“Work to rule”, “Quiet Quitting”, “Acting your wage” – Just pithy slogans to capture attention and headlines or a real chance to (re-) engage with your workforce?

September 15, 2022


Whatever term you wish to use, a rolling story over the last few months has been about workers deciding that they will only do “their job” and not work harder for “the business”.

At a time when the short-term economic future looks to still be in the balance, such sentiments may cause concern for managers and leaders who feel that everyone will need to pull together and give more effort if there is a downturn.

However, we would suggest that this focus on just doing “the job” offers two particular opportunities for smart businesses to engage with their workforce.

Firstly, and particularly for those with a calendar year-end, it allows managers and employees an opportunity to “dust off” the employee’s job description and see to what extent either they are doing that job – or are doing a different job which may need to be recognised – or else perhaps actually not doing enough of their job description!

Honest and open communication around the job description can form the bedrock of both reviewing the performance in the year and setting objectives for the year ahead.  It may also give managers who are looking to promote team members the crucial information that may make all the difference during “calibration” and promotion review in 2023.

A further benefit for the organisation, should it do this review of job descriptions on a company wide basis, is that it can start to create a “map” of where “skill gaps” are in the organisation.  This map, once plotted, can be used to help make future recruitment and training decisions on a more informed basis.

Secondly, by opening up the conversation about what is “their job”, it gives the business an opportunity, should it so wish, to reinforce the message that any bonus payments are about “giving more”.

This will be particularly useful in organisations where bonus “entitlement” has started to creep into the workplace.  Clear settings of policy and practice now, can cut off disagreement and disgruntlement that may otherwise arise at a time that is fraught due to other, external factors.

Should you want to have someone help you explore your thinking on this issue, please contact Stuart James in the first instance.

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