Breaking the silence: how to detect and prevent quiet quitting among remote workers in the context of Vietnamese culture – an employer’s guide in 2023

How to detect and prevent quiet quitting among remote workers in the context of Vietnamese culture - an employer’s guide in 2023.

Recently, remote working has slowly become the new norm globally,  providing employees with flexibility and freedom that were once unimaginable. However, this modern shift also brings on new challenges. After COVID-19, the working culture witnesses another pandemic – “quiet quitting”.

The story behind “quiet quitting”

First termed on TikTok, “quiet quitting” is now a productivity killer in the post-COVID world. As explained by HBR, “quiet quitting” involves either refraining from taking on tasks beyond one’s assigned responsibilities or reducing one’s psychological commitment to work. In short, employees now choose to do the bare minimum at work. They stop participating in work-related activities, become unresponsive to communication, and eventually disappear without warning. Quiet quitting has been particularly common among younger millennials and Gen Z  as they are viewed as having a lower level of commitment to their company and most choose to value the balance in their personal and work lives.

Engagement levels of employees under 35, a survey by Gallup

Signs of a “quiet-quitter”

Quiet quitting can happen for many reasons. It’s either burnout, stress, occasional fatigue, or the sudden feeling of disconnection from your team. So, what are the clear signs to look out for in a “quiet-quitter”?

Unresponsiveness

Working remotely can present various challenges, causing employees to disengage from their work and ultimately resulting in quiet quitting. But, one significant sign employers should keep an eye on is indirect isolation. The lack of face-to-face interactions, which is quite common for remote workers, can easily lead to ineffective communication and potential conflicts, leading to the feeling of being unsupported and disengaged from the team.

Top reason for why most employees choose to quiet quit

If a remote worker withdraws from meetings and does not respond to any form of communication during, or after work, then you might have yourself a quiet quitter. Clearer signs of this behavior include on-off replies in online meetings, frequent absence, and reluctance to contribute ideas, or share feedback with team members. Keep an eye out for these red flags to avoid losing a valuable member of your team.

More negativity, less social

Over a protracted period, unresponsiveness can eventually lead to more negativity during work and less engagement with other team members. Adecco Vietnam found that over half (53.7%) of Vietnamese remote workers are feeling more stressed, with their mental health being their top concern. When employees are stressed and struggling with their wellbeing, they may be less inclined to participate in team bonding activities and to form connections with their colleagues.

Not all activities require everyone’s attendance, but it’s still important to take the time to get to know your colleagues on a personal level and engage in conversation on topics beyond work. After all, there’s more to your relationships with co-workers than just work. Without these social interactions, team members may feel left out and isolated.

Missed deadlines and incomplete tasks

Missed deadlines and incomplete tasks are major red flags that employees may need support and could consider quitting. Picture this: an employee who frequently delivers top-notch work suddenly starts to miss deadlines or turn in incomplete and unqualified work without any explanation. It could be that they’re struggling to manage their workload, lacking the necessary skills or resources, or feeling overwhelmed. Alternatively, they might have lost their spark and are no longer invested in the project’s success or the organization’s mission.
Fact is, distraction, along with internal communication, sluggish work and pressure from working online, is reported as the main factors for dissatisfaction among Vietnamese remote workers, causing them to not getting the work done.

If these behaviors persist, they could prompt the employee to consider throwing in the towel because they feel like they’re failing to meet the job’s expectations.

Breaking the cycle: How employers can help

Communication is the key

Quiet quitting sometimes isn’t about the employee; it might be a management failure. It’s a disheartening reality that 57% of organizations in Vietnam have cut down on internal activities for remote workers after work hours, leading to the phenomenon of “quiet quitting”. 

But fear not; preventing quiet quitting is a breeze – just start with a conversation.

A simple “Hi”, “Hello” can go a long way in preventing quiet quitting and creating a thriving workplace culture. Simple gestures like checking in, offering feedback, acknowledging a job well done, or organizing remote team-building activities can make all the difference. Engaging with employees helps build a positive and supportive work environment that inspires them to work with a sense of purpose. After all, a manager’s role is critical, and without their guidance, inspiration, or follow-up, employees can feel directionless and unappreciated. So, don’t be a stranger. 

At Inspius, we understand that team bonding doesn’t have to be limited to the nine-to-five grind, but also the things we have to share outside of work. To celebrate “TGIF” spirit, team members take turns during our Friday Zoom meetings to share interesting topics beyond work – they can be Netflix top picks, a deep dive into astrology, or even taking personality tests together. These small but meaningful interactions go a long way in keeping our team motivated and connected.

Listen, then encourage

Preventing quiet quitting among remote workers can be as simple as listening to their needs and providing encouragement. If a remote worker struggles with work-life balance, employers can encourage them to take regular breaks and prioritize self-care. Alternatively, if employees seek opportunities to develop their skills, a manager who encourages their ambition and provides development opportunities can help them feel valued and invested in their role.

Remote developers in Vietnam reported that by listening to their employees’ needs and concerns and offering support, managers demonstrate a commitment to their employees’ success and well-being. This creates a positive and supportive work environment that fosters higher levels of job satisfaction, increased motivation, and a reduced risk of employees quitting.

Solutions to quiet quitting, a survey by Hubspot

Moreover, HR analytics tools can be used to gain insight into factors driving employee well-being and performance. Your workforce is a diverse group of individuals, each with their unique needs and concerns. Only by consulting and listening to employees can leaders gain the insight needed to make targeted investments that address those needs. 

Less hustle = less extra tasks 

Employees who feel overwhelmed with tasks outside their skillset or interest may become disengaged and unmotivated. It’s like asking a chef to fix a car – it’s just not their area of expertise. By clarifying job responsibilities and providing adequate support, managers can help employees focus on their core responsibilities, leading to higher job satisfaction and lower risk of burnout.

But it’s not just about redefining job tasks – leaders should also encourage employees to prioritize their well-being outside of work. Instead of promoting an always-on mentality which is especially common for remote work that leads to burnout, leaders should create a culture that values work-life balance and self-care. 

These days in Vietnam, an individual’s well-being is taken seriously, whether you are a big name like VNG Vietnam, or a small to medium start-up. Many company choose to offers measures to support their staff’s mental health, including flexible work hours and a new sabbatical leave policy for long-term employees. But the company’s dedication to employee well-being continues. Offices now  boast world-class amenities, such as a top-notch gym, or plenty of “rest” spaces scattered throughout the workplace. When employees feel supported in and out of the workplace, they’re more likely to be engaged, productive, and committed to their job.

Bottom line

Quiet quitting can be a silent killer of your organization. When employees disengage or lose motivation without saying a word, it can be challenging to identify and address the issue. That’s why at Inspius, we take HR management very seriously. We don’t just stop at finding the right remote software developers for you. Our passion for HR management drives us to provide ongoing support to ensure your Vietnam team is skilled, motivated and invested in their work.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to address quiet quitting. Contact us today to find out how we can help build a strong team of remote software developers in Vietnam for you.

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