Quiet quitting, a term that became viral on Tik Tok last year, is when employees show up to work but are far less productive and focused on their duties. With a still tight job market, employers and HR staff should embrace a “quiet hiring” approach that enables them to “acquire new skills and capabilities without adding new full-time employees,” Gartner reports.
Success with quiet hiring means focusing on strengthening existing talent who can tackle top priorities and taking different approaches, including tapping alumni networks and gig workers to bring in workers on an as-needed-basis.
Employers will need be mindful of improving their employee experience for workers who may not have the same leverage as office staff who have hybrid/remote work schedules. Some top priorities for frontline workers, such as those in manufacturing and healthcare, are the ability to control their work schedule, paid leave and a stable work schedule, Gartner reports. Employers also need to address low- and middle-managers who are increasingly feeling pressure with new challenges after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The demands of today’s working environment have left managers completely out of their depth,” Gartner reports. “They feel pressure from above and below: they must implement corporate strategy with regard to hybrid work while also providing a sense of purpose, flexibility and career opportunities.”
HR will need to step up their support and training to properly equip their managers to handle new challenges and make clear what their priorities are and how they should use their time most effectively and revamp their responsibilities if needed.
Just as in 2022, there will continue to be a talent shortage, BenefitsPRO reports. To keep and attract talent, some employers boosted compensation and rolled out voluntary benefits and came up with creative offerings such as food truck days and scavenger hunts. But fears of a recession may move employers to be less generous this year. “If the number of jobs available shrinks, as we have seen in recent technology company layoffs, employees will demand fewer perks, and employers will likely cut fringe benefits to save money,” John Greenbaum, National Employee Benefits Practice Leader for Risk Strategies, writes in BenefitsPRO.
Last year, the technology industry cut more than 97,000 jobs, CNBC reports, citing a study from Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That compares with almost 13,000 jobs cut in 2021 in that space. “The overall economy is still creating jobs, though employers appear to be actively planning for a downturn,” Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of the outplacement firm, said in its report. “Hiring has slowed as companies take a cautious approach entering 2023."
Amid the pressures of a pending recession, employers and HR teams still need to confront behavioral health challenges that gained a lot of attention during the last three years. “The pandemic both exacerbated and shined a spotlight on the pressing behavioral and mental health needs of employees across the country, Greenbaum writes.
Greenbaum cautions employers to be mindful of the potential ramifications if they go too far with cuts in health care this year. “Employers may…look to negotiate with health care providers to help lower costs, exploring cost-shifting models such as direct contract or reference-based pricing,” he writes. “However, significant changes to medical plans, especially those that transfer large costs back to employees, can have negative backlash within the workforce.”
Robert Boersma, vice president, operations at North America at Talent.com, also stresses in Fast Company that employers must not retreat from the progress they made during the pandemic with mental health. Offering such benefits this year, such as meditation software, summer Fridays as a way to relieve stress, or access to psychological treatment, will remain crucial amid concerns of a shaky economy.
“Times of economic uncertainty bring about a whole new set of fears that have the power to negatively affect mental health,” Boersma writes. “The onus is on employers to recognize these potential barriers and provide employees with ongoing access to resources that can improve their mental wellbeing, and in turn work performance.”
Companies will also continue to embrace hybrid workplaces to keep and attract workers and that means employers deploying ways to measure the productivity of remote workers. This can range from software that allows them to track hours and monitor their employees. “However, these measures may negatively impact trust levels within the workplace,” Boersma notes. “It is very important for employers to work collaboratively and be transparent with their teams and to maintain a sense of trust.”