Understanding the informal social networks formed within an organisation may help prevent quiet quitting, a new study suggests.
Employers are currently facing the challenge of employees who go through quiet quitting – a recent trend where workers choose not to work beyond their job description.
In a study published in the journal Human Resource Management, researchers from North Carolina State University explained that quiet quitting can be addressed by guaranteeing that employees spend time with their co-workers who identify with the company.
Although the team said they did not “like” the term quiet quitting because it was dismissive of employees who fulfilled their roles in the company, they said that the study can give an insight into what gives workers a sense of purpose and what will motivate them to work beyond their duty.
The research team wanted to know how friendships formed with co-workers affects the extent to which the employee identifies with the company, and by extension, the extent to which the employee is productive at work.
With that in mind, the researchers performed an in-depth social network evaluation of 91 employees at an organisation that employed 97 individuals. The respondents were given a survey designed to capture the role of each worker, how the employee related to the company, and how they engaged with their co-workers. The survey evaluated the extent to which each worker identified with the company, how they viewed the way they are treated by the employer, how helpful their co-workers were, and how they fit into the organisational structure.
Tom Zagenczyk, one of the authors of the paper, said that it appears that people whom an employee can turn to for help have an influence on how the employee feels about the organisation.
Furthermore, the more a person identifies with their organisation, the more likely they will go beyond above and beyond the call of duty at work, said Erin Powell, one of the researchers of the study.
The findings of the study mean that employers have various ways of influencing how workers interact with each other. Organisations can decide where people’s offices and desks are located, and they can determine who will be able to mentor the new hires.