quiet quitting
Beyond pizza Fridays and ‘mental health at your desk’ initiatives, it is time to take employee needs more seriously. Image Credit: Pexels/EnergePic

With the new year commencing, the time has come to reflect on upcoming trends that may lead to true empowerment in the workplace, despite the broad uncertainties experienced in the past year at a global level.

In the wake of the ‘new normal’, workplaces in 2023 are predicted to be more diverse, more distributed and agile than ever. Multinational organisations and SMEs alike will need to adapt further to satisfy the rapidly shifting employee expectations and rising trends in behavior in the age of the emerging ‘quiet quitting’ movement.

It is undeniable that disruption has entered the workplace, and quite rightly, but 2023 holds something of an opportunity. It symbolises a rebirth, a new beginning and it can start with empowerment. Can companies truly come to terms with empowering their own work culture forward to outpace employee satisfaction far out and beyond?

Quid pro quo

Beyond pizza Fridays and ‘mental health at your desk’ initiatives, it is time to take employee needs more seriously. Whether it is mentally checking out from a role and doing only what is required to get by, or rejecting the corporate etiquette and reverting to isolation, ‘quiet quitting’ has now become something of a rallying demand for a better work-life integration.

As such, a weakened organisational culture has left the workforce demotivated and unwilling to go the extra mile. Balance, agility and consideration are the kind of common challenges companies are all still grappling with. All too often, we see more exit interviews gone to waste when simply re-evaluating one’s performance and skillsets could have allowed the employee to be offered another, more fitting role.

That is where the conversation should start. Whenever dissatisfaction is heard, empowerment can take place. Even more so, considering such an exchange could motivate other employees to show up and express their own vision for their professional career. This way more genuine, and therefore, more productive relationships may take shape across the board.

Re-evaluating the balance between expectations of each individual’s career ladder, professional development and a need for relationship building all comes down to nuance. Not all is black or white, nor is having one step in and one step out sustainable in the long-term.

Scaling solutions

For decades, the notion of work-life integration has been promoted to a certain degree, but lacked genuine appeal, or rather, nuance. At present, it is critical for organisations to focus more on work-life integration that relies on the belief that a vital harmony ties together in such way that distinction is only felt in the name, rather than the experience itself.

This may be experienced with carrying a humane attention to the workplace, one driven by mutual respect, passion and understanding. As such, employees indulging on a work-life integration journey will experience more satisfaction and, most importantly, a meaning in their day-to-day lives. The workplace then becomes a place of possibilities and hope, which is a scenario that should be prioritised urgently.

As a result, 2023 will likely pave the way for more companies to adopt provisions for enhanced empowerment, one that inspires employees to fit their professional responsibilities as well as educational opportunities around their role.

As the pandemic uncovered different approaches to integrate the personal and professional, with the best practices surfacing at the core of the workplace, now is the time to truly consider the emancipating outcomes of enacting empowerment from within. Only then will a true shift in employee retention carry sustainable and productive outcomes, to say the least.