How ‘Quiet Quitting’ Is Impacting Corporate India Inc

Decoding the syndrome of mental fatigue at work that sometimes lead to quiet quitting

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Modern workplaces are sailing through a new phenomenon of quiet quitters. This has led to a workforce which is not disengaged but, one that does not want to go above and beyond to complete their work, but instead choosing to do the bare minimum. This comes on the back of a perfect storm of circumstances ranging from prioritising overall well-being to not actually quitting out of concerns of the slowing global economy. This trend of quiet quitters has forced leaders to go back to the drawing board and devise new strategies this new corporate challenge impacting employers. However, if employees continue to do the bare minimum while not being passionate or innovative towards their jobs will surely have long-term impact on ethos of modern workspace as well as eventual business impact.

Looking at the situation, I am reminded of his holiness, the Dalai Lama who had said, “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” In the current scenario, a workplace with improved work-culture prioritising employee health and well-being is the need of the hour. The last three years have brought about a paradigm shift in the relationship between employee and the workplace, thereby compelling organisations to amend and reinforce a cohesive employee value proposition to cater to the evolving workforce needs. Progressive organisations and leaders are shifting towards human-centered value proposition which offers invoking leadership, healthy career growth and a holistic work life.

Concerted efforts need to be taken up by leadership, starting from the CEO to ensure wellbeing at workplace is prioritised. This demands time, energy, and commitment and hence, without a roadmap to track progress, even good intentions can fall short. Usually, the organisational change is brought about at the bottom of the pyramid express through individual employee behaviour, however this can fail without extensive support from the top management.

In recent times, multitude issues have further accentuated the rise in mental health issues. A survey by Deloitte paints a grim picture, as it found that 47 per cent professionals considered workplace related stress as the biggest factor affecting their mental health. The survey also highlights how poor mental health amongst employees costs Indian employers around USD 14 billion per year due to absenteeism, presenteeism and attrition. While mental health issues are not something new, the number of employees affected is higher and so is the degree of the challenge. The onus is on leadership to raise awareness and simultaneously de-stigmatise mental health challenges so that employees feel open to access assistance in the early stages. 

To make real progress organisations need collective initiatives to ensure real progress:

CEO also Chief Mental Health Officer

There a looming threat of employees being stressed, depressed and overworked acerated by the pandemic. The CEO needs to lead by example when it comes to care by embracing the role of the mental health officer. One of the most effective methods that any leader can employ is to share their own challenges and how they work towards coping with them. This is the most critical feature where leaders do not disguise their struggles behind a façade, in order to seem perfect. New-age employees are looking for a humane leadership which thrives on openness and is mindful of work-life balance.

Humanise the conversation

As a leader, it is the responsibility of the leadership to set the tone and precedent on how mental health issues are openly spoken, accepted, and dealt with in the organisation. One must be mindful of the words and phrases as many stigmas come from misguided views and stereotypes. Such inaccurate ideas can lead to discriminatory behaviour thereby, derailing all the other efforts undertaken by the organisation to build an open and accepting culture. All of us, have experienced challenges, the power to destigmatise, lies with the leaders as the stigma decreases when they share their experiences.

Deploy resources, raise awareness

Nothing says wellbeing and health louder than physical activity. Many of the people in the office need to find a life-work balance, which is hard to do with a busy schedule. This is why more and more companies are introducing on-site wellness and fitness programs – to motivate and enable their employees to exercise and improve their overall health. In addition to the on-site fitness opportunities, the company funds its employees’ gym memberships or helps them obtain fitness-related equipment. If incorporating such a program in the workplace is not doable for some reason, you can always give your team access to outside activities, such as a monthly gym membership or vouchers for yoga classes.

In a nutshell, leaders need to be comfortable and open about conversations around mental health as this builds the confidence in the employees. Fostering a sense of social belonging does not have to be a difficult or costly endeavour. Research proves that increase in employee well-being also benefits employers. That should come as no surprise. Companies that care about their employees’ health and wellbeing are more likely to have employees that care about the firm too. The thought of supporting mental wellbeing needs to come from within, it isn’t a tick in box of a must-do but needs to come from the heart as a want to do. Having an open and empowered workforce is the most potent way of unlocking the true potential of the workforce.

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worklife workplace wellbeing india inc Quiet Quitting


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