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Quiet quitting and staff turnover: addressing key wellbeing challenges in the workplace

In today’s dynamic work environment, quiet quitting and staff turnover have emerged as significant health and wellbeing concerns for employers. The latest research from Towergate Health & Protection highlights that nearly three-quarters (74%) of employers have ramped up their health and wellbeing support compared to two years ago, with 42% offering significantly more resources. Despite this positive trend, businesses continue to face challenges such as quiet quitting and high turnover rates, emphasising the need for more targeted and strategic support.

The Quiet quitting phenomenon

Contrary to its name, quiet quitting does not involve employees leaving their jobs. Instead, it refers to employees doing only what their job demands, without going beyond their basic responsibilities. This means no extra tasks, no staying late, and no checking emails after work hours. While maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential to prevent burnout, businesses also need occasional extra effort from employees to thrive.

Quiet quitting often stems from a lack of clear boundaries, overburdening workloads, and inadequate compensation. To counter this, businesses can implement strategies such as:

Establishing clear boundaries

Ensure managers respect employees’ personal time by making after-hours communication optional and developing guidelines for urgent situations. Develop a way to mark messages as urgent and define guidelines of what constitutes an appropriate after-hours emergency. Rewarding employees for staying late by allowing them to leave early another day can also help maintain balance.

Managing workloads

Sometimes overtime is necessary, and most employees are not opposed to working extra hours occasionally, but when this willingness is abused, and a favour becomes the norm, quiet quitting can soon set in.  

If you ask employees to assume extra responsibilities, understand that you are changing the working agreement. The increase in duties or responsibility should be short-term and optional. However, if these new duties remain indefinitely, then they should be treated as an official promotion and come with extra remuneration.  

Fair compensation

Respect and fair compensation are crucial. Ensuring that employees are not squeezed for free work and that their contributions are valued helps maintain trust and respect, reducing the likelihood of quiet quitting.

Targeted Support for Employee Wellbeing

Despite the increase in health and wellbeing initiatives, the effectiveness of these programmes depends on their alignment with specific employee needs. It is important to focus support on the right areas and communicate effectively to support both the business and its employees. General support is not enough; it must address specific issues like quiet quitting, staff turnover, hybrid working, presenteeism, absence rates, and early retirement.

To provide targeted support, employers can:

  • Conduct staff surveys and employee forums – these tools help ascertain employees’ needs by asking the right questions, allowing employers to tailor support accordingly.
  • Implement risk profiling – identifying areas of need through risk profiling helps direct the type and focus of support, ensuring it addresses the most pressing issues.
  • Utilise digital platforms – with many employees now working on a hybrid basis, digital platforms for health and wellbeing support make it easier for employees to access resources relevant to them and for employers to evaluate their utilisation and effectiveness.

A strategic approach is essential, simply increasing funding for wellbeing support is not enough; it must be planned and executed to ensure it addresses both employee needs and business challenges.

The rise of quiet quitting and high staff turnover are clear indicators that while health and wellbeing support has improved, there is still a gap in meeting specific employee needs. By establishing clear boundaries, managing workloads effectively, and providing fair compensation, businesses can mitigate the risks of quiet quitting. Furthermore, targeted support tailored to the unique challenges of the workforce is crucial in fostering a healthy, engaged, and productive work environment. Adopting a strategic approach to employee wellbeing can help alleviate these issues, ultimately benefiting both employees and the organisation.

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