Logan Mallory
VP Marketing Motivosity Follow

On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup speaks to Logan from Motivosity about re-engaging quiet quitters and cyberloafers.

Some Conversation Highlights:

One is first Gallup says that 70% of a person’s employee engagement, the variance in that score, 70% of it is based off of the person’s manager. Your company could have a really great PTO policy, you could have unlimited PTO, but if the manager makes their team members feel guilty every time they leave the office, that’s the lens that the team member has to look through at the PTO policy. First, I think we reengage quiet quitters through managers. And actually I’d like to change what I said. I think we reengage people through mentors. And average people will be managers, great people will be mentors. If you want to reengage your team members, then your managers probably need to be having somewhat consistent one-on-ones, whether that’s weekly or biweekly. Those conversations, and not just making them about work, but having time to talk about personal or professional goals, and allowing the individual to contribute to the agenda. Those interactions make a massive difference in how engaged your team members feel.

The second thing I would say is, and we just did a survey, Motivosity did a survey, about happiness in the workplace and engagement in the workplace. We surveyed 2000 people and 75% of those respondents said that their mental health would improve if they were recognized for their work more often. People really, really want to know they’re doing a good job. They want to know that their work matters and that they’re contributing. And guess what? A quarterly MVP award that they may or may not win doesn’t cut it. Being able to recognize and thank and appreciate your team members is a great… I would use the word jumpstart. If you can create a culture of gratitude, it will help jumpstart those dead batteries or those disengaged batteries and help people see that they work at a place where what they’re doing matters to the people they’re working with. And I think those are my two answers, William. Gratitude and managers are key.

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Listening time: 24 minutes

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Announcer (00:00):

This is RecruitingDaily’s Recruiting Live Podcast where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing, and talent acquisition. Each week we take one over complicated topic and break it down so that your three year old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.

 

William Tincup (00:34):

Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the Recruiting Daily Podcast. Today we have Logan on from Motivosity. And our topic today is Reengaging Quiet Quitters and Cyber Loafers. This is going to be fun, and this is actually the first podcast I’ve done on quiet quitters or quiet quitting. So I think it’s going to be really fun to explore with Logan. Logan, would you do us a favor and introduce both yourself and Motivosity?

 

Logan Mallory (01:01):

Absolutely. I appreciate it, William, and I’m glad to be here with you today. And good, we get a fresh topic then on that quiet, quitting. Let me give you a little bit about my background. I grew up in Michigan and currently reside in Utah. I, growing up, was always told that I would be really great at sales, and so that’s where I started my career. But what I learned is that people meant when they said I’d be great at sales, what they really meant was, “Logan, you’re a pretty nice guy and you can sort of talk to people.” Eventually that led my career into marketing and that was the perfect place for me. Spent most of that time in technology and marketing B2B SaaS products, and have just had this really great career around marketing. And I’ve always been responsible for really respectable products, but not always fun products.

(01:57)
I’ve typically been involved with, I worked for a publishing company for a number of years doing their marketing. Then I was in project management and business phone systems and web conferencing. And one of the boxes I wanted to check in my career was to work for a really fun product. And that’s how one of the reasons that I started working for Motivosity a number of years ago, I was actually a user at a previous employer. Motivosity is an employee recognition platform, and we help companies build cultures of gratitude and connectedness. And the reason we focus on those two things is because when you feel appreciated for your work and recognized for your day to day efforts, and when you have meaningful relationships with your team members, you stay longer, you contribute more, and you’re a better team member. And so Motivosty does that through peer to peer recognition. I think that’s probably a pretty good intro, but I’m happy to dig in deeper.

 

William Tincup (02:58):

That’s a great intro actually, on both sides, both the personal and the professional. Let’s get to, first of all, quiet quitting. What’s your working definition right now? When you hear that or see that in the media, et cetera, what does it automatically take you to?

 

Logan Mallory (03:18):

I think when I talk about, or when I think or read about quiet quitting, it’s kind of this idea of people basically giving up at work and just riding the wave and getting the paycheck without contributing. When you spend a little more time thinking about it, or particularly, I think where I’ve learned a lot is actually in LinkedIn comments. If you go read posts about quiet quitting, you’ll see some really interesting these two paths that occur. One from employees and one from executives or managers or company owners. I actually think the nomenclature makes a big difference. Meaning people that the employees are thinking quiet quitting is one thing, and the employers are thinking it’s another. And quiet quitting to employees, that means that they are doing… they’re not doing more than their job description. Employers are expecting employees to go above and beyond and work hard and take on extra projects. Employees are saying, “That’s not my job description. I’m not getting paid for that. And therefore, no.” But I think, again, the other side of quiet quitting is really the people who are doing nothing and they’re just skating by.

