Quiet Quitting vs Intentional Leadership – Pulse Check

Quiet quitting is the latest trend – or is it? Work-life balance has been a hot topic for many years under varying names. In this episode of The Full Desk Experience , Kortney Harmon talks recruiting and staffing leaders through quiet quitting and how intentional leadership can take quiet quitters to engaged employees.

Kortney Harmon  

My second outlook on this whole quiet quitting understanding is your team’s engagement. I spoke about it a moment ago. I want to know what is your stance as an owner or a leader on engagement? Yeah, we want all of our employees to be engaged, but are you taking the steps to ensure they have the avenue to be engaged? 

Hi, I’m Kortney Harmon, staffing and recruiting industry principal at Crelate. Over the past decade, I’ve trained thousands of frontline recruiters and I’ve worked with hundreds of business owners and executives to help their firms and agencies grow. This is The Full Desk Experience, where we will be talking about growth blockers across your people, processes, and technologies. 

All right. Let’s go ahead and get started. What a hot topic today. So on today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about quiet quitting, and the idea that you probably don’t have a problem with a bunch of people who don’t want to work hard, but it’s possible and probable that you just don’t have the structure of your organization set up properly for honest feedback from your employees, growth for your employees to properly drive career pathing and succession planning, and you probably don’t have your tech set up for your teams to know how and when they’re going to get that next raise, promotion, and what really keeps your team driven to that next possible thing. 

As a leader, I want you to take an honest look at your organization. Maybe you don’t have a problem with quiet quitters, but do you know how your employees want to be engaged with and what motivates them? For those of you who haven’t heard of the jargon, simply put, quiet quitting is where you don’t outright quit your job, you’re just not going above and beyond while still doing the duties of your job. The concept comes really with the idea that it’s the opposite of hustle culture and climbing that corporate ladder as a direct result of burnout. 

I’ve seen this topic on media outlets, and I’m sure you have too. It’s encompassing my entire newsfeed on LinkedIn. Where people really talk about the why, this is the latest topic and trend. Is it? Yes, TikTok may have brought the latest trending video that has most of us buzzing, but believe it or not, we’ve talked about this, just in a different way, in the past. Have you ever talked about a career versus a job in the past? I know I have. It’s came up in my conversations while managing teams and talking to leaders in their organization. 

The idea that the person is only here for a nine to five, or the person doesn’t care about the next career move because it’s just a job for them. Think about it. A job is a task or a piece of work, one that’s paid for in return for their service. A career is an occupation undertaken for a significant period of time in a person’s life, and really has opportunity for progress. That means it’s not a daily transaction. There’s movement. It’s progressive. Dare I say, what you put in is what you get out? But before you understand what you’re working towards, that job or career, you must understand what motivates you, what fulfills you, heck, what even makes you happy. Today, our conversation is just going to be a little different from the job versus career approach, but not completely off base, just a different spin. We’re not here talking about things from the employee’s perspective. 

We’re here talking about it from the employer’s perspective. Because with this hot of a topic, we definitely want to make sure we’re talking about what’s important. With quiet quitting, we understand that people are still doing their jobs, just nothing more or nothing less. It’s quid pro quo. They’re hired for a salary. They do what’s expected of them. They’re just not knocking down doors to do more. Is that wrong? Or think about are you giving them the opportunity to earn more? Or are you forcing your aspirations of wanting them to do more upon your teams? I’ve really been racking my brain on this one, why this topic is so hot, why now? What’s transpired to put us here? My husband gets frustrated with me sometimes when I play the whole devil’s advocate approach to life. I can’t merely just take something that’s happening and accept it, I like to know the why behind it. 

I’m not sure if you’re like me. I’ve had some time to marinate on it, and I really think this comes down to a few things of what’s driving the now. It’s just my opinions, so I’m excited to hear what you have to say in the chat, but I really think this could be generational. Every generation has a trait that society associates with their age, right? Gen Z is known for being tech savvy, progressive, while millennials are engaged in activism and always hungry for information. People from Gen X tend to be very self-sufficient and are highly educated, actually, the highly most educated generation to date. Before that came baby boomers. Standout baby boomer characteristics really include that strong work ethic, that competitive nature. Most of these folks are now approaching retirement age. They’re no longer holding the largest market share of workers in the workforce, so the hustle culture isn’t the most dominant anymore. 

