According to CBS, “There’s a new term for clocking in and doing the bare minimum at work: ‘quiet quitting.’” The term refers to a type of disengaged employee practice in which employees stop going above and beyond and do as little as possible – just enough to maintain their job. Quiet quitting is, at a basic level, a silent rebellion against work conditions. 

“Quiet quitting” first gained popularity on the social media website TikTok when a posted video went viral, sharing a user’s experience encountering quiet quitting for the first time,” as reported by NPR in July 2022. Since then, the nation has been swept by users sharing their own experiences with quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is a controversial issue

There are many interpretations of the definition, cause, and implications of Quiet Quitting. The Wall Street Journal says how people react to quiet quitting depends on how they interpret it. “Some professionals argue the concept is saying no to extra work without extra pay and work stress, not necessarily phoning it in. Many detractors say the quiet quitting mindset fosters laziness and hurts performance, even if baseline job expectations are being met.”

Regardless of interpretation, quiet quitting is a concern because it indicates a disconnect between the employer and the employee regarding expectations. 

CBS News explains, “To some extent, quiet quitting may represent an evolution of the Great Resignation, with Americans pushing back against blithe employer expectations that they’ll obediently put in more hours each week without additional compensation.”

Some of the key initial signs of quiet quitting include:

  • Refusing to do additional tasks.
  • No longer volunteering for projects.
  • Claiming to be too busy to assist coworkers.
  • Prioritizing exclusively easy assignments.

Common reasons for quiet quitting include:

  • Excessive workload.
  • Lack of work-life balance.
  • Poor compensation.
  • Not enough recognition.
  • Insufficient support from managers.
  • Unclear or changing job requirements.

Quiet quitting can ultimately lead to the employee quitting for real. It can also slowly erode productivity and the bottom line. So do your best to keep it at bay.

Employers can prevent quiet quitting by prioritizing strong communication

One of the main reasons that employers have been experiencing their employees quiet quitting is because of a divide in communication and differing opinions on the workplace environment. Employees will react to situations based on their own perspectives, which could initiate quiet quitting if they are not in line with the employer’s view on a situation.

For this reason, employers should prioritize effective communication as a cornerstone of their culture, as it is often the solution to workplace conflicts. Encourage employees to speak up whenever they have an issue, and train managers to employ active listening.

Moreover, employers can address a disconnect with their employees by:

  • Offering competitive pay and benefits.
  • Consulting with employees before increasing their workloads.
  • Letting job candidates know ahead of time about additional work that may be required.
  • Providing tools and resources to support work-life balance (e.g., health and wellness benefits).
  • Setting boundaries to prevent managers from intruding on employees’ personal time.
  • Encouraging employee breaks and time off from work.

Quiet quitting can be the sign of an employee losing interest in their position and their workplace and can eventually lead to an erosion of productivity or even a resignation letter. Before quiet quitting affects your bottom line, employers are encouraged to find out the underlying reasons that an employee may be disengaged and, in turn, nurture a healthy culture of dedicated employees.

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