Updated: Sep 10
Have you ever wondered about quiet quitting, or even if you are doing it yourself?
This week we are diving into what quiet quitting is, and what research says about its effect on the workplace.
So What Is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting is a workplace buzzword that first began appearing on the internet in early 2022. It refers to employees who reject the notion of going above and beyond their job requirements, and instead do just the bare minimum at work. Quiet quitting employees show up for work and put in the minimum effort, but they are not engaged with their work.
The reality is this disconnect is often related to employee stress and burnout. The last few years have been a lot on people both professionally and personally. While their engaged colleagues find their work more rewarding, quiet quitters are simply "checking out". This year’s State of the Global Workplace report by Gallup estimates that low engagement costs the global economy $8.8 trillion. Although 23% of workers worldwide report being engaged at work, most workers (59%) are quiet quitting.
The good news is that, with effective management interventions, quiet quitters can become more engaged employees who are thriving at work. These employees represent an opportunity for positive change in the workplace because employees who feel engaged find their work meaningful, feel proud, and take ownership of their work. Even better, quiet quitters know what changes they want in the workplace.
In the Gallup report, respondents were asked: What would you change about your workplace to make it better? The majority (85%) of the responses from quiet quitting employees fell into three categories: engagement or culture, pay and benefits, or wellbeing-work/life balance.
Let's get into it!
Engagement or Culture
Employees want to feel their contributions are recognized and appreciated. That includes being trusted to work more from home instead of feeling micromanaged at the office. They also want management to respect their health and personal well-being. One way to show that to employees is by encouraging them to use their allotted vacation time each year, and to use their sick time when necessary.
Quiet-quitters also want clear goals and stronger guidance from management, so it’s important to promote a positive work culture that includes open communication with managers.
Finally, employees who are quiet quitting want opportunities to learn and be promoted at work. That is a golden opportunity for managers to coach and mentor less-engaged employees so they can learn and take on new challenges that make them want to engage with their work.
Pay and Benefits
These non-engaged employees want their pay to reflect their qualifications and merit. They also want to be rewarded for their work when the company does well. Many of these employees feel undervalued and therefore unappreciated. Giving out large salary increases is unlikely to be an option, so it’s important for management to be clear about the company’s policies on pay, benefits, and promotion potential from the very beginning. This can help prevent disappointment and disillusionment down the road, which can lead to job dissatisfaction and quiet quitting.
It’s also important as a job-seeker, to be honest with yourself when interviewing; think carefully about whether the working conditions and salary they are offering will work for you. There are other ways besides pay increases for management to show employees they are appreciated. Feel free to contact me if you need ideas for this. I have resources that can help!
Employee wellbeing and work-life balance is a growing concern among workers, and they expect employers to care about their physical and mental health, too. Employees want better communication about their work schedules, so they can plan for work and personal time. Similarly, they also want less overtime. If regular overtime is an important part of the job, it’s imperative for management to share that during the hiring process.
Many quiet quitters also requested a common break area where employees can relax and chat with colleagues during a coffee or meal break. This could be a good way to promote an environment where employees get to know each other and feel connected to their colleagues. Offering well-being resources such as meditation and stress management programs can also help employees and prevent burnout.
Even though quiet quitters are not engaged at work, they are also not actively disengaged. This means they are open to coaching, mentoring, and other interventions that will help them become more engaged and productive at work. These low-engagement employees represent an opportunity for company growth and employee retention.
Managers and leaders take a look at your teams and plan for ways to increase engagement in a way that promotes ongoing development and is meaningful to them! And if you need support in this process, please reach out to one of our coaches. We would be happy to help you find realistic and sustainable ways to increase engagement in your teams.
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