You may also argue that women having to provide themselves to work harder due to wage gaps and getting themselves in board rooms and leadership teams is no longer the biggest focus for women in the workforce. Let me ask you, is quiet quitting a direct reaction to the hustle culture? Does the generational aspect actually impact what’s happening today at all? I’m curious for your thoughts. There’s no doubt in my mind, the second portion of this is COVID. COVID has impacted this shift for sure. The majority of us left an onsite office job to go fully remote so our businesses could stay afloat. We had to figure out how to get our offices set up, how to get the right access to do our jobs in a new environment, and to do it well with our teams. Lo and behold, employees found out that they could do their jobs anywhere and possibly, just possibly, be more successful at it. 

Now that the pandemic has really subsided, there’s an expectation for your teams to come back into the office, cold Turkey, no hybrid, no compromise, no recognition to your employees for the work that they put in before their day started. And maybe they’re getting back on after their kids go to bed. I know COVID has changed our minds forever on what’s important in life. Have you seen it? I’m seeing this inside business and outside of business. I’m seeing it in my everyday life, in families and sports teams. Take sports, for instance. People no longer want to dedicate their entire life to one sport. Playing 110 games in a spring season for a baseball or softball team, that’s how it happened before. That’s not the way it has to continue to be done. Times have changed. Now schools are facing the concept that they could no longer have a sports team if they don’t change their ways, because people want to spend time with their families, go do other things, experience life. 

I think COVID has made us all slow down and understand what motivates us and our families, what makes us happy. So you now see a family culture where your employees want to have a cutoff time. They want to work hard, but they want to play hard. They have to have a chance to play hard or spend their time outside of the office culture. It’s about having that firm stance on work-life balance. It’s considered quiet quitting, or is it? I also want you to think, is quiet quitting a symptom of the supply and demand that we’re seeing on the job market today? The idea that we need warm bodies to take jobs or keep the jobs that exist today. So many companies can’t find the talent that they need to keep their organizations full on their teams anyway, let alone fire an under-performer or bottom of the hypothetical totem pole. 

Do employees have the mentality today that they know they’re not going to get fired because companies can’t fill the jobs that they have already? It’s an honest truth. Or I’m going to go out on a limb, I’m going to say you might have hired somebody at the same wage or the same salary as a tenured employee. Just no experience, but you’re paying them the same. You’re not paying apples to apples. Your team possibly could have got wind of this, and maybe quiet quitting’s their protest. Okay, last one. Last why. I feel this could be the biggest one out there for employees when you talk to them. I hear it every day. I heard it when I had a team. I hear it in other offices, as I talked to leaders, VPs, CEOs, and honestly, it does make the biggest dent in your profit. Are you recognizing your employees at performance review or bonus time? 

Are you giving your employees cost of living raises? What about finding each and every way to help your ongoing healthcare insurance increases year after year? Or are you just going status quo? Are your employees getting status quo from you as an employer? I could go on and on to why we’re having this conversation today. I know this is a hot topic. I’m sure many of you have passionate thoughts on this one, and I anticipate questions. I’m looking forward to the AMA at the end of this, so feel free to write your questions in the chat. So yeah, it’s a topic at hand today. We’re talking about it because that’s all you’re seeing in your newsfeed. But I want you to think of this differently. Are you as an employer thinking this is the employees’ problem? Eh, you’ll remember that at promotion time. Or maybe you’re just going to sweep it under the rug and think it’s a trend that’s going to go away. 

My question to you is take time. I want you to think. Do you think that this topic is worth your time, just for a little bit of discovery? Do you give yourself permission to do a pulse check with your team, or have you done a pulse check with your team? Bigger question, are you even ready to get the answers to this? Because let’s face it, the answers that you may get aren’t or may not be the questions that you want to hear in those answers. Every one of your team may go against what you believe you’re doing for your company. It might be a hard pill to swallow. Are you ready for that? I really think you as a company or an organization can focus on a few things to address this topic of quiet quitting. For me, the first one is data. You need to take an honest assessment. 

