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Addressing Quiet Quitting in the Workplace

Posted 08/25/22

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Last year as we were coming out of the lockdown and people were able to return to work, many were taking part in what is now known as the Great Resignation.

Nowadays, scroll through LinkedIn or other social media platforms and you are sure to read something about Quiet Quitting.

Is this the next phase that is happening in the workplace since the pandemic?

It seems to be.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting isn't exactly what it sounds like. People aren't quietly quitting their jobs, as much as they are quietly quitting doing all the extras they used to do.

Maybe it was doubling up on a position until a replacement was found. Maybe it was coming in an hour earlier for a meeting or staying a few hours later each week.

Maybe it was being on-call after work hours to answer texts and emails.

Perhaps it was checking in a few times while on vacation.

Regardless of what those extra tasks, duties or expectations were, more and more people are saying “No More”.

Why Now? Why are Employees Quiet Quitting?

Coming out of a pandemic it’s safe to surmise a couple of things.

People, especially those who have really suffered throughout the pandemic, are now taking a closer look at what has happened and how it has affected their lives. They are finding ways to reorganize their priorities.

While work is still important, having a personal life or spending more time with family might now be more important.  And quiet quitting may be one of the solutions to get that time back.

Where the hustle culture might have gotten them ahead on the job before, they are reevaluating their actions and deciding to invest in themselves and less in their company – or future progression as an employee.

Others might feel like the “extras” they have been doing are now just expectations, with little appreciation and with no financial reward.

Some people want more free or flexible time, others want more money.

Regardless, people doing those extras and not seeing either are drawing their line in the sand.

How Can You Tell if Someone “Quiet Quits”?

As managers and employers, are you able to tell if someone quietly quit?

If someone shows up for work, does a great job, gets the work done for which they were hired and leaves at the time the work day is supposed to end, are they now a “quiet quitter”?

It’s possible that managers have been expecting more out of their workforce without showing proper recognition and compensation.

It’s also possible that hard work and going the extra mile has not been rewarded – with even the littlest of “thank you”.

As a company/manager, setting proper expectations and rewarding those who meet and exceed expectations can help prevent those who are “quietly quitting”.

If you notice a drastic change in effort, be sure to take a hard look at how you are rewarding and treating your employees. Many might be quitting because of poor communication, engagement, and culture.

Recognizing Effort and Rewarding Results

If you want an employee to work 50 hours a week, make sure that you have clearly indicated that your expectations are for the employee to work 50 hours a week. If you hire them to work 40 and become upset when they don’t work 50, that is not the employee quitting, that is you not clearly communicating your expectations/duties.

When setting goals, offer incentives for exceeding expectations. If it’s not possible, be sure to show appreciation and don’t overlook the little things that increase employee morale.

Quiet Quitting is not something new. Employees that are not recognized and managers that don’t show appreciation will always have employees “quitting”.

People want to do a good job. People intrinsically want to be successful. They also will adapt and survive.

Has Quiet Quitting Affected Your Workplace?

If you believe some of your workers are taking part in quiet quitting, how are you prepared to deal with it?

Are you open to addressing the issue in a way that allows your workers to feel safe and heard?

Is it something that can be talked about as a group?

Maybe this quiet quitting is actually sending a loud message that we can transform the way we do business that allows everyone to feel seen, heard, and appreciated while allowing everyone to win.

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