Quiet quitting is a phenomenon that has not so quietly taken the global workforce by storm – if recruiting publications and LinkedIn influencers are to be believed. If you are not familiar with the term, it is basically where employees set their own work-life balance by limiting their workload or doing just the bare minimum. As a spin-off of the Great Resignation, quiet-quitting was motivated by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic issues, job dissatisfaction, low wages, and burnout. As employees left companies, as part of the Great Resignation, the employees left had to pick up the slack and not only do their jobs, but also the jobs of the vacant positions.
The Change to Quiet-Quitting?
In its basic form, quiet quitting is where employees don’t outright quit their jobs, but they quit going beyond the minimum possible level of effort. When employees feel like they aren’t appreciated, listened to, or don’t opportunities for advancement, then quiet quitting starts to show up and will continue. It’s not a new one, but certainly one that has been exacerbated by the past two years of workplace trends.
Some things to look for to see if quiet quitting is creeping into your workplace are:
- Enthusiasm for work decreases.
- Employees aren’t as active in contributing to projects as they once were.
- Staffers have stopped voluntarily helping out when extra assistance is requested.
- Employees show up late and leave early.
- Employees refuse to work longer hours when needed for an exceptional issue.
- Workers stop responding to emails, calls, or messages.
Workers are no longer motivated by the old corporate culture of the harder you work, the greater the reward. Companies that expect their workers to:
- Do work that isn’t part of their job description or part of their contract
- Forgo opportunities for career advancement
- Provide minuscule raises (or none at all)
… are going to have quiet-quitting issues within their companies. When employees realize their input doesn’t match the reward, they are no longer motivated to work as hard.
How to Combat Quiet-Quitting
The biggest thing employers can do to combat quiet quitting is address the issues that are causing the trend in the first place. But with the major complaint of quite quitting employees feeling like they are not appreciated, making changes that make employees feel like they are valued, respected, in addition to being appreciated, is a great place to start. Other considerations could include:
- An appropriate level of work-life balance to prevent burnout
- Promote from within so employees have a chance for advancement within the company
- Changes to the work environment that make taking care of employees’ physical and mental health a top priority.
- Holding periodic information-gathering meetings with employees to find out their concerns (and to address what changes were made, or are going to be made, to past concerns)
- Provide benefits like sick days and vacation days … even to part-time employees.
- Paying employee salaries that are competitive and commensurate with their job.
While these changes will cost a company money, it is far cheaper to keep employees that are trained, happy and productive, than it is to hire unknown entities that may or may not work out … and then go through the hiring process again. Long gone are the days when employees are viewed as merely objects that are part of the business process. Instead, they should be viewed (and treated) as a businesses’ most important resource … because they are.