The Future of Work Requires Communication – not Quiet Quitting

In 2009, after being married for 17 years, I became a (suddenly) single Mom of two.  My kids were 10 and 14.  When our world was turned upside down, I was in the middle of managing a corporate and family relocation to a new city.  Needless to say, the timing was not ideal, but I’m not sure there is ever a good time to face something so difficult.   

Instead of hiding my personal situation, I confided in my boss and made him aware of the challenges I was facing.  I had always put my kids first, but based on what we were going through, they would become an even bigger priority.  I was also acutely aware that I would now be the main financial provider for my household.  The weight of that was heavy.  My boss, sensing my concerns, offered me reassurance and support.

I ended up being a single mom for the next 12 years and his support never wavered.  When I started with the company, I was a Marketing Manager, when I left, I was a Senior Vice-President of HR and Brand Culture, and a proud mom of two happy, healthy, successful adults. 

The financial security my job provided me through the years was directly correlated to the life stability I provided my children.  To this day, I am forever grateful.  My past experience has taught me that you never know what life has in store for you, so always respect and appreciate the financial stability your job provides.

This leads me to the topic of “quiet quitting” or “anti-hustle culture.”  The bottom line: I think it’s dangerous and could result in people losing their job. 

I am not even remotely against setting healthy boundaries for yourself and your family, I simply believe there are more effective ways to get leaders to listen than silent protests, ghosting your boss or doing the bare minimum at work.  That seems like a really bad road to go down.  

Instead, how about a conversation where you respectfully communicate your needs and concerns and offer solutions while also understanding the needs and concerns of your supervisor and the business?  I’ve found that once you have empathy for each other, it’s hard to be enemies, and it’s at that intersection where you find a solution. 

Since the pandemic, there has been a significant impact on the way we live and work, and I think everyone is trying to find a solid middle ground.  A ground built to accommodate healthy, happy families and high performing companies.  We won’t get there overnight, but with respectful communication, a little bit of compromise (and no more “quiet quitting”) the future of work will become much brighter.

Original article featured on HR.com.

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Written by Pam Nemec

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