Do you have the right data and information at hand to make an informed decision? In this case, do you know that your employees are quiet quitting, or why they might be, if you have the intuition it’s happening within your team? Don’t just assume. You know that assuming makes… You know the rest. Sure, each one of our teams do performance reviews. Based on what I’ve seen at companies, it’s probably not done well. It’s probably not done on the same cadence each and every time. Is it quarterly? Is it twice a year? Or even with the same questions, each and every time? Heck, I guarantee most of us even forget or may not even do them at all. That’s the chance for you to give your feedback to your employees, along with that one on one time with your managers that they talk to your employees one on one. Okay, so let’s note. 

The idea, you as a leader wants our employees to know how we feel about our employees. So that’s data point number one, right? We’re going to get enough data to make a decision, so we know you want our employees to know how we feel. Now, what do you as staffing and recruiting firms do to know how your clients feel about you, your teams and the service that you provide? You probably have an NPS score, or that net promoter score. High level, for those of you who have not heard of this before, NPS is a widely used market research metric that typically takes a form of a single survey question, asking respondents to rate the likelihood that they would recommend a company, a product, a service to a colleague or a friend. So you have NPS scores. Data point number two, you know that you want to know how clients feel about your company. 

I see you. You’re getting the data on your organization. Great job. Some of you maybe even check the satisfaction of your candidates when your sources and recruiters talk to the talent that we’re placing. Sometimes company use great recruiters and other tools to get scores and ratings for their employees. You might see those shared on LinkedIn. It’s a very common best practice for a little show and tell of how your recruiters work for your future talent to see what they might encounter. Amazing. We’re up to data point number three. And that tells us you want to know how your talent feels about your recruiters. If you’re like other companies, you like data. You use that data to make your business decisions. Now, what are you doing to know how your employees feel about you, your organization? Better question, do you even ask them? Do you assume? 

Do you think it’s important to know as a leader? I’m sure you do. I’m sure you care about how everyone feels within your organization, your clients, your candidates, your managers, the employees. But actually, this is the thing that I see the least. I’m going to be honest. I haven’t seen a lot of organizations ask for this or have that standard practice of getting feedback from their teams about them as an organization, about them as a leader. I don’t think it’s the fact that they don’t want the data. They might not have the resources to do it, but once you have that survey created, you could use it repeatedly. Or maybe if they get feedback that might be less than appealing, they don’t know what to do with it. Do you have anything set up to gauge your teams in anonymous feedback? Yeah, believe it or not, I said anonymous. As much as this might pain you as a leader, anonymous feedback is beneficial to your organization. 

Anonymous employee surveys give employees the chance to report real opinions without having to worry about negative repercussions. You can inspire more engagement. Surveys are a great tool to boost engagement. We’re going to talk about this again here in a few minutes. It’s a super passionate topic of mine. You can improve accountability. Anonymous employee surveys create accountability for both managers and employees. It’s going to help you make informed decisions. Not all employee surveys have potential problems. Did you hear me? Not all surveys give potential problems. Anonymous employee surveys can be used more as an informed, unbiased, positive decision-making process as well. And last but not least, it’s going to boost employee retention. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, I’m sure retention is the word of the year for your teams. We want to keep the good people we have. While this is a somewhat indirect result of the other benefits of the survey that you provide, it ultimately is one of the long-term goals of your anonymous employee surveys. 

At my last organization, I was not only the director of learning and development, I also ran the communications department. We got to drive that satisfaction survey to a network of companies twice a year. We tried it multiple ways. After different attempts that were more successful than the previous attempt, we figured out, number one, it couldn’t be a quarterly survey. That was requiring way too much of our employees. We had surveys that required email addresses, forcing that tracking process. We didn’t get the feedback that really mattered. However, we found our cadence. Narrowing that survey down to two times a year and making those names anonymous and those feedbacks anonymous, people truly started speaking. Not only were the ratings of those surveys more detailed beyond the NA, not applicable or zero rating, we had positive and negative feedback. In the notes there were often more insightful suggestions on thoughts and feedback for the organization. 

