The Leader's 3-2-1: Three insights, two questions and one statistic.
Gallup finds that 50% of the US workforce has “quietly quit" - a phrase to describe an employee's choice to disengage and only do the bare minimum at work. One of the primary drivers of quiet quitting is unclear expectations, especially for Gen Z remote and hybrid workers: only one in four know what is expected of them. A strategy for clear expectations and quiet quitting prevention in 3-2-1:
Define what success and failure looks like. Reflect on a specific employee role, goal or duty. What are tangible, actionable metrics for success? …for failure? Contrast is powerful for clarity. Communicate expectations with statements like: “What I want to see in this project is… What I don't want to see is…”. Be explicit employees ask questions if a metric is foggy. Clarify what support is needed to achieve success. Ask with a listen-first mindset: “What does support look like from me to be successful?" Trust they want to work hard and succeed. Missing the mark is sometimes from lack of support, unrealistic expectations or development gaps. Timely support, reasonable goals and skill training is yours to own as the leader. Circle back early and often. Establish a consistent 1:1 meeting schedule to stay curious and coach-like about their approach, to continue to ask what support is needed, and to make success metric adjustments where necessary. Circling back is where you can establish the most clarity and care - crucial elements for quiet quitting prevention.
Look ahead six months. If an employee failed in their role, goal or duty…why did they? Setting clear expectations takes preparation on your part. When determining success or failure metrics, use this question to ideate what specific actions advance successful results. Focus on clarity and reasonable challenge. A too-easy or too-lofty metric can be demotivating. Who are you judging rather than helping? In the wise words of Ted Lasso: stay curious, not judgmental. What judgments about your employee's performance are getting in the way of connecting with them? If they're disengaged, what is your part to own?
70% of employee engagement is in the manager. “Gallup's most profound finding -- ever -- is probably this: 70% of the variance in team engagement is determined solely by the manager.” Gallup
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