It describes the philosophy of taking a step back at the office and prioritizing life outside of work. Quiet quitters have made the decision that going above and beyond for their organization has not paid off, and now they will not give more to their employer than what is absolutely necessary. In essence — it’s doing the job you were hired to do — but nothing more.
However, since going “above and beyond” is often an essential part of what makes the customer experience exceptional, it’s a trend CX leaders should have on their radar.
Half of America Is Quiet Quitting
According to Gallup, half of the US workforce are currently “quiet quitters” — people who do the minimum required because they are psychologically detached from their job.
After reviewing the responses of 15,091 full and part-time U.S. employees aged 18 and over in a recent poll, Gallup reported it’s a “symptom of poor management” and suggested that today’s leaders provide staff with a few essentials to help avoid the problem:
- Clarity of expectations
- Opportunities to learn and grow
- Create an atmosphere in which the employee feels cared about
- Form a connection between the individual employee and the organization’s mission or purpose
“I believe that there is a risk of it continuing, but if we get the basics right, we have a chance to make it an even better workforce, workplace experience,” said Stacy Sherman, VP of marketing, agent and customer experience for Liveops, and founder of Doing CX Right. “Leadership — empathetic leadership and listening and giving people projects that they care about — is the way to combat the quiet quitting.”
Customer Experience Teams Are Vulnerable
Ken Kozielski, vice president of customer experience at Orlando Health, is a CX executive who has led teams across multiple industries and service organizations including Aramark and Wyndham Resorts. He describes quiet quitting as an apathy toward one’s role — and he believes CX teams are especially vulnerable.
Some workers see it as the antidote to burnout from the 8 to 5 hustle and grind — but it could be the warning sign of a flawed company culture.
“It’s the loss of engagement that happens when the job experience and the sense of purpose that brought them there are no longer aligned,” Kozielski said. “It results in a loss of discretionary effort, customer empathy and ultimately attrition.”
Specific Risks for CX Professionals
Kozielski said these are people who chose their profession because they are motivated to help others and make a difference in our current world. And, it seems, most companies are “moving from crisis to crisis,” he added. “This means that companies are prioritizing pragmatic survival over principled improvement.”
The result, he explains, is that “CX is often left in the dust” and when CX teams reach out to their operational counterparts for partnership, the response they are frequently met with is, “we have too many competing priorities.”
“This is demotivating and leaves the CX professional feeling like their sense of purpose is unfulfilled,” Kozielski said. “What do they do in that situation? They either toss up their hands in frustration or find some other place to fulfill their sense of purpose.”
Realigning Customer Objectives With Business Goals
And, he says, the front-line team — those members around the company who may not have CX in their role, but who have a big influence on the customer experience — are also at risk.
“I think the risk for them is the competing priorities themselves,” Kozielski said. “Leaders often cascade accountability for financial or operational metrics and if they are under the pressure of living in survival mode, then they may see customers as an obstacle to their goals. This can cause them to give up on delivering great service to customers because the customer’s needs are secondary.”
The solution? Realignment of customer objectives with business goals.