So I want to ask you, are you thinking how you could get feedback from your teams? My second outlook on this whole quiet quitting understanding is your team’s engagement. I spoke about it a moment ago. I want to know what is your stance as an owner or a leader on engagement? Yeah, we want all of our employees to be engaged, but are you taking the steps to ensure they have the avenue to be engaged? Did you know that 54% of the US workforce is not engaged at work? That’s over half. Around 70% of employees that report they’d work harder if they felt more appreciated at work. That’s 70%. And 37% of employees consider recognition the most important factor of job satisfaction. I know you’re going to laugh. My brain often thinks of engagement and when it thinks of it, it often goes to the five love languages. I know it sounds goofy, but hear me out for a second. 

You as a leader have different motivators, or love languages, in this case, than each one of your employees. Is it about understanding their love languages? No, but what it is, you need to understand your teams and what they’re motivated by. They’re each motivated by different things. Those motivators will boost engagement with your organization, they’ll be happier, and you’ll have a more engaged team that will stick with you longer. It’s cause and effect. I really think four out of those five love languages can be translated to business. Let’s go through them. First is words of affirmation. That’s really recognition feedback. Some people want to be told that they’re doing a good job. They need to be told. They love the simple shout out in a morning meeting to recognize their hustle, their work, an attaboy or attagirl really goes a long way with them. 

Quality time. That could be workplace bonding, culture, mentorship. Some people, culture is bar none most important to them. The water cooler talks, someone to invest the time in them where they feel a connection is truly the most important thing. Are you doing those things? Do you provide that? In the work environment that we’re in of this remote workforce, what are you doing to circumvent or to be able to help the water cooler talks that aren’t happening today? Some people’s love language is receiving gifts. Gifts, or I want to say, new opportunities or even new learning opportunities. I don’t know about you, but I know some people that would do just about anything for a $25 gift card. I want to ask you, do you as leaders do weekly challenges to correlate with the areas that you need improvement in your business? Let’s say sales are down. Are you low on new logos? 

Are you rewarding the first person to get a new logo or maybe the most initial client visits? Give that award or gift card or shout out at the next weekly meeting or end of the week meeting. Those pieces go a long way and drives good results to the things that we may be lacking as an organization. The last one that I want to talk about is acts of service. This is really support and assistance on projects. You may have someone who just steps in to help out with a project without being asked. That’s their love language. Some people love that support. This one’s me. I’m a sucker for a good old act of service. I want you to understand it’s not just about recognizing your employees. Do you have a place for your employees to recognize other employees or teammates? A place for managers to give kudos for going above and beyond? 

Do you do giveaways at your morning meeting, whether it’s that attaboy or that $25 gift card to their favorite coffee shop? Know what motivates your team. What do they need? Employers are honestly going to have to have more than a pizza party on a Friday to keep the new generation of employees interested. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to give anything undeservingly, but know what motivates and engages your employees. It doesn’t have to always be the big bonuses or the needed raises that your employee says. Don’t get me wrong, your employees want that, but that doesn’t mean you have to go big or go home in every instance. It’s the small things in life to make people know that you care, that you’re thinking of them, or that you truly appreciate them. Okay, last one with this. I’ve seen organizations actually purchase a platform or use what they have internally to ensure that this is an outlet. They’re out there. 

It’s like your social media platform for your intern or organization. Some of them even associate that recognition that you’re giving to employees with points. The points accumulate, they can be used to purchase gift cards, swag, donate to the charity of choice. I don’t want you to think that you have to buy another piece of tech to measure your teams effectively or to get them engaged. I just want you to know what’s out there. I personally think adding another tech that’s not integrated to your system that they work in every single day could just be a distraction, another place to keep tabs on of what’s going on in their world. You’re going to know what’s right for your teams. Bottom line is we want all of our employees to have the desire to grow, but do you want them to perform? In order to perform, you have to be comfortable. 

You have to know the motivators of your employees and how they tick and what makes them be in their element. Make sure they’re comfortable. All right. That leads me to the last one. Last but not least, is training, career pathing, and selfishly, for you as a leader, succession planning. After your surveys that you’re going to hopefully do or that you’re already doing, you find out your employees quietly quitting because they’ve actually tried in the past. They didn’t get that recognition that they wanted, and they’re just backing away. They don’t want to engage. They just want to come and get their paycheck and go home. Are you thinking, what made them be like this? Be honest with yourself. Has that happened in your company? I’ve seen this across many organizations. Promotions, raises, advancement, lie so often on the discretionary view of the managers and leaders in your company. 