 

William Tincup (04:35):

A couple things that, because you already touched on it, but it’s discretionary effort. That’s always been there on some level in some way or shape or form through the years. Discretionary is a discretionary effort. You get an email at five o’clock on a Friday, it asks you about a bid, it’s going to take 30 minutes or so. Do you do the bit or do you wait until Monday or Tuesday or whatever? And I think folks, especially in the rewards and recognition, in the engagement space, have always been trying to figure out how to calibrate and unlock that discretionary effort. And in the way that you’re thinking about it, and I think about it very similarly with quiet quitting, is I wonder how much of this, and this will be the question, I wonder how much of this is just exhaustion from COVID, or maybe even anxiety around the inflation or the elections or something like that? How much of this is just, we would be here already because of just what the trauma that we’ve just been through?

 

Logan Mallory (05:42):

So I’m in my late 30s. When I started my career, I would work 60, 65 hour weeks, I would work on Saturdays. If I wasn’t hitting my quota, I would just stress myself out. And I, back then, couldn’t even imagine a world like today where, I think this is safe to say, where really employees and team members have a lot more power than they’ve ever had. I do think that part of what you’re saying is right. That yes, people are exhausted. And that list that you just gave of COVID and inflation, it could go on for a really long time. You could add in Russia and you could add in anything you wanted. And I think in the past, we’ve just muscled through our mental health issues. We’ve muscled through the anxiety or through the depression. And today, team members are and employees are speaking up. And I think that’s a wonderful transition.

(06:50)
Now, do I think the pendulum can swing too far? I really do. I really think at some point, if employees aren’t willing to contribute or look around the office and figure out another way that they can make things better or hit their number, and even if it takes 45 hours instead of 40, eventually businesses can’t sustain that. Even if we want them to and feel like the business should be responsible, at some point, there’s a tipping point where it causes the business to have to say, “Well, we can’t employ you then, or We can’t employ this many people, or we can’t do X, Y, or Z.” I do think that there does need to be this balance of, “Hey, the world is different and therefore we need to be different.” But I also think we can’t get too extreme on that.

 

William Tincup (07:38):

Who drives that recognition of that kind of… Well, just I agree with you wholeheartedly, by the way. So the world has changed. We went from a concept of work, life balance, which I’m not sure that any of us really had pre-pandemic to work, life integration. Okay, we see cats on Zoom calls, et cetera. But you’re right, you’re absolutely right. At one point, the business can’t sustain a certain model. I mean, no organization, nonprofit or otherwise, can sustain a certain model. So who drives that? Is it the employees that drive that, or is it the business that drives where that tipping point, is I guess is what I’m trying to figure out?

 

Logan Mallory (08:23):

Well, and I think the answer has changed. I think 5, 10, 15 years ago and beyond, it was absolutely the employer that set the line. I think in the last 18 months we’ve seen a dramatic shift where the employee is setting the line. And what I hope is that we find some really good middle ground. Because I’m both an executive member and I’m an employee. I’m an executive member with four kids that play basketball and gymnastics, and I want that work life balance too. But I also want some, I don’t know what the right word is, I want some security from my employer, but my employer can only provide security if the business is successful.

(09:09)
I hope that we find a better middle ground where people are taken care of and the employer is doing the right thing. Maybe I can share, this might be a little off topic, William, when I’m interviewing or hiring or talking with my team members, they’ll often, in the very beginning of our relationship, they’ll be like, “Well, tell me about PTO or do you need me to do this? Do I need to give you super advanced notice?” And I kind of have these three things that I ask and I say, “Please be honest with Motivosity or our employer,” whatever company I’m working for. “Please be honest with our employer.”

(09:46)
And second, do amazing work. Whatever work you’re doing, make it really, really great. And then third, do whatever you need to do after that. Go live your life, go to the Halloween party at your kid’s kindergarten. And so for me, that works out really well. And I’m probably lucky with the team members I get to work with. That’s rarely abused. And to me, that is an example of the employer providing the flexibility and the employee still taking ownership and us working together to solve both the business and the personal goals.

 

William Tincup (10:24):

I love that. I love that. Let’s talk a little bit about reengaging. So we can all recognize that, okay, we’ve been through trauma and the trauma has impacted businesses in so many ways. We probably needed another two or three hours to figure that out. But let’s just talk about the topic at hand in terms of employees maybe not giving 100% of themselves. We’ll just kind of call that what that is. How do we bring them back to the table? How do we engage them or reengage them in a way that businesses, that’s good for both sides. That’s good, as you said already, good for the employer and good for the employee.

