Quiet quitting, career cushioning – Workforce under pressure Loop Barbados

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, priorities have shifted for many.

As people transitioned from working in their offices to working in their homes, the need for a work-life balance was amplified.

Now three years later, the determination to maintain a work-life balance has been reflected in the workforce. It was described as ‘The Great Resignation’ in 2022, where thousands opted to quit their jobs rather than stay in toxic or unfavourable work environments.

The phenomena of quiet quitting also came to the forefront. Where workers sought to protest by a go-slow in the office in the past, quiet quitting involved people showing up at work but doing just enough.

“If you are familiar with the concept of presenteeism, it is quite similar where persons are literally sitting at their desks. They are showing up to work on a daily basis and they are not producing.

Quiet quitting though it is very similar has gotten the attention of the HR professionals and the CEOs and the business gurus around the world but it is really the same thing. Persons are sitting and making a quiet decision to not give more than they believe they are being paid for or to not go above and beyond, simply because they are frustrated or they have been emotionally triggered,” says human resources professional Kara Boyce.

As a result of the looming recession, ‘career cushioning’ has risen to prominence.

Much like dating, career cushioning is about keeping your options open and having a backup plan. It involves upskilling/reskilling yourself, growing your network, updating your LinkedIn profile so that you as an employee are able to ‘cushion the landing’ if something happens.

Speaking to Loop, Boyce identified that employee’s perception of the workplace was changing.

“Employees are making some decisions about their lives simply because throughout the pandemic, there has been a lot of personal disruption. It is either they experienced lost or financial hardship and sometimes, when you have these emotional triggers, employees can either go into flight or fight mode and as a result of that the organisation may not be seen as a safe space anyone and I think that is where we really have to focus,” said the Human Resources manager of one of the region’s top companies and labour management adviser to the Barbados Employers’ Confederation

She enforced that it was the responsibility of companies to ensure their employees feel safe whether it was physically, emotionally or financially.

She noted that high turnover rates among new hires was a clear indication that “they are coming into an organisation and recognising this culture is not where I want to be”.

Boyce’s answer to the breakdown in employer-employee relations was ‘LOVE’. She emphasised that employees needed to know leaders had their best interests at heart.

“The one thing we can say that we can use as a tool to be able to reignite our organisation and reignite employee loyalty within the company is love – just loving our employees being there for them connecting with them and walking the path with them

“It is no longer just about performance and results but it is about how you can contribute to that employee being a whole being within that organisation. Yes, the employee’s perception is changing but we also have the power as leaders to change it back,” she asserted.