Employees often feel slighted when they didn’t get that promotion they feel that they were honestly competing for. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t base every decision in your business on the idea not to get someone upset, not to ruffle feathers. It’s par for the course, honestly. After all, you should be making solid business decisions. My question to you is do you have the metrics laid out for someone to know how to attain the next promotion? How can they get that next pay increase? Or do you simply go on the rule of thumb, when I feel they’re ready, I’ll give that to them? You’re doing yourself a disservice as a company by not laying out the roadmap of how to be successful, to explain what the good metrics look like for this role. Think about it. I’m going to take your junior recruiter in your office. 

What metrics or KPIs should they be hitting to become the senior recruiter? Is it based on the calls that they’re making? The number of interviews that they’re completing? The number of placements they have in a week, a month, or a year? Do they know the goal that they’re actually trying to reach? Have you communicated that? As leaders, we oftentimes think of these things in our brain. We don’t communicate them to our teams and managers. Going back to that junior recruiter that became the senior recruiter, after that, what’s beyond the senior recruiter? Do they move into an account manager position? Do they go to a junior business development manager? How do they get to be a senior development manager? What if they want to lead a team? Is there an option to advance without leading a team? I want you to think, how do you know that quiet quitting isn’t a result of bad management or lack of structure? 

Are you training your managers and ensuring their development as well? Do you have a career path laid out for your company, and do you see it working? Most leaders want a team of A players. I get it. Who doesn’t? We all love that first string lineup of any sports team. It’s who we go watch, every event. But you wouldn’t have a sports team if you didn’t have a second string or even a third string. Does that lineup stay the same every single game? Not always. Given the right guidance, practice, repetition, that B player is your future A player in the making, with the proper communication and expectations. Just be careful. I don’t want you to force your aspirations of being an A player or the owner of an organization to your employees. Know how to inspire them to get them there, and if they don’t want to be the A player, they don’t want to manage, they don’t want that next rung up of the promotion, that’s okay too. 

At least you’re giving them the avenue. You’re addressing that in your business. Just know what you are basing your promotions and bonuses and those decisions on when it’s time to make them. Consistency is key. My focus in my career as we talk has been truly been people, processes, technologies, as you heard in the intro. I really try to think of this business as a holistic view and understanding how to get the results you need in your organization by the whole picture. I’m a big picture kind of gal. In this case I want you to think about your ATS and CRM. This is something that you look at for your candidates and clients, but are you using it to internally guide your teams to success? Don’t think of tech as only the rigid solution to get you the metrics to run your business. Stop and take the holistic approach. 

Don’t take my word for it. Go look at the SIA report, the Northern American Staffing Survey of 2022. You’re going to find out that your teams are under-trained on the tools they have in place today, and know the bottom line is they need development to be engaged. I don’t want you to let the fact that your technology doesn’t provide flexibility or the fact that you haven’t thought about your internal metrics as a way of designing a career path turn into an excuse of why you are not creating that environment to grow your team, to have a succession plan, and find out what really matters in your organization. As leaders, we often feel that we should just add that next technology to our solution to get different data, but let me tell you that new technology is the shiny new object. It’s the answer to your prayers, but in reality, it’s just a bandaid. 

Make sure you’re using the technology you have in place in every way possible. Your ATS and CRM should not just be a resume holder. Look at the many different ways you can use the data that’s provided to you today. It’s not only used to give you business insights. It’s used to be there to help your teams set and reach goals, coach them when needed, train or upskill your teams, mentor individuals or groups, but also set the roadmap of how your employees can reach that next promotion, that next bonus, or that $25 gift card whenever they win that next challenge in your office. Before we get to our AMA, I want you to take a moment. I want you to think about what you are doing to be an employer of choice to your current employees, to retain them. Why should they want to stay with you? 

