Quiet Quitting-The Key to Improving Employee Satisfaction
By Chief Automation Officer, George K. Mehok
August 1, 2023
The majority of today’s employees are quietly quitting. According to State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report, nearly six in 10 employees fell into this category. Quiet quitting is what happens when someone psychologically disengages from work. They may be physically present or logged into their computer, but they don’t know what to do or why it matters. And in most cases, they know there is a better way, but no one is listening.
In today’s competitive business environment, operational leaders must contend with an overwhelming number of issues and at the top of the list is how to attract and retain talent. In this post-pandemic world, employees expect their managers to support and engage them in various ways. However, managers often fall short because they do not provide them with the resources or autonomy necessary to do their job. As a result, employees passively disengage or resign. However, more impactful, one employee’s dissatisfaction can spread, significantly impacting team morale, and ultimately permeating throughout the company.
Successful leaders find innovative ways to focus on their employees’ satisfaction as much as they do other operational aspects of the business — the most effective way to improve employee morale is to automate repetitive, low-value, mundane tasks.
By doing so, managers give employees precious time back in their day to allow them to focus on more meaningful and satisfying activities, and in doing so, send them a clear message–you support and value them.
Three key strategies to a successful automation program:
- Collaborate to Identify Improvement Opportunities
It is imperative to include your team members in the automation process. This includes representatives at all levels within the organization. Managers incorrectly assume they know the tasks employees perform because they have worked their way up through the ranks. However, today, processes constantly change, driven by new customer requirements, regulations, and reorganizations.
It’s imperative to take time to learn what specific activities employees are performing daily, and how. One way is to meet with team leads and personally watch their employees perform tasks throughout the day. Do not assume because a manager says their employees perform a certain task in a specific way. See it for yourself.
A byproduct of this collaborative approach is that your employees will appreciate your engagement and listening to their concerns.
- Rethink Operational Models
Embrace change and be willing to challenge the norm. Closely examine every task with a workgroup and talk to internal and external customers to identify ways to improve the end-to-end workflow.
For example, there may have been a reason why the accounting team requested a daily Excel report of new accounts sorted by zip code. Is that report still required, and why? Is there a better way to systematically provide the information, or for the accounting team to access the data on request?
By engaging your customers and internal stakeholders will appreciate the initiative and collectively the process will be streamlined, benefiting all involved.
- Invest in Automation Tools that Solve Today’s Problems
Managers are inundated by software companies touting their state-of-the-art automation capabilities. However, moving forward and demonstrating progress to the team is important by selecting and piloting technologies that can solve their real-world problems. Implementing sophisticated artificial intelligence tech may sounds impressive, but your employees want useful tools they can use today.
The most commonly deployed automation technologies are business-process-management platforms and robotic process automation. These can also include image-recognition technologies, such as optical character recognition (OCR), machine-learning algorithms, automated process-mining, and documentation tools.
Integrate these tools with business intelligence platforms, external data sources, and key operational systems (ERP, CRM, etc.) to exponentially increase automation capabilities. For example, automation of the sales orders process can include real-time access to customer profile data, including account balance, payments, purchases, and complaint history.