This week’s buzz – “Quiet Quitting”

It seems like every business article out in the last few weeks is referring to the phenomenon of “quiet quitting.” Is this a real thing and does it apply to the dental industry? “Quiet quitting” has been around for years and has been given different names at different times. “Quiet quitting” is described as the act of doing your job to the minimum standard and never giving more than what is necessary.

I have referred to this previously as a 9 to 5 employee.  This type of team member will be polite to the team and patients, they will complete their tasks they will arrive fifteen minutes before their day and be out the door the second everything is completed. They will not be disruptive to the office culture, but they also won’t engage in it either. In almost every workplace this type of employee makes up one third of your workforce. This grouping of team members can also be persuaded with coaching to move into the top third of your team if they can become excited and engaged in a way that suits their interests. Providing this group with encouragement will help them move forward. This may mean extra CE for them to learn new techniques, providing tools for the goals you are asking them to reach, in general you need to find a way to have these team members want to do more in the practice.

Your 9 to 5 employees are far better off than the third of your team who are disengaged. Your disengaged employees, will do their job to minimum standards, create conflict and toxicity to your office culture and generally be the team members who you feel are dragging your office down. This group of team members will also feel like they are taking up 80% of your time and energy. In the current job market, many offices are keeping disengaged members on board as they don’t feel that they have many choices. There are real threat to keeping these disengaged members on your team. The 9 to 5 group can easily be pulled into this culture and tip the balance of your office.

The top third of your office is your engaged team members. These are your super-stars who are always giving 100% and going beyond your expectations. You feel that you can let them run with whatever you give them, and they will do make whatever system seem like it was always as you envisioned. Your engaged team members can feel frustrated by the effect that the disengaged members have on your office and decide that they are ready to move on if the engaged members don’t see you doing anything about your disengaged members. Remember that these team members need your attention as much or even more than the other two groups so that they can feel supported and appreciated for the extra effort that they put forth.

Every office has now gotten through the pandemic, it’s time to evaluate your team and office culture. The first step that I suggest is to make a list of all team members and divide them into the three groups that I have mentioned: engaged, 9 to 5er’s and disengaged. Look at each grouping and decide on a set plan of how you can either elevate and support each person’s growth into the next level or with your engaged group how to excite them to stay engaged. Once you have made this choice, design a plan, and put it into action. During this process you may decide that a team member isn’t going to be rehabilitated and it may be time for them to move on to their next opportunity.

“Quiet quitting” isn’t a new phenomenon caused by the pandemic in the employment world, but in many industries, it has become a glaringly obvious problem. In the dental industry I feel that it is always something that we have dealt with but bringing attention to it now can save us some headaches in the future if we deal with it accordingly.

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