What can you tell them you’re doing for them to retain them to your brand? But also think about future employees that haven’t thought of or heard of your company. Why should they pick you? What actions are you choosing to ensure you are getting their feedback, you’re driving better engagement, and you’re laying out the career path to help stay at your company for the long-term solution? Your proactive managing of the idea of quiet quitters. And last but not least, I’m going to flip this on you. Are you ready? You’re a staffing and recruiting firm, right? What are you doing with those important top clients to help them determine that they’re an employer of choice? 

How are you being the consultant to help them address the idea of quiet quitting? Remember, the definition of a consultant is a person who provides expert advice professionally. You could just talk about the things that we talked about today. Understanding how they’re addressing the trend. Where are they? Talk about the changes that you are making to your internal organization to combat that hottest topic of today’s world of business. Just know that this is not something for every client, but know your audience and know the value that you can offer. Know that words may inspire, but only actions create change. All right, I’m ready for you if you’re ready for me. Let’s dive into our AMA. I’m open to any questions. Is there any questions in the audience? 

 

Katie Jones: 

Hey, Kort. I have a couple anonymous questions coming on the chat. Okay. The first one says, they’re a recruiting organization and they’re trying to give people more permanent flexibility about where they physically work, in order to kind of service this job satisfaction. With less people in the office, The see one, do one, teach one gets a lot harder, and seeing people go above and beyond or not is definitely harder. How would you adapt this for a hybrid or remote team in terms of what you would do? 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

I think that’s a great question. Just know, I helped train and develop employees all over the country. So with my last organization at TalentLaunch, there were 10 operating companies across the entire US. I don’t think that this is something that can only be done in the office. There are times, and I’ve seen offices that run really effectively to say, “I need you to come into the office until you’ve established a certain gross margin. You need to hit a certain goal.” It helps drive the people to get to those motivators that you want them to hit. So I think those are important. Number one, knowing what makes them tick. They want to work from home. Okay, how do I get them there? Knowing what good looks like for those people. So I don’t think it’s a thing that you can probably come up with overnight. It’s really having that standardized process of what good looks like for these people that are coming in zero to six months or six to nine months or what that might look like. 

You may also have technologies. Technologies may be able to have other people on calls, depending what systems you use. You might be able to listen in as a third party that that candidate or client might not be able to hear you from that perspective where you could record your audio. I did this a lot at TalentLaunch within organizations. People were making calls after hours, and during my coaching calls, my one on one weekly sessions with them, we listen to their call. We stopped it. We listened. We heard, what should you have said here? Was there a missing cue here? We were able to actively coach those people through their processes in order to make them better. I don’t know if that fully answers your question, but I think that can, in turn, as long as we’re speaking to those motivators, their job satisfaction’s going to go up, we’re going to get more engagement with them as well. 

 

Katie Jones: 

There’s also a follow up question there. They are looking for tips to help develop culture in a remote workplace. You kind of touched on a few things there about listening in and stuff, but I believe when you talked about the water cooler talk, how do you promote that in a remote situation? 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

There’s a lot of different things that you can do. I talked about those platforms. Even here at Crelate, we have teams and we have different boards that we can coordinate on. You can have challenge exercise activities, or you can have an off-topic conversation to say, here’s family. Here’s a different topic. I think those things are important to have in place. Do I think you have to be good at them? No. Could you have a happy hour with your team at the end of your day? Something not after hours, something beyond the State of the Union Address or whatever you’re doing in your organization, but I think it’s really maybe pairing people together. 

At TalentLaunch, I used the idea of creating a certification program. We were working towards getting them as a mentorship, so someone that already passed the exam to someone that was working through the exam, having them work hand in hand. Not a lot, but they had that person that speaks their love language, really, and it really helps push them to make sure they have that feeling of culture and comradery and they really have someone else to lean on. 

 

Katie Jones: 

Great. One more coming in anonymously, and then maybe possibly one brave person wants to come on. But what should I be doing as an owner if I don’t have career pathing established in my company? Where do I even start? 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

That is a great question. First off, kudos to you. Kudos to you that this is something that you need to be doing. Each company and industry is going to be different in our world. I can’t give you a baseline metric of a junior recruiter does this, a senior recruiter does this. It depends on your industry, your location, the types of service that you’re going to provide. What I encourage you to do is have standard titles. This is an easy thing to at least start thinking about. I know people like their unique titles. They have that little spin, that’s part of your marketing to get them on your team, but streamlining this helps you understand if this is the first, second or third, junior, senior, right? After you do that, you need to figure out the average metrics of your team, so not only your top performers, but on average, what are your people doing? 

