By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
There is no question that despite businesses touting increased care of employees, today’s workforce is working longer hours than ever before with companies’ 24/7 grinding project overload mentality. But that isn’t all that is going on.
A McKinsey study on the great resignation corroborates that while employees believe people are resigning to get a bigger paycheck, and gain better work-life balance, the truth is something far simpler. Workers specifically left because they didn’t feel valued by their organization or manager. And they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work.
Everyone agrees such a culture isn’t sustainable for anyone. Articles and broadcast segments are blasting the powershift news that employees are taking a radical left turn in the business marketplace.
I love business. I wouldn’t have the life I have without what it has done for me personally and our country. I strongly suggest you wouldn’t either.
I’m not surprised by the trend of employees’ “quiet resignation.” However, as a response to today’s all-consuming culture, it is a bit concerning for the individual.
It’s conspicuously evident that a massive disruption needed to occur. Employees aren’t interested in spending all their time and energy driving to the top or spending every moment of their life focused on and distracted by the business.
The concern I have about this “quiet resignation” as a response to burnout is what it doesn’t do for the healthy emotions of an employee.
What do I mean? Tony Robbins speaks about six core human needs, so let’s address the “quiet resignation” through this lens.
1. Certainty… If “quietly quitting on the job” is a response to counteract and gain control over all the topsy-turvy world you’ve been experiencing, then this may be the correct answer. Yet, please don’t get to content. We all know that control is nothing more than an allusion.
There is far more to this equation of achieving a joyful, satisfying work-life.
2. Uncertainty/Variety… This issue is the beginning of my alarm. The good side of ambiguity is finding a way through it and learning the capacity you have to gain new insights. A study by Duke University indicates that human beings experience greater satisfaction with work and life when there’s a level of unpredictability. As you lock down your commitment to work, leave room for variety, adapting, and being uncomfortable. If you don’t, you’ll suffer long-term and won’t thrive.
3. Significance… There’s little doubt that when employees feel appreciated by their companies, they are more engaged, productive, and connected to their culture—a good outcome for the organization’s profitability. But did you also know that employees appreciated or recognized because they matter fulfills a basic human need leading to emotional, physical, and mental well-being?
There are three elements of feeling significant:
a. The positive recognition others offer you.
b. The meaning you experience from being unique and valued as you.
c. The self-awareness you have that others rely on and count on you.
While working the bare minimum to get by, where are you being validated, or how will you confirm your value for yourself, without which the results will be less-than-fulfilling?
4. Connected/Loved… Relationships are indisputably crucial to human beings. They are the foundation to achieving successful outcomes as there are no products or services generated without the connection and support of others. When you have them, studies show you are happier, healthier, less stressed, have a greater purpose, and live longer. Ensure that every decision you make regarding your future career views this as a significant facet of your day.
5. Growth… It is the primary factor that takes us from a life lived in a crib and one where we move into independence standing on two feet. A growth mindset has you learning and expanding while facing the ever-changing challenges of the marketplace with confidence. There’s little argument that you limit your sense of fulfillment if you’re not growing. If your “quiet resignation” doesn’t include an evolution component dynamic, you’ll end up discontented.
4. Contribution… Studies show that those with a generous spirit of giving and positively impacting others experiences reduced stress. And there is a correlation between stress reduction and being better at your job. This trait is something you can do every day, even if only through an assuring word spoken with kindness. Put simply, giving to those around you makes you feel happy.
I’ve never understood why the “quiet resignation” concept was the answer or good for the employee. You’re the only one who can determine what is right for you and what will fulfill your career dreams. Indeed, working 24/7 isn’t my idea of what work is all about. I’ve always felt it was a way to accomplish your purpose while also generating income for the social life you love. So, permitting business to suck my creativity, energy, time, and enthusiasm dry has never been my goal. Saying “no,” and identifying your boundaries, as I’ve discussed in blogs and podcasts, you can find on my website ThriveWithNancy, has always seemed more in integrity to achieve a life of satisfaction. What are your thoughts?
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