Employers with Thriving Workers Get these 5 Things Right2 min read.
Since 2022 was the year of ‘quiet quitting’ (and other unhelpful ‘quiet’ goings on) and engagement levels have sunk to worrying depths, it is safe to assume you are ready for a more optimistic term.
Well, here it is, right on theme: ‘quiet thriving.’ First coined by Lesley Alderman in an article in The Washington Post, the phrase applies to employees who make the necessary changes to start genuinely enjoying their jobs.
While ‘quiet quitting’ perpetuates an idea that achieving balance in your personal life requires sacrificing your spark and commitment at work, ‘quiet thriving’ is based on the firm belief that there need not be a trade-off.
Disengagement is an opportunity for growth
Many employers assume that once an employee has ‘checked out’ engagement-wise, it is because they fundamentally do not like the job and not a lot can be done to fix things.
That is usually not the case.
While it is true that disengaged employees are more of a flight risk, they more often cite lack of development opportunities, stress, and poor management as the culprits for their dissatisfaction than the role itself.
As the adage goes, “People don’t leave jobs, they leave managers.”
The good news here is there are a whole host of ways to reinforce even the most fragile bond and turn a disengaged employee into a thriving one.
Here are our top picks.
How to create space for your employees to thrive:
Launch a gratitude campaign
People need to feel valued in order to thrive. A gratitude campaign is based on showing basic appreciation and can be easily implemented in both office-based and fully remote organisations.
Now is the time to make a conscious and sustained effort to acknowledge the small things, giving credit where it’s due and showing employees that their effort and willingness is not lost on you.
Whether you use a physical noticeboard, an online platform or group emails to highlight that recognition, efforts should be sincere and regular.
Do your research
Trying to fix engagement issues in the workplace without digging around to find the causes is like trying to perform surgery blindfolded. Nobody recommends that.
Get a pulse on what your employees already like about working at your company. What is tethering them to the organisation? Is there potential to extend those things further?
Similarly, use anonymous surveys to find out what employees don’t like so much about their day-to-day. Gathering such feedback is the best way to get clear and precise about what changes will have the biggest impact.
Say “yes” more
In the Washington Post article, Alderman notes that employees who want to thrive at work should be willing to make changes to craft a job they find meaningful. It follows then, that employers should be open-minded to approving requests when they arise.
Does an employee want flexible hours to maximise their productivity? Or the chance to upskill and work on new projects? If it is within your power to grant these things, do so. It will make people feel heard and increase their sense of autonomy.
Emphasise a sense of purpose
According to one study, a keen sense of purpose is a common denominator for 80% of thriving employees. Regularly reminding employees of what your organisation is working towards can help connect them to a greater sense of meaning, which directly affects engagement levels.
Keep everyone up to date with new business goals, the latest achievements and how their work has contributed and watch their motivation soar.
Be mindful with meetings
There has been much speculation recently about whether we spend more time in meetings than is productive or necessary. A recent study from Microsoft revealed that sitting in back-to-back video calls causes stress levels to build in your brain.
Given that thriving employees are seven times more likely to work for a company that prioritises employee wellbeing, cancelling unnecessary meetings, encouraging regular breaks, introducing ‘focus time’ or blocking out one ‘no-meetings’ day a week are just a few of the ways that you can respect your employees’ mental health and prevent the dreaded ‘zoom burnout.’
Employers who contribute to this shift in the workplace and create space for their staff to thrive, quietly or otherwise, will reap huge benefits in productivity, innovation, and the overall success of their businesses.