Employee engagement and enthusiasm are waning in the new workplace, and it is up to leaders to cultivate an environment of motivated workers.
- During and after the pandemic, the overall workforce was afflicted with the trend of quiet quitting—the practice of only completing work within a given job description.
- While these employees get their work done, good leaders can cultivate an attitude of ambition and create high-impact employees.
- Entrepreneur Zach Hughes has a long career as a U.S. Army Special Forces leader and an entrepreneurial coach.
- Hughes shares his commitment to motivating his workers during an interview with Salesforce’s Karen Mangia.
Why it’s news
Quiet quitting is not a culture or a generational problem, it is a leadership problem, at least according to Hughes. Leaders must face this challenge and learn how to overcome it.
Hughes admits that quiet quitting can benefit an individual but argues that the lack of ambition can cause more long-term harm to the worker. Without putting in extra effort, Hughes says employees will not be able to build a network of professionals to help them in their careers.
Putting in minimal effort also means that these employees will not have the opportunity to learn as much as ambitious employees. Eventually, this will have a more significant effect on a worker’s overall morale, Hughes says.
But change in the current employee culture begins with better leadership. Hughes explains that his job in the special forces included keeping up with changing technology and methods. In the same way, he adapted to the environment his team was in, Hughes says business leaders need to adapt.
“Leadership behaviors need to evolve to understand the technology aspect that’s coming for us … and the fact that one employee doesn’t need to just be focused on one specific role,” Hughes says. “As a leader, we need to empower those engaged employees to give them confidence to go check out new things and to try new arenas that we know would help us and our business and our customers.”
When leading a team, Hughes says that leadership should commit to daily habits that will empower employees to follow. Hughes emphasizes five personal commitments:
- Exercise Hughes says being a fit, healthy person is essential to setting the tone in his company culture.
- Upfront leadership By having frequent communication and face-to-face interactions with his leadership team, Hughes says he can empower his managers to lead their teams by supporting them and leading by example.
- Pursue personal growth A good leader always looks for opportunities to improve personally and professionally. Personal development, Hughes says, is beneficial to both him and his team.
- Encourage open communication By communicating freely with his team, Hughes says he cultivates an environment where every team member is comfortable speaking up about concerns or making suggestions for improvement.
- Empower and support Giving team members the tools and support they need to succeed is vital to creating a positive work environment that fosters growth and ambition.