How To Keep Out Quiet Quitting in Your Agency


Grace Robinson, Sr. SEO and Content Marketing Manager at X Agency

The last few years have been challenging for many workers, especially now that many have become remote workers. From pandemic concerns to family and childcare concerns to economic and of course workplace needs – employees sometimes struggle to feel connected with their team at work when they do not see them in a physical office every day. Regular standup meetings, usually short in duration, can help workers feel engaged with each other. They can feel valued when there is an open time and place for sharing informally about their day or their current needs. These brief meetings can also foster a sense of team spirit that can carry over into regular project work.

A crucial way for management to understand the pulse of their team is bi-weekly to meet with each of their team members so that the employee can discuss in an open and frank atmosphere about their goals, talents, and next steps. Asking questions about current challenges at work and providing a listening ear can change the employee’s calculus when it comes to “checking out” when they quit quietly. Managers will be able to more accurately assess employee engagement “health” when having more regular interactions, including less formal ones, with the employee.

It is Time to Show Clarity in the Numbers – All of Them

One of the most important actions that an agency can take to ensure trust between leadership and the varying levels of employees is transparency in numbers. All sorts of numbers. Yes, also financial numbers. To start with, if it is not already being done, the agency must begin to share relevant financial information with all its employees on a regular basis. This is key to involving workers as stakeholders, not as merely wage earners. By sharing the good corporate financials along with the bad, the employee can feel more engaged with the agency’s success, especially if those numbers are not only relevant to that individual employee but also when that employee sees how their own work contributes to the overall success of the agency.

Now, when the employee sees the direct connection between their own work and the agency’s overall performance, they must also begin to see the connection between their agency’s success and their individual effort. Therefore, the next type of numerical clarity that must be practiced by the agency’s leadership is that of transparency in bonus structures. Salaried employees, often at risk of quiet quitting, do not always see the straight line from their work to the agency’s health and back to them again. However, a profit-sharing style of compensation can address this. For example, an “as we grow, you grow” leadership approach might provide a quarterly bonus for successful teams or projects based on previously communicated metrics. Even eliciting feedback from regular workers for aspects of an employee-first bonus plan would create significant engagement among employees.

Also, increased transparency in salary growth bands, including promotion opportunities and salary expectations, will drastically improve employee retention and engagement – two of the key weapons available against quiet quitting. This may require more consistent or even frequent employee interactions as mentioned earlier.

Nickel and Diming Makes Everyone Poorer

Paid Time Off (PTO) used to be simply thought of as something one used to go on vacation. With the extra stresses some have experienced over recent years, time away from the office, even one’s home office, is now far more than getting away, but it is time devoted to spending with family and friends, or pursuing volunteer work. Avoiding the obsolete mentality of “loyalty to the agency means avoiding taking vacation,” leadership must take the lead in encouraging all employees to avail themselves of all provided time off in order for them to refresh and to return to the office renewed and raring to go. A well rested and happy employee is certainly a productive one.

Another benefit often proffered to employees is that of training, career development, and skills growth. This may come in the form of live or pre-recorded corporate training sessions, books, online or in-person courses on industry topics, or via other means. Just as for PTO, time off for employees to attend and immerse themselves in personal and career development options – and this is important: without any normal work interruptions – ought to be encouraged from the top of leadership to every regular employee. Workers will return to work energized with new ideas, encouragement, and personal motivation. Always learning employees are always committed employees.

The ultimate way to bring employees together is to actually bring everyone together. Once a year, every employee from every location should congregate in a relaxing but productive location, completely separate from any corporate-related facility, for several days or a week of team building activities, corporate performance updates and future strategy, and a special type of learning that is not normally gained while on the job or in the aforementioned training options.

These are just a few of the many approaches that agencies need to consider pursuing to keep employees engaged and motivated. Providing a remote employee with regular informal and formal conversations that are safe times to discuss their feelings and needs can go a long way to keeping them connected. Being brutally and consistently honest about the agency’s and the employees numbers will foster an employee-as-stakeholder environment. Also, encouraging – and paying for – refresh time out of the office and for career development will create stronger and more valued workers. In these ways, quiet quitters can be transformed into engaged employees.