How are your top performers doing? What are they accomplishing? Get a standard of what good looks like at each one of your positions, and then lay it out. Lay it out for your teams. The biggest part of this that I see is people not communicating this or socializing this to their teams. It’s going to take a while. You may have some revamping to do with those titles or those structures, but understand how long someone has to be at a position for a certain period of time or what their metrics is. There are a lot of things that you can do, but I need you to understand what your organization looks like today in a snapshot for each job. 

 

Katie Jones: 

Awesome. Great. All right. I am actually going pull someone on to ask a question. 

 

Audience Member: 

I think the question I was going to ask is with quiet quitting, there’s a temptation to, I think, want to go to volume-based reporting if you’re running a firm, right? So your operations leader, you’re like, okay, well, I’m just going to go to my volume reports and be like, I can see that Jimmy is completely phoning it in. So all of a sudden, all I have to do is just look at the report and say, no, I don’t have a problem here because everybody’s maintaining the same level of motivation. Maybe I couch that with a ratio report to say, yeah, well, is it just people stuffing numbers in to make sure that it doesn’t look like they’ve started phoning it in? But would you caution staying away from reports to try to diagnose whether this is an issue or are reports part of the tool set? 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

So let me re-clarify. So you’re asking essentially activity-based questions. Is it all based on their activity? They’re not doing an activity, so they’re not doing their job? Is that kind of what we’re speaking of? 

 

Audience Member: 

Yeah. I mean, I think the question is, okay, so do you try to sniff this out using the tools that you’ve got to monitor the whole firm? To say, hey, I actually have metrics in place to say I can keep track of whether people are starting to tail off in activities, if the symptom is I’m just doing less, then can’t I just look at the reports to tell me that? 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

You could, but does that make you a good leader? I want to play, I go back to that devil’s advocate piece. Are they producing? I think what it comes down to, there are so many people that are like, if you’re one of the old school firms, “I made 80 calls today so I did my job,” or “I sent 22 text messages. It’s good.” As much as that’s important, just because you’re doing more does not mean you’re more successful. I think you as a leader have to go back to that understanding of what’s the average? What are your top performers doing? It’s not just saying, okay, this is what it is. Susie may have 12 calls to top talent. Those 12 calls then turn into four talent submitted, three interviews in one placement. What is that ratio reporting? It’s in your systems today. 

You don’t have to go purchase anything. You don’t have to go dive down a rabbit hole to say, I’m not prepared for this. If you’re measuring the right pieces now today as a leader, you can at least have that conversation. But these things should probably be something that your managers are talking to your employees about every single week. I think this maybe starts from the top down for you as a leader to say, “What are you talking about in your one on ones?” Is this, “Hey, Katie, how was your weekend? What’s up?” Or is this, “Hey, you had 80 on sales, you had 80 calls, six site visits, and no new logos.” Well, maybe if you got those three extra site visits, maybe you would’ve got that extra logo. Or what are you saying in those conversations that are not resulting in what we need you to get? I don’t think metrics alone give you the full big picture. I think you have to sniff it out, unfortunately. 

 

Audience Member: 

Fair. 

 

Kortney Harmon: 

Thanks. In closing, remember, quiet quitting is not just your employees deciding to not work hard for you in every case. It’s not just a fad that we had to talk about today. This is something that in turn helps you give you that holistic view of your business, your people, your processes. Without a repeatable process of communication in place, our assumptions shape our relationships. They limit our vision and reduce the impact of our knowledge and experience for not only us as leaders, but for our employees. 

I’m Kortney Harmon with Crelate. Thanks for joining The Full Desk Experience. Please feel free to submit any questions for next session to [email protected], or ask us live next session. If you enjoyed our show, be sure to subscribe to our podcast wherever you listen, and sign up to attend future events that happen every other Tuesday at 3:00 PM Eastern, 12:00 PM Pacific. 

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