As the workforce continues to shift towards a larger Gen Z population, employers are facing the challenge of helping these young employees succeed in order to help their organization thrive. While “quiet quitting” has been a recent buzzword when it comes to engaging young workers, new research shows that a more prevalent trend in the workplace is “quiet constraint”.
According to Kahoot!’s 2022 Workplace Culture Report, 58% of U.S. workers hold knowledge that could benefit their coworkers but haven’t shared it. This trend is even higher among Gen Z workers, with 77% reporting holding onto unshared knowledge. This can harm productivity, creativity, and problem-solving, as teams that are experiencing quiet constraint aren’t fully contributing or collaborating.
When asked why they aren’t sharing their knowledge, Gen Z workers pointed to company culture as a key factor. Many don’t feel valued at work and believe their employer underestimates their knowledge and capabilities. Others have never been asked or feel that their talent and self-expression are stifled on the job.
To unlock unshared knowledge in the workplace, employers should see the quiet restraint trend as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. The majority of workers (75%) say they would highly value an easy and engaging way to share their knowledge with coworkers. Here are a few tips for employers to get started:
1. Recognize Workplace Heroes Who Share Knowledge: Employees who show new staff members the ropes or informally train them can go unnoticed. Employers should recognize and reward these employees for their actions in order to incentivize knowledge sharing.
2. Harness Friendly Competition: Gen Zers grew up with game-based learning, and incorporating friendly competition into meetings, presentations, and training can encourage collaboration and learning.
3. Give Employees Opportunities to Surprise You: Employers should create opportunities for employees to share their talents and ideas, whether through peer learning sessions, open creative brainstorms, or full-fledged hackathons. This allows employers to uncover fresh new ideas and perspectives from unexpected sources within the organization.
Ultimately, a company is only as strong as its workforce. Investing in younger employees and convincing them to share their knowledge will benefit the entire organization in the long-term. Employers who prioritize their employees’ success today will be the most successful tomorrow.