a great asset in making people feel valuable at their jobs, to making them realize that they are part of something, that their personal and professional growth is a part of their day to day jobs. People no longer stay at a job just because they want to have a salary. They want more than that and if they cannot find what they are looking for in a job, they will change it in no time, which means that organizations need to do more than giving people tasks and paying them to make sure that the employee turnover rates don’t go over the place.
Some (final) thoughts
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