You’ve heard the term called “quiet quitting” at some point since mid-2021. There are many ways to explain the concept, but arguably the best is a relatable example:
- You have a talented, hard-working employee at the top of their game. They abide by the “hustle culture” mentality the work leaders often reinforce.
- However, said staff member finds it increasingly difficult to perform their duties due to burnout and taking on extra work at the behest of their manager.
- Instead of outright quitting their job, they simply stopping engaging at work and, often, do the bare minimum of work so as to keep a paycheck coming in.
- In other words? They no longer subscribe to the hustle culture. But, since they’re just not ready to actively hit the job boards to find a new, more fulfilling, less stressful role at another company, they just … disengage.
According to a Gallup survey, quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce, many of whom now engage in remote work from home due to the pandemic.
Quiet quitting has certainly led to output issues for orgs across industries today. (And, coincidentally, at a time when top talent is already scarce).
The good news? We know the underlying issues tied to this new work-related trend — and that addressing each of them can ease the strain and pressure on professionals today.
Let’s dive into greater detail about quiet quitting, why “quiet firing” might be to blame, and how to prevent your staff from throwing in the towel, so to speak, with their jobs.
For many employees, the quiet quitting trend is about mental health and setting boundaries
When employees feel burned out and/or unfulfilled — and there is little in the way of employee engagement programs to help them cope — they tend to work as little as possible.
These individuals do one of three things:
- Find a new, more rewarding position with another employer.
- Quit and hit the proverbial pause button on work altogether.
- Stay at their jobs and simply put in little (if any) real effort.
It’s this latter choice that is essentially the core definition of quiet quitting.
Writing for Healthline, well-being consultant Lee Chambers describe quiet quitting as a coping mechanism to address the likelihood of burnout and chronic overworking.
From a mental health perspective, Lee noted the benefits of quiet quitting.
“Quiet quitting has the potential to improve boundary setting [and help] people step away from toxic productivity,” said Lee. “It may empower them to take control over their rest and growth time and create space for reflection on how they can embed well-being into their lives.”
While some outlets, like the Wall Street Journal, label quiet quitting as a “quiet privilege” for workers — particularly Gen Zers — the truth is the act is much more nuanced and complex than workers simply saying, “No more.”
With rampant news of layoffs in social media and on TV, many professionals seem to be wondering if it makes a difference whether they give 50% or 100% in their jobs.
Despite the many positives of quiet quitting as it pertains to individuals’ mental and emotional health, it can also impact them in a negative way.
According to Lee, the action may also have a detrimental effect on feelings of personal fulfillment (and potentially regret after leaving a position and employer).
“Quietly quitting would likely lower our sense of engagement, purpose, and satisfaction, which are factors in our mental and physical well-being,” said Chambers.
How to stop quiet quitting at your company
Government data continues to show hiring growth at orgs across sectors. (Despite The Great Resignation never really ending.) However, recent labor reports also still indicate many professionals are exiting their businesses.
If you want to deter both real and quiet quitting, executive coach and corporate consultant Adrian Gostick recommends several things your C-suite, HR leaders and people managers can do to keep employees engaged and satisfied.
One specific solution Adrian suggests? Rethink how your workforce — well — works.
“Want to encourage more quiet quitting?” Adrian recently wrote for Forbes. “Then leave people on their own to figure out how to prioritize their work” and the tasks they tackle.
It’s no secret that how we manage employees has shifted post-pandemic, and preventing burnout has become more important than ever.
Today, companies can and should offer employees flexible work hours and hybrid-working options. (And make that info known in job descriptions for open roles.)
Another way to quell quiet quitting is to start at the leadership level.
The executive team at your org can and should lead by example and show that boundaries are encouraged by not working overtime and taking vacations.
If you’ve noticed that your employees are quietly quitting, you can use the following actions to prevent quiet quitting and ensure that your team has a morale boost:
- Encourage employees to take breaks and use their vacation time.
- Promote a healthy work-life balance by encouraging employees to disconnect from work when they’re not at the office (or in front of their work computers at home).
- Encourage employees to speak up if they feel overwhelmed or unhappy with their workload.
- Ensure employees feel their opinions are valued, and their input is welcomed.
- Ensure employees feel like they are part of a team and that their contributions are appreciated.
- Celebrate successes and milestones as a team, and encourage everyone to have fun.
Another strategy to prevent quiet quitting is to check in with your team to ensure they feel supported. Think about how they can continue their work while finding meaning in their job.
Learn how LeverTRM can help your talent acquisition team to backfill roles vacated by former employees who resign and future-proof your hiring. Schedule a demo today.