By Ben Harris, Vice President of Sales EMEA North, Visier
Work life comes with its ups and downs for us all. We’re all too familiar with that gut-wrenching feeling during stressful periods. But it’s important to remember that we’ve also all felt the real highs from the weeks where we’re nailing our output and deliverables.
The workplace rollercoaster has been heightened by the cost-of-living crisis which has put extra strain on employees. Visier data highlighted that workers were struggling to make ends meet on their current salaries, and were being forced to find alternative ways of making money – including taking on a new role – if their employer did not do more to support them. Pressures like this led to the ‘Quiet Quitting’ phenomenon in 2022, where businesses were impacted by employees not quitting their jobs, but instead quitting the idea of “going above and beyond” in their role.
This year we’ve seen the antidote to ‘Quiet Quitting’ rear its head as employees strive to take steps to maintain a positive working life. This is the new kid on the block – ‘Quiet Thriving’. It’s when employees actively change their workday in order to shift their mental state and help themselves to feel more engaged in the workplace. At a time where economic pressures are high, a focus on workplace wellbeing is crucial for both employers and employees. Let’s delve into how employers can encourage an environment where ‘Quiet Thriving’ flourishes, and the impact this trend will have on staff retention in the long term.
Why wellbeing at work takes top priority
As businesses focus on staying afloat during an unstable economy, fostering an environment where employees can thrive can often be forgotten, as it makes its way down the business agenda. Wellbeing at work looks beyond simple perks and stress reduction, instead its about building a wider strategy towards managing employee effectiveness, balanced with reducing burnout and prioritising company values.
But, investing in staff wellbeing is not an optional luxury. It’s a sustainable way of ensuring the good health of any business, particularly when times get tough. Employees are a businesses most important asset, vital to growth and success. This means investment in employee experience, engagement and wellbeing, in their many shapes and forms, is critical.
According to Visier data from last year, of the Brits planning to ride out the recession with their current employer to ensure job security, 30% said that they are likely to ‘Quietly Quit’ their job to work out their next move, focus on personal projects and allocate more time for learning and development activities. This presents a challenge to employers in that as employees become disengaged from the business, there’s a much greater chance of higher resignation rates. But there is still ample opportunity for employers to mitigate this risk by investing in what matters to the team. The same survey revealed that if employers – or prospective employers – focused on wellbeing by offering bonus schemes (39%), better learning and development opportunities (29%) and permanent hybrid working schemes (24%) employees would feel more content with their job.
Taking steps like this help to create a more positive work culture and cultivating an ethos to make team members feel supported and motivated each day is critical in ensuring the retention of top talent.
Setting employees up for success
Encouraging employees to thrive goes beyond creating a healthy environment. The saying ‘you are your own worst enemy’, can sometimes ring true when it comes to work, with many of us struggling to step back and switch off. In fact, recent Visier research shows that fewer than 60% of employees in the US have actually taken time off work since 2020. That’s an incredibly high number.
This highlights the role that employers need to play to make sure employees are taking the necessary time off and looking after themselves. Line managers and HR have a big role to play here in keeping a close eye on annual leave patterns to avoid risking a decline in productivity, and the appearance of burnt out and fatigued employees.
The solution here lies within the vast amount of HR data available to organisations. With people analytics, line managers can be empowered with the timely insights they need to ensure team members are using their leave allowance. The largest African bank, Standard Bank are doing just this by empowering their data hungry employees with the insights to make better line management decisions.
Maximising employee engagement and avoiding stagnation
With the cost-of-living crisis front of mind for employees, the constant demand to deliver high-outputs, feelings of burnout and stress for what’s to come is unsurprisingly causing employees to feel frustrated and disengaged.
To encourage the ‘Quiet Thriving’ trend, and find creative ways to engage employees, there’s an opportunity for employers to tap into the human desire to work towards clear and achievable goals. For employers, this means placing a renewed emphasis on finding ways to support employees in managing their work loads and finding creative ways to keep employees engaged.
Figuring out what employees need to keep them engaged is imperative to sparking positive mindsets in the workplace. Visier research found that nearly one-third of employees who changed jobs within the past year (32%) did so to learn new skills. This highlights the importance of personal development to our workforce.
People analytics can also be used in tandem with skills data to understand which skills are available, most in-demand and under-used across the organisation. In tandem with employee and line manager empowerment, organisations can map out unique employee pathways that allow everyone to feel proactively engaged and satisfied at work. As a result, employees will have a clear view of their progression opportunities and will feel in control of their careers beyond their current roles. But, it also means that at an organisational level, businesses will have a clearer picture of the current talent and skills landscape and be able to map this against business strategy.
Using people data like this to inform decision making can map out unique employee pathways that allows everyone to feel proactively engaged and satisfied at work. As a result, employees will have a clear view of their progression opportunities and will feel in control of their careers beyond their current role. But, it also means that at an organisational level, businesses will have a clear picture of the current talent and skills landscape and be able to map this against business strategy.
Human potential is a dynamic and hard to replicate competitive advantage, which makes happy and engaged employees even more impactful than any technology a business can employ. We have a human instinct to feel valued and empowered, meaning this recognition will have a significant impact on staff retention. This is why businesses must take strides towards a culture that helps individuals thrive. One where ‘Quiet Thriving’ becomes loud and impossible to ignore.