What is quiet quitting and how to avoid it

What is quiet quitting and how to avoid it
14 Sep 2022

Many of us may have heard the term ‘quiet quitting’ in the news a lot at the moment, but what exactly does it mean and how can you help address this huge employee engagement challenge?


What is quiet quitting?

The term quiet quitting is not about outrightly quitting your job, but instead you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond in your role. This may be; only working in the exact defined hours of your job and only completing activities that fit exactly into your job description. This then allows you to still do exactly what your job requires of you, however you are making no extra efforts or doing anything outstanding or out of the ordinary.

In the simplest terms this new trend means workers are only carrying out the exact job they are being paid to do, without taking on any extra responsibilities or participating in any extracurriculars outside of their specified working hours.

Some people are viewing ‘quiet quitting’ as Gen-Z being lazy and finding an excuse to do the absolute bare minimum. However, others can see many reasons why employees are doing this to silently protest the difficult working conditions these last few years have landed us in.

This article will explore why exactly people are quiet quitting, how to spot if employees are struggling and how to support and manage them to prevent quiet quitting from happening in the first place.


Why are people quiet quitting?

Although quiet quitting has been a concept that has been around for years, it has recently been brought into the spotlight due to long term effects of Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. These difficult working conditions have led many employees to burnout, and they have found themselves struggling to find an appropriate work-life balance.

Alternatively, quiet quitting may also occur if the employee feels undervalued in their workplace, employees may begin to deprioritise their jobs and readdress the balance. This type of working allows individuals to maintain their salary, whilst looking for better jobs and experiencing no work-related stress.


How to spot if an employee is quiet quitting

It should be easy to notice who is ‘quiet quitting’ as they will come across disengaged in the workforce and in their role. Some key signs an employee may be quiet quitting are:

  • Appear disengaged
  • Lack of overall enthusiasm and passion
  • Arriving late
  • Not attending any work socials or extra-curricular
  • Not participating or contributing in meetings
  • Reduction in performance and productivity
  • Isolation from other members of the team

If you notice any of the above in your employees, you might want to consider dealing with it formally through set policies and procedures. However, It is important that the employer takes the time to sit and talk with the employee to understand why they are unmotivated and if there is anything which can be done to rectify this issue.


How to manage people you think are quitting

Firstly, the employer should take the time to sit and talk with the employees about how they’re feeling and why they may be unmotivated or struggling in the workplace. Communication is absolutely key in this situation as the employer may be able to uncover and address the root of the problem. For example, the individual might be struggling with a heavy workload and in this case the employer could provide additional support for the team memeber to lighten their load.

Managing all this through communication may be beneficial for the rest of the organisation as individuals will see people aren’t being dismissed because of this but instead being recognised and listened to.


How to prevent employees from quiet quitting and support them if they are struggling

It is important to highlight to employees the importance of engagement and a positive culture within work. Ultimately, employees work best when they feel valued and recognised for their work.

It is important for managers and team leaders to have a good level of communication with their team as this creates a cohesive group and the employees feel part of decisions which are being made.

Managers should check in regularly with their team and gather feedback and make sure they are happy and feel valued. The only way to truly combat disengagement is by improving the employee experience. This can be done by ensuring workloads are realistic and in line with their position and pay, employees are having fun in the workplace and feel valued.

Although quiet quitting appears to be on the rise, it is only a response to a disengaged, unhappy workforce. We suggest you review your employee satisfaction to understand if there are any issues that need to be addressed. If you continually focus on creating a positive and open enviroment. quiet quitting is unlikely to impact your business or be a cause of concern.

How we can help

Here at Four Recruitment we’re not only your recruiter but also your trusted business partner, providing valuable insight and knowledge into the employment market. You can rely on us to find top talent for your business across HR, finance, business support, supply chain and at executive level. To learn more about how we can help you, get in touch with one of our friendly consultants.


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