Why Employers should embrace quiet quitting in the workplace

Why employers should embrace quiet quitting

The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted everyone’s lives with restrictions and a lockdown on public gatherings; it also made some people rethink their career choices. During what’s known as the Great Resignation, 71.6 million people left their jobs from April 2021 through April 2022, which averages 3.98 million people quitting monthly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June 2022, the number of people quitting reached 4.2 million.

People are not only resigning from their positions, but also wanting to limit their workloads.  Introducing quiet quitting — the new way of doing a job’s bare necessities.

What is quiet quitting?

Rather than leaving a job, a quiet quitter limits their work to within their job description to avoid working longer hours. Work-life balance is important to them, so they strive to do the bare minimum to get the job done and set clear boundaries. They are still fulfilling their job duties but not following the “work is life” culture that guides their career and distinguishes them from others. Whenever they go home, they focus on non-work tasks and leave the work behind them.

Quiet quitting may indicate burnout or unhappiness in the workplace.  Quitting quietly can help relieve stress for the employee suffering from burnout.  Also, they might be looking for another job right now or may be ready to change positions.

During the Great Resignation, employees started thinking about their careers, salaries and how they are treated at work. Lack of advancement opportunities, low pay and feeling disrespected were the top reasons Americans quit their jobs in 2021, according to CNN.

Why are employees quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting may be the new buzzword, but this isn’t a new practice. For years, workers have quietly left their jobs to look for something else, whether it was poor pay, inflexible schedules, burnout or insufficient growth opportunities.

Seven out of 10 employees experienced burnout in the last year, according to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work report. The report findings also showed that employees suffering from burnout are less engaged, make more mistakes, leave the company and are at a higher risk for low morale.

COVID-19 was the catalyst that brought quiet quitting to for forefront as it flipped work culture upside down. With more time on their hands, people started thinking about and question their careers and seeking more work-life balance, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report

Approximately 36% of respondents to a 2021 Gallup survey were engaged with their jobs.  According to a LinkedIn survey, some people keep their jobs and seek new ones while collecting a steady paycheck and keeping health insurance.

Through online meetings on platforms such as Google Meet or Zoom, employees and managers are communicating in different ways when they work from home. Since these interactions are scheduled instead of impromptu, they will feel more formal than a chat session in an office. Having fewer meetings can cause employees and management to become disconnected. Providing regular praise and support to employees can help them feel valued and connected.

People may also not want to devote all their time to their careers due to wage growth. Mid Year 2022, inflation rose to 8-9%, and the average raise was 3.4%. It is actually harder for people to earn money — making them wonder why they should be working so hard.

Signs of quiet quitting work

Signs of quiet quitting can take on various forms, depending on the employee’s reasons for wanting to pull back on work. If an employee is truly unhappy, the signs may be much more noticeable than someone with the simple goal of wanting a better work-life balance.

Some signs of quiet quitting include the following:

  • Not as engaged
  • Late for or not attending meetings
  • Leaving early and arriving late
  • Drop in productivity
  • Taking more time off than usual.
  • Being reluctant to commit to long-term projects.
  • Getting more active on LinkedIn.
  • Avoiding work social events.
  • Taking more personal calls.
  • Making unrealistic requests.
Quiet quitting frustration work life balance

How can businesses help employees?

A positive employee experience is one of the best ways to prevent disengagement. Make sure employees feel appreciated by gathering their feedback and discussing what can be done. A few simple words of encouragement maybe all that is needed.

In addition, ensure that the workload is realistic and that appropriate boundaries are in place in order to maintain a work-life balance. The relationship should be open and honest, so it’s important to check in with employees to ensure they understand these boundaries.

Ensure that employees’ mental health is a priority and help them manage stress. It is important for businesses to reward their employees for taking care of their well-being by providing digital wellness awareness or less formal regular check-ins. To create a positive work culture, businesses need to set work boundaries and respect them.

Discuss career paths and offer clear, actionable tasks to help the employee achieve their ultimate goals.

Quiet quitting won’t change unless companies encourage employees to feel valued and manage realistic expectations.

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