One of the most viral catchphrases regarding the American workforce in recent times has been the term "quiet quitting" — a reference to employees doing the bare minimum at work in response to burnout and their personal quest for a better work-life career balance.
American businesses have taken steps to retain top talent and promote productivity among employees.
One such step: Finding ways to help engage employees to reach their peak performance at work.
A recent 2022 study suggested that workers who embrace a sense of curiosity may be happier and more engaged and productive at work — and that being curious on the job is significantly connected to better work performance.
Experts weighed in on how a sense of curiosity can impact work performance and job satisfaction.
How do curiosity and work performance intersect?
"Curiosity can improve individual performance as well as the performance of the entire company," said Amy Morin, a psychotherapist in Marathon, Florida, and author of the book "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do."
When employees are curious, they'll question why their company does things a certain way — or they'll want to know what might happen if they took a different approach, said Morin.
"Curiosity can lead to more creative solutions and it can help companies become more innovative," Morin told FOX Business.
How can curiosity lead workers to become more engaged, satisfied and passionate?
Workers who are encouraged to be curious may become more engaged with their work, said Morin.
"They may enjoy thinking about alternative ways to solve problems and strategies for adapting to change," she said.
"They may also want to know how certain things work and may find meaning in looking for alternative options."
How can management play a role in incorporating curiosity for greater productivity?
A corporate culture that encourages motivation and creativity at the management level will most often trickle down.
"Managers can set an example, too, by also asking more questions," said Lauren Henkin, founder and CEO of The Humane Space based in Rockland, Maine.
It built an app that "helps adults find awe in the everyday through lifelong learning, curiosity and introspection," its website notes.
If an employee presents a new idea, Henkin said she tries to respond with a series of questions.
"Often, my natural inclination is to offer an opinion or an answer to the question posed," said Henkin.
"But by asking questions instead, employees are encouraged to find a resolution themselves," she noted.
"It gives them an opportunity to grow while feeling valued in the process — and sets the example that asking questions is a valuable part of our culture," she also said.
"If we thwart the ability of employees to be inquisitive, we’re actually suppressing their most fundamental expression of curiosity."
How does curiosity help combat workplace issues?
Engagement is key for not only to preventing "quiet quitting" in the workplace but also to preventing actual quitting, said Henkin.
"When we think about curiosity and engagement, the connection seems pretty clear," Henkin continued.
"Curiosity prompts engagement. The more curious we are, the more questions we ask, the more we participate in finding solutions," she said.
"And the more interested we are in opportunities for growth," she also said.