by Shep Moyle
The busyness of the workplace and the changing nature of work is at the top of every CEO’s list today. Over the past three years – and for many companies, the introduction of remote and hybrid work options for the first time – fundamentally changed company policies, employee expectations and organizational processes.
Are you managing this change, or is it managing you?
We wanted to get to the bottom of what inspires and engages our workforce today, so we brought together an elite panel of former CEO and CEO Coaching International coaches with decades of experience in leadership. You can check out the full panel here, or read on for some of the top takeaways:
What is “keep quiet”?
Some people say that quitting quietly is about doing the minimum amount of work during the workday. Others say it’s about letting go of the culture of hustle and “the idea of going above and beyond.”
As a former CEO, I know I was guilty of quick calls to senior management on weekends at 4:30 p.m. emails or urgent items. Many of our managers and leaders today are accustomed to a cultural expectation that everyone will go the extra mile for the company, even if it means extra hours or beyond specified job responsibilities.
But the pandemic has completely changed this approach. Just as many companies require their employees to return to the office, face layoffs or other recession-proofing measures, or generally look to enhance their performance, team members are no longer the way they used to. Don’t want to stir it. But this is not a new phenomenon – it has just gained more widespread popularity.
“It has existed for years,” says Michael Marchi, former CEO of multibillion-dollar companies. “You will always have members of your organization who only do minimal work. But this is accelerating because people are less attached to work, and culturally, more people are interested in drawing boundaries.”
The solution to leaving calm comes down to culture-building
With the removal of a physical office space, it’s up to companies to inspire employees to create a sense of belonging and purpose — and provide real, tangible reasons to collaborate and lean on. “Do you have a sense of belonging and are you pursuing that goal?” Asks global industrial business leader Erno de Bruijn. “It’s about the lack of proper culture and values. If there’s no sense of purpose, your employee certainly won’t want to engage. They don’t feel like they are related. ,
Creating a sense of purpose comes from two key soft skills: setting expectations and communicating. Entrepreneur Meghan Watkins says, “As leaders of an organization, it is our responsibility to motivate our teams. By being able to explain why we are doing things, and to encourage communication, is going to make people feel more comfortable and help you understand why they are more displaced.”
Every employee should understand:
Overall objective of the company. Why do they come to work everyday? What is higher purpose beyond paycheck? Company and division-specific targets. How can they contribute in tangible ways to that higher purpose and overall success? expectations for his role. What specific part of those goals are they part of?
“If you don’t give employees that level of purpose, you won’t let people move forward and be a top performer,” says Marchi. “People need to know what is expected of them, what their output should be, and how that work contributes to the overall success of the company.”
Bottom Line: Quiet is another term for the same employee engagement issues that every company faces. Start with value and purpose, rather than just driving everyone back to the office where you can see them.
However, solving this new workplace trend requires some new tools. “We need to adapt and change as we move forward,” says Pascal Brochier, former Gillette managing director. “There is a new level of trust that needs to be built, and you need to embrace new engagement tools. Whether you are distributed, hybrid, or in-person, the basics are still the same. They just keep going. Let’s execute in a different way.”
You already have the tools to measure engagement and keep your teams engaged. Consider evaluating how you’re using:
quarterly goal-setting meetings, or similar structures such as company-wide OKRs (objectives and key results) real-time chat tools like Slack that allow you to stay in touch with your teams, video conferencing and training, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams and training management for both employees
“Things changed. Employees are available 24/7, but they are burned out,” Watkins says. “There hasn’t been enough training and development for managers to be able to communicate effectively with teams in a changing environment , so that they can build expectations, inspire and motivate teams every day.”
To learn more about inspiring and inspiring teams for CEOs, consider chatting with one of these expert trainers. Learn More >