 

Logan Mallory (11:07):

I’ve got two stats that I’ll share with you. One is first Gallup says that 70% of a person’s employee engagement, the variance in that score, 70% of it is based off of the person’s manager. Your company could have a really great PTO policy, you could have unlimited PTO, but if the manager makes their team members feel guilty every time they leave the office, that’s the lens that the team member has to look through at the PTO policy. First, I think we reengage people through managers. And actually I’d like to change what I said. I think we reengage people through mentors. And average people will be managers, great people will be mentors. If you want to reengage your team members, then your managers probably need to be having somewhat consistent one-on-ones, whether that’s weekly or biweekly. Those conversations, and not just making them about work, but having time to talk about personal or professional goals, and allowing the individual to contribute to the agenda. Those interactions make a massive difference in how engaged your team members feel.

(12:25)
The second thing I would say is, and we just did a survey, Motivosity did a survey, about happiness in the workplace and engagement in the workplace. We surveyed 2000 people and 75% of those respondents said that their mental health would improve if they were recognized for their work more often. People really, really want to know they’re doing a good job. They want to know that their work matters and that they’re contributing. And guess what? A quarterly MVP award that they may or may not win doesn’t cut it. Being able to recognize and thank and appreciate your team members is a great… I would use the word jumpstart. If you can create a culture of gratitude, it will help jumpstart those dead batteries or those disengaged batteries and help people see that they work at a place where what they’re doing matters to the people they’re working with. And I think those are my two answers, William. Gratitude and managers are key.

 

William Tincup (13:31):

Logan, you mentioned a wonderful point. And I want to ask you, get your take on micro engagement and micro recognition. So instead of, as you said, that quarterly award that you may or may not win, do you believe that there’s just both from the employee side that there’s a desire to have things happen faster? And also from the employer side, do you think that they just need to use gratitude and dole out gratitude on a more frequent basis or velocity?

 

Logan Mallory (14:07):

Oh yeah, absolutely. And William, I don’t want to go too deep into Motivosity, but that’s exactly the foundation of our platform. We believe in recognizing the good on a day to day basis. What we do is we recruit all of your team members to look for the good, and we give them a few dollars every month. And the only thing they can use those dollars for is to say thank you to their peers and their team members and the people they work with. In the world I live in, and what we do to help our customers, and this goes to what should companies do, they typically have, the average employees recognized three to five times a month. When you speak about micro recognition, that’s exactly what we do. And we see what that does to cultures. It’s not about the dollars. It’s about how do people feel at work and are they excited to get up on Monday morning? And when they feel appreciated, they just do better.

 

William Tincup (15:08):

I love that. And with peers, getting back to, I love the peer recognition and being able to give them dollars and also show gratitude. I’m really thankful that you did this, et cetera. Do you also see a relationship with discretionary effort with peers in terms of those that are rewarding people and showing gratitude? Maybe there’s a relationship with less of that discretionary effort or more discretionary effort. The more gratitude you show, the more discretionary effort you get, et cetera. Do you see that?

 

Logan Mallory (15:44):

Yeah, we call it a gratitude loop. When I say thank you to someone, I as the giver, as the person saying thanks, I’m better. I’m a little bit happier. In fact, Shawn Achor has a book called The Happiness Advantage, and he talks about the impact of gratitude on your own personal health. In fact, that’s an amazing TED Talk. I think it has 16 million views and Shawn’s an incredible speaker, but he talks about how the person expressing the gratitude is better. Of course, the person receiving the gratitude is happier. They’re better and they feel recognized. And what’s actually kind of cool is the third part of that gratitude loop is the observers. The people that get to see that culture of gratitude happening, they’re also better.

(16:36)
And so really there’s this massive halo effect around anytime you say or hear thank you, it really packs impacts everybody within the radius. And so absolutely. Now, it’s easy to say, Well, what does gratitude do? Why does that make me a better employee? Well, gracious, grateful people are mentally healthier, they’re physically healthier, they have fewer sick days, they work harder, they’re more willing to help a teammate. And so there are so many positive results of a culture of gratitude.

 

William Tincup (17:12):

And I would assume that this is just hand in hand, but let’s just make sure. Authenticity and gratitude, because I can see where that gets sideways if people just don’t feel like it’s authentic. But I would also assume that most of gratitude is authentic, but what have you seen with, especially with the gratitude loop and being authentic in giving and receiving and observing gratitude?

