Last note, I shared how I quiet-quit on my landlord after only six weeks in my new apartment.
This is part of a new series I’m calling, “Leadership Lessons from Outside the Office.”
So, story time aside, here’s what you need to know.
There are two types of quiet-quitters.
Quiet-Quitter #1 will step back and stop caring. No warning. No note.
Quiet-Quitter #2 will throw up a flare before backing over the line. Like I did with the “straw that broke the camel’s back” text to my landlord.
—> Those who throw up a flare may be ASKING you to keep them from putting fingers in their ears and singing “la-la-la.” They’d prefer to care.
—> If someone gives you the gift of indicating they’re at the end-of-their-rope, be careful your response (or lack of one) doesn’t give a cherry-on-top reason for them to give up.
My landlord didn’t reply. Maybe she hoped it would just blow over? Or knew better than to type what she first thought?
A few olive-branch words would’ve helped…
A bottle of wine or the next month without a garage fee would have re-enamored me to my landlord…
Instead, her silence made me not give a sh*t anymore.
It’s easier to keep people on board than to get them back.
Once someone stops caring, they’ll hone in on whatever proves their time/energy/commitment aren’t deserved (à la “confirmation bias”).
To keep your team engaged, you’ve got to engage with them:
Pay attention. Not everyone’s going to sound an alarm first…
- Has someone started keeping their camera off for team meetings?
- Are there more errors in an employee’s work? Are they slower to reply to emails?
- Is somebody less chatty? More sensitive? Shorter-fused?
Ask specific questions that show you care.
- “How are you feeling about X?”
- “What help do you need with Y?”
- “What would you love to see happen with Z?”
Whatever feelings someone trusts you with, what would it be like to believe they’re reasonable… simply because they feel them?
Powerful words: “I hear that. That makes sense.”
Say “thank you.” (Again and again.)
The most frequent frustration I hear as a coach? People don’t feel appreciated.
Please don’t assume someone knows how much you value them. 🙏
>> Especially if they’ve been going above-and-beyond for weeks, months, years.
>> Even if you said, “thanks,” last week.
Someone recently shared: “In the early days at the start-up, I was working my butt off and the founder randomly gave me a $5,000 account with a travel agent. We took an amazing trip to Belize and it remains so memorable to this day.”
That may not be within your means or company policies, but how can you thank someone so they’ll remember it? (Hand-written notes can still be golden.)
These are key to keeping your team actively invested:
- Pay attention.
- Ask caring questions.
- Give thanks to your team. (Thanksgiving week and every week.)
Each of those actions has the power to deflate resentment, build trust and loyalty, and nip “quiet-quitting” in the bud.
Question? Ask away in the comments section below.
Fully engaged in this,
P.S. I’d be remiss not to mention…
- Employees are often pushed to the brink by employers who don’t honor time off.
- Be careful of contacting employees on nights/weekends/vacations unless it’s a real business 9-1-1.
- Even if you’re not expecting a reply until they’re back, they might feel pressure to give one.
P.P.S. Know someone who’d be interested in this post? Please share it with them!
Sheila Devi is an Executive Life Coach.
She focuses on deadline-driven, high-pressure careers (like law and accounting).
Individuals: Sheila helps private clients get perspective on professional/personal challenges so they have more time to focus on their best work and other priorities, such as family and health.
Firms/Corporations: Sheila teaches EQ (in a way your team has never heard) to help them: navigate working with stressed clients/colleagues, avoid burnout, and rediscover satisfaction and engagement.
Interested in one-on-one coaching or having Sheila connect with your company? –> Simply reply to this email.