Reengaging ‘Quiet Quitters’ Through Experiential Learning

Employee who is smiling while working 1536 x 1067

According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report, about 41% of employees expressed that a change in culture and engagement will make the workplace better, significantly more than a change in pay & benefits (28%) or a change in well-being programs (16%) will. Globally, employees are unengaged at the workplace or are “quiet quitters”, people who put in the hours but are “psychologically disconnected from their employers”. In Southeast Asia alone, 68% of employees identify as quiet quitters.


That’s quite troubling, especially since culture is more difficult to remedy than more tangible facets such as compensation or employee support. Fortunately, there’s an opportunity here. The Gallup study sees these quiet quitters as “low-hanging fruit for engagement”. In other words, these employees are just waiting to be engaged. Once they are, they can turn into company champions.


So how do you ignite that spark among the unengaged and disengaged in your workforce? One way is to induce a behavior change within your organization through experiential learning. By removing your employees from their daily routines and immersing them in unique challenges that creatively both mask and mirror workplace realities, they take on more active roles in their learning journey.


Here are some powerful characteristics of experiential learning that influence behavior change and ignite engagement.


Themed Activities: Masking Reality to Enhance Learning. Themed activities are not just fun and quirky. They place participants in unique environments and confront them with challenges vastly different from what they typically encounter in their workplace. Imagine being thrown into a rescue mission in space where survival depends on resource management, strategic decision-making, and effective communication. This sudden shift helps unmask inherent behaviors. Guided by a powerful debrief at the end of a session, participants can reflect on the consequences of those behaviors and position themselves better for transformation.


Story-driven Experiences: A Metaphorical Journey of Behavior Change. In relation to themed activities, story-driven training workshops captivate even the most reluctant participants. Each element of the story is a metaphorical representation of real workplace scenarios. With the help of an effective debrief, participants draw parallels from the experience with their day-to-day work, giving them insight into what behaviors lead to improved performance or an overall better workplace experience.


Cause and Effect: A Clear Path Towards New Behavior. Every action taken (or not taken) during an experiential activity leads to certain results, creating a tangible cause-and-effect scenario that makes it easier for participants to link their behavior with its consequences. This understanding fosters self-awareness, triggering the urge to amend unproductive behaviors. In some cases, participants get to see how their small deeds impact the entire organization in ways they wouldn’t imagine.


Active Involvement: The Pathway to Conviction. Experiential learning is concrete and visceral. Nothing drives conviction more than active involvement in achieving an end goal, like when you’re building a large bridge to spec or securing raw materials for high-end sailing products. Experiential learning allows participants to see, feel, and do something very real and consequential, but in a psychologically safe space where they’re free to make mistakes and experiment with different solutions to a problem.


Final Thoughts


When employees are immersed in interactive and enjoyable activities, they are more likely to absorb information, feel empowered, and stay committed to their professional journey. Engaging participants in a captivating way inspires them to become active players in their learning process. The impetus for learning and behavior change doesn’t just stay within the individual too. Experiential learning sessions bring about shared memories. They enhance interpersonal connections among people, fostering a more inclusive, harmonious culture within the organization.


In this way, experiential learning leaves little to no room for quiet quitting.

Leave a Reply