"So the media is covering this phenomenon known as 'quiet quitting', like it's some new virus that's leaked from a lab. And it's this pandemic starting to burn through companies. But in reality, it's been around for a long time. The 'quiet quitting' trend and COVID do have something in common. They both originated in China.
It started back in 2021 as a way for young Chinese workers to rebel against their oppressive work culture. In early 2022, Tik-Tokers and the Twitter-verse began promoting it as some kind of worldwide social revolution. But again, it's nothing new.
As long as there has been work, there's been slackers that do just enough to get by. All the data says the same thing. Two out of every three employees are disengaged. They're slacking off. What we're seeing on social media, this 'quiet quitting', just gives it a mainstream name and makes it sound kind of cool. Makes it sound justified.
Now the media is saying this is all about burnout, but it's not. A disengaged employee doesn't work hard enough to burn out. They don't engage because they don't see the point. Employees are smart. They've already figured out that their job has a 'good enough' threshold, and they know what that threshold is and how much effort it takes to just get by.
They're not bad people. They are just human. And humans are wired to conserve energy. It's part of our natural survival instincts. We always want to keep something in the tank just in case the crap really hits the fan.
So three key points.
- Unless you're an extreme outlier, you're not getting everyone's best effort. And it's nothing new.
- The media is now romanticizing minimal effort as some sort of virtuous awakening, but it's not.
- If you want people to give more effort, it's going to take more effort on your part. It's not just going to happen.
The people on your team that are given their best efforts have found a way to self-motivate. You don't need to help them. But the people that have quietly quit haven't. And they do need your help.
In the next episode, I'll explain some of the things you can do to bring out the best in your people. And when you do that, you're not just helping yourself, you're not just helping your company, but you're helping each and every employee.
People that take pride in their work tend to be happier because they feel more of a sense of accomplishment and connection to other people around them. And that positive momentum impacts other parts of their lives. And you can be a big part of making that happen for them."
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