A trending term that has been circulating, albeit quietly in recent years, has gained traction as of late. From TikTok to The Guardian, ‘Quiet Quitting’ has garnered both a positive and negative rapport – and for good reason.
So just what does ‘quiet quitting’ mean? According to a survey by Gallup, at least 50% of the workforce in the US are categorized as quiet quitters. The term has everything to do with lowered levels of engagement and the reluctance to go that extra mile, and nothing to do with actually resigning from a role.
For numerous reasons, ‘quiet quitting’ is becoming more prevalent. Be it the repercussions of the pandemic and the draining levels of commitment required from employees during lockdowns, to the impact of a range of crises that have unfolded in recent years. There is also a growingly apparent disconnect between the goals of a company and an employee’s relation to them, leading professionals to lose motivation to deliver beyond their job descriptions. Digging a bit deeper, the lack of clarity, uncertain expectations, unclear opportunities to grow, and the lack of connection with a company’s purpose, are widening the gap between what the company expects, and what the employee is willing to contribute.
As ‘quiet quitting’ is studied further, there is a deliberate distance between placed between the employee and the workplace, in relation to life beyond the office – especially for professionals under 35. ‘Quiet quitters’ are keen on finishing the tasks within their respective roles and not staying after hours… all in search for better work / life balance. Work is no longer the focal point of their lives.
Sounds detrimental? Well yes, it can be in many cases. When the engagement and productivity levels of an employee dip over an extended period of time, the company suffers. Now at an all-time low (even though it still remains ‘quiet’), companies and managers need to act fast.
How can managers start bridging this divide?
To build and nurture engaged teams, a deliberate effort is needed. Managers typically assess if deadlines are being met, if the work is getting done up to the standards required, if outputs match expectations, if clients are satisfied and if job descriptions are fulfilled.
That is not enough.
The focus should actually shift to assess the engagement and satisfaction levels of employees, in relation to their roles, in addition to how they function within the company culture. In addition, management and leadership teams need to build stronger relationships with their team members, and in doing so, define the expectations for any given role. The rise of ‘quiet quitters’ within every organization is alarming, but it can be rectified before it is too late.
Check out the reality of quiet quitters in this Gallup study.