Silent bidding – which is also commonly referred to as “quiet quitting” – is a recent trend in the workplace. It primarily involves employees opting to stick solely to their job descriptions when it comes to handling tasks. It can also include not going above and beyond in other areas, such as choosing not to review or respond to work emails outside of their scheduled work hours.

In some cases, quiet quitting is effectively a counterpoint to the rise of “hustle culture,” a movement that favors the grind and views consistently exceeding expectations at work as a path toward greater career success. Some also connect it to sentiments expressed during the Great Resignation, where many professionals stood up and started demanding more from employers on a broad scale.

For employers, the silent bidding trend is worrisome, particularly at companies where a hustle mentality was previously in play among the workforce. Fortunately, there are ways to boost employee engagement and motivation, potentially offsetting some of these recent changes. Here are some tips that can help.

How to Keep Employees Engaged Heading into 2023

Offer Competitive Compensation

First and foremost, offering competitive compensation is generally essential, particularly if you want employees to go the extra mile. Part of what spurred quiet quitting was the fact that many professionals were giving far more to their employers than their paychecks would suggest. As a result, they scaled back, focusing only on their core responsibilities as outlined in their job description.

Offering fair compensation that aligns with any expectations regarding employees going above and beyond essentially counteracts that argument. As a result, you may see a rise in willingness to take on extra responsibilities. Additionally, it allows you to stand out from competitors, which can boost recruitment and retention.

Discuss Expectations with Employees

In some cases, quiet quitting is more likely to occur when expectations aren’t overly clear. It’s far easier to take a bare minimum approach when an employee’s duties are ill-defined or vague, as that ambiguity makes the idea of shirking additional responsibilities seem easier.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to combat this head-on. Managers should meet with employees to discuss their roles and responsibilities. Set clear expectations regarding duties, outlining exact tasks as needed. Additionally, update job descriptions, policies, and procedures, as well as develop formal metrics for assessing performance.

The purpose here is to ensure that employees understand what’s needed of them. By formalizing it, you can effectively adjust the paradigm, ensuring those who are – or are considering – quiet quitting know what it takes to meet expectations, guaranteeing the minimum isn’t so low that it’s detrimental to the company.

However, make sure that any expectations are reasonable based on an employee’s position. Asking every worker to respond to business emails 24/7 isn’t going to correct quiet quitting behavior; it’s simply going to encourage workers to leave the organization. Since your best and brightest likely wouldn’t have issues finding something new with the current labor shortage, moves that actively chase them away aren’t wise.

Instead, find ways to strike a balance. Allow employees to have some reasonable boundaries regarding their personal time. By doing so, you’re extending respect, and that can go a long way when it comes to engagement. Plus, it ensures your workforce can rest and recharge, which can help them stay motivated when they are on the job.

Speak with Your Employees

In some cases, quiet quitting occurs because managers make assumptions about an employee’s career goals. They may view a new responsibility as a chance to learn a new skill that could take the worker to the next level. The issue is, if the employee isn’t interested in taking that step or currently feels that they have too much on their plate, they’ll view the tasks solely as a burden. If they’re forced to take it on anyway, that could make them more resistant to going the extra mile in the future.

By speaking with your employees, you get a chance to find out what it will take to keep them personally motivated and engaged. Additionally, it allows you to gauge their workloads as they are today. In turn, you can make sure to present new responsibilities that align with their goals, which can lead to higher motivation.

Plus, by respecting their views on their workloads and giving them the option of opting out of voluntary responsibilities, you ensure they aren’t overloaded. This breeds a sense of trust, which can lead to greater loyalty. In turn, when the right opportunities come along, your employees may be far more open to going the extra mile.

Reward Those Who Exceed Expectations

As mentioned previously, hustle culture was somewhat based on the notion that going the extra mile would lead to career success. While that did happen in many cases, it wasn’t a universal experience. Instead, some employees found their employers taking advantage of their willingness to push themselves further. As a result, some professionals found that initial hustle culture promise to be false at their companies, leading them to quiet quit.

If you want to counteract quiet quitting, then you need to show that going above and beyond benefits the employee. Offering raises or promotions to those who willingly step up and do more serves as a clear signal that those who put in the effort can receive what hustle culture initially promised. As a result, it may motivate others to push themselves, too, as they understand that a reward for their effort is likely.

Do You Need Motivated, Engaged Candidates? Partner with Burnett Specialists

While taking steps to counter quiet quitting is essential, hiring motivated, engaged candidates is also a must if you’re going to cultivate an effective workforce. At Burnett Specialists, we understand what it takes to find the right-fit professionals for your open positions, ensuring they’ll exceed expectations at every step.

If you’re looking for top-tier candidates who are ready to excel, partnering with Burnett Specialists can streamline the search process while delivering exceptional results. Request more information to see how the Burnett Specialists approach can benefit your organization.

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