CBS News says, “There’s a new term for clocking in and doing the bare minimum at work: ‘quiet quitting.'” This employee practice is a type of disengagement in which employees no longer go above and beyond at work. They do as little as possible, but just enough to keep their jobs.
The term “quiet quitting” first gained popularity on the social media website TikTok. According to NPR, “In July , a video was posted that went viral, sharing a user’s experience encountering quiet quitting for the first time.” Thereafter, many users began sharing their own experiences with quiet quitting.
When employees quiet quit, they are basically (and silently) rebelling against their work conditions in some way.
Signs of quiet quitting include:
- Refusing to do additional tasks.
- No longer volunteering for projects.
- Accepting only easy assignments.
- Claiming to be too busy to assist coworkers.
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 is a controversial issue, garnering both proponents and critics
The Wall Street Journal says how people react to quiet quitting depends on how they interpret it — and interpretations vary significantly. “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 mind-set fosters laziness and hurts performance, even if baseline job expectations are being met.”
Regardless of interpretation, quiet quitting is concerning because it indicates a divide 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.”
Employers can prevent quiet quitting by prioritizing strong communication
When employees quiet quit, they are reacting based on their own perspectives, which may or may not be in line with the employer’s view of the situation.
For this reason, employers should make effective communication 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, address employer-employee disconnects, such as by:
- Consulting with employees before increasing their workloads.
- Providing competitive pay and benefits.
- Letting job candidates know up front about additional work that may be required.
- Offering resources to support work-life balance (e.g., health and wellness benefits).
- Establishing boundaries to prevent managers from intruding on employees’ personal time.
- Encouraging employees to take breaks and time off from work.
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.