 

Logan Mallory (17:43):

Maybe I can share this story. I report to our CEO and he’s a successful man and a really great leader. This story happened early in my time working for him. You’re meeting one-on-one with your CEO, new job, new executive, and it’s a little anxiety inducing. And one day we had a one-on-one and it went pretty well. It was a pretty good meeting. And I left that meeting and he sent me a note, and the note had a picture of a Justice League preview. So it had Wonder Woman and the Flash. And above that picture, he wrote a note and it said, “Logan, I love where marketing at Motivosity is going. It’s like we’re the new Justice League.” And I read that appreciation and I looked off into the corner of the office and I was like, “I am the Batman of marketing.”

(18:40)
All it took was that one authentic recognition and it changed my relationship. So I think you’re right. If it’s inauthentic, if it doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t have the impact. But I also think if you’re looking for the good, it’s not that hard to find something to be authentic about. I literally saw someone yesterday on our platform and they said, “Hey, thanks so much for coming over to say, hi, I needed to talk to somebody. I’m glad you came over.” And how is that small thing, how does that not build a better relationship with a peer? And how are we not better employees when we have those kinds of interactions?

 

William Tincup (19:23):

I think that’s what fascinates me the most about the rewards and recognition space in general, engagement space in general, is we used to celebrate the large things. So the people in sales would know this, the top 100 club or the century club or whatever. And at the end of the year who excelled over quota and they’d go to Hawaii. It was a big deal, of course, and very important, but it was big things. And we could take that in a lot of different directions. But it seems like now it’s even more important to recognize the little things or the small things like people helping you with a presentation, people carving out time to help you craft an email or help you with a slack message or whatever, little tiny things. Those are just as important as the larger things that we used to celebrate.

 

Logan Mallory (20:15):

Yeah, I think you’re right. And it is interesting how that shifted as you’re talking about that. I don’t know that I can. At first, I want to blame social media, but I don’t know that there’s any blame to be had. Meaning it’s probably a positive thing that we’re celebrating small milestones because the small milestones are what get us to the big milestones.

 

William Tincup (20:37):

Love it. Last question I have, and it’s just really an extension of an earlier conversation is quite quitting as it relates and maybe the reengaging them as it relates to remote or hybrid work. Again, do you think that some of where we’re at right now with quiet quitting is because not just the trauma and all that stuff, but also just the way that work fundamentally changed? And if so, how do we change that or how do we reengage folks?

 

Logan Mallory (21:09):

There is something about an office setting where you overhear about other problems or you see something broken or you see food left in the lunchroom or the fridge needs to be cleaned out. There’s something about these visual prompts that you don’t have when you’re at home. I also think that it’s so easy to get frustrated at when there’s anonymity. Meaning, if that’s just some person on the other side of the world or the country that sent you a jerky email, it’s just easy to assume the worst. Whereas if you’re sitting down face to face, it’s a lot easier to see, “Oh, here’s what they probably meant. Or I can see that something else is going on.” And so I think that working from home adds some really obvious friction. And friction makes it easier for people to disengage or to quiet quit. That’s all there is to it. The harder we make something, the less likely we are to accomplish it.

(22:07)
And so again, do I think that we need to be really flexible and allow people to live really great lives? Absolutely. Do I think that it’s the employee’s job to decide? To me, it’s the employee’s job to decide if they don’t like what the employer is offering or providing or expecting, then we get to choose to go somewhere else. And I think that maybe we should be a little bit more self-reflective than expecting every employer to adjust to every need. And here’s the reason why. Employers can’t accommodate everyone in every situation. And if employees don’t understand that, then they’ll never be satisfied. I hope that all of us, employers, executive teams, managers, entry level employees, I hope we’ll be really self-reflective about what we need and what we want and why we need and want those things. And hopefully that leads to some powerful mutual conversations.

 

William Tincup (23:09):

Drops mic, walks off stage. Logan, thank you so much. This has been so wonderful. And again, I haven’t done a quite quitting podcast because I’ve been avoiding it to be quite honest. But this has been wonderful and you’ve tackled it in such a wonderful way. So thank you so much for your time.

 

Logan Mallory (23:27):

William, I appreciate you. Can I make an offer to your audience?

 

William Tincup (23:30):

Sure.

 

Logan Mallory (23:31):

If there’s someone that needs help, Motivosity or quiet quitting or anything aside, if somebody needs help on a making a LinkedIn post move a little faster or finding a job or connecting with somebody, I’m happy to be a resource. I’ve built up my LinkedIn and like to offer that out to people. So I’m easy to find there. And it’s a small world we need all the friends we can get.

 

William Tincup (23:51):

We do. Thank you so much, Logan. I appreciate you. And thanks everyone for listening to the Recruiting Daily Podcast. Until next time.

 

Announcer (23:59):

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Authors
William Tincup

William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.


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