Originally Published in the Daily Sentinel September 18 , 2022

Hot on the trails of The Great Resignation, we begin seeing an emerging trend among the remaining workforce. If you’ve logged into LinkedIn lately, you’ve probably heard the term “quiet quitting”. With this concept, some employees are rejecting the idea that work should be the central focus of their lives. No more going above and beyond, subscribing to hustle culture, or putting in extra effort.  

These employees aren’t actually quitting their jobs, but they are quitting the idea they should go the extra mile. Although employees may still be showing up on time, meeting deadlines, and completing duties as assigned, these quiet quitters have begun to mentally check out. This is a great concern to employers because it can lead to a decline in performance, a reduction in new ideas, and even poor customer service. Quiet quitting may begin to silently spread among team members resulting in decreased employee retention and declining morale. 

This attitude shift can be seen as a response from employees that feel undervalued, burnt out, and in need of greater work-life balance. With September being Workforce Development month and the concept of quiet quitting sweeping the nation, it is critical for employers to emphasize engagement and create an atmosphere where employees thrive. So, what can you do to reduce these feelings and re-engage your team? 

Begin by setting clear expectations. Ensure your employees are clear about what their role entails, key performance metrics, and at-work expectations. Implement regular 1:1s with team leaders and employees to connect on performance, set goals, and establish growth plans together. By providing regular and positive feedback, you can help employees feel valued and understand how to better meet goals. Empower employees to take ownership of their growth, no matter what that may look like, by putting them in the driver’s seat. By understanding the passions and key drivers of your workforce, you will begin to uncover areas for employees to truly take ownership of their roles.  

Understand what engagement and satisfaction at work looks like by connecting with your team. One of the reasons employees may take a step back from their role includes feeling like their work isn’t meaningful. Help employees see how their work contributes to big-picture goals, and educate your team on the overall mission, vision, and values of your organization.  

Lastly, lead by example. If your leadership exhibits poor work-life boundaries, delivers inconsistent feedback, and neglects to show sincere appreciation for employees, don’t be surprised when quiet quitting and employee resignation begin impacting your business.  

Uncovering strategies to retain existing talent is just as important as your recruitment efforts. Your workforce directly impacts the success of your organization. They are responsible for bringing new ideas to the table, delighting customers, and consequently growing revenue. For Workforce Development month, there are multiple opportunities to get involved in the community that will help you grow and retain your workforce. 

Across the Grand Valley, our partners and local businesses are dedicated to developing a thriving and engaged workforce, bucking the trend of “quiet quitting”! The month kicked off with a ribbon cutting from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, the Fruita Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Palisade Chamber of Commerce for Colorado Mesa University’s new Student Business Closet and job fair. This program will provide CMU students with access to clothing for job interviews so they can dress for success.  

Additionally, this month Mesa County Workforce Center hosted an open house to showcase community programs for both employers and employees including career development, job services, internships, on-the-job training, and veteran services. The Workforce Center will be hosting a job fair on October 6th to connect job seekers with employers.  For a full list of workforce development events and workshops visit: mcwfc.us/event-calendar. 

It’s clear to see the Grand Valley is brimming with opportunity for both employers and employees alike! Workforce development and economic development go hand-in-hand. As economic development works to encourage business growth and job creation, workforce development ensures individuals have access to the education, skills, and training needed so we can create a stronger economy together.