Tulip Media Group

Quiet Quitting: Why It Happens and What It Means for Businesses and Employees

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In recent months, a new trend known as “quiet quitting” has taken over social media platforms like Twitter and TikTok. This term does not relate to employees actually quitting their jobs but rather to a rebellion against the hustle mentality of going above and beyond what a job requires.

To be clear, there is no universal definition of quiet quitting. For some, it involves establishing boundaries and refusing to accept additional labor; for others, it simply means not going above and beyond. While some see the need to strike a healthy work-life balance by quiet quitting, others see it as lazy, dishonest, and perhaps indicative of a downward spiral.

What Exactly Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting indicates that an employee has confined their responsibilities to those strictly within their job description. In most cases, this is done to avoid working long hours. The aim is to accomplish the bare minimum in completing the task at hand while establishing clear boundaries in their role to achieve work-life balance. It’s important to note that while these employees are still performing their jobs, they are not subscribing to the “work is life” mind-set and are not trying to impress their managers and elevate their careers. Quiet quitters adhere to the expectations of their position while at work and put work aside when they get home to focus on nonwork duties and hobbies.

Quiet quitting may indicate that a person is dissatisfied with their job or that they are suffering from burnout. It is a widely used strategy for employees to deal with burnout and to relieve stress.

Who Are the Employees Who Are Quiet Quitting?

According to Deloitte’s 2022 Global Gen Z and Millennial Survey, Boomers and Gen-X leaders approach work very differently than younger generations do. While older workers like the “rise and grind” mentality, younger workers are more concerned with a balanced lifestyle and are primarily motivated by money.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workplace culture saw significant changes, including the Great Resignation. The power has quickly shifted from employers to employees. With increasing negotiating power, some employees are seeking improved working conditions and more substantial benefits.

Some employees have pursued a less rigid line between their professional and personal selves. Quiet quitting is part of a bigger rethinking about how work fits into our lives rather than the other way around. As Generation Z enters the workforce, the concept of quiet quitting is gaining traction as they battle with burnout and never-ending demands.

When Quiet Quitting Backfires 

Quiet quitting, in theory and practice, may manifest differently for each individual. According to experts, the concept is concerning because it can go beyond simply finding a better work-life balance. Quiet quitting removes your emotional involvement in your profession, which is unfortunate for employees given that most of us devote a lot of time and energy to our work. However, quiet quitting might be a desirable trend if employees want to concentrate on getting the most out of hours spent at work. 

Be warned that the quiet quitting trend may result in negative effects such as a lack of desire to excel, the underdevelopment of skills, a lack of adaptability, and difficulty operating in a team setting. Quiet quitting can also trigger workplace issues since other employees will believe quiet quitters aren’t carrying their weight.

Why Quiet Quitting Might Work

Quiet quitting can be advantageous in terms of giving employees more time to pursue passion projects. A quiet quitter may be able to think more creatively, feel more energized, and become more efficient during their working hours. This mentality challenges the long-held assumption that the only way to advance professionally is to go far beyond your boundaries and adopt a “yes person” attitude.

How Can Organizations Help Their Employees?

Quiet quitting can be just as harmful to a company as quitting openly. However, keeping your employees satisfied is not always easy. They may feel distracted, unappreciated, or as if their work isn’t gratifying. When this happens, it’s not uncommon for them to quietly quit. Before your team experiences this, try implementing these five strategies for avoiding quiet quitting in your company.

  • Promote Open Communication

Employees must feel safe approaching you with any problems or challenges they are facing. Managers should also check in with employees regularly rather than waiting on them. Employees who can approach their superiors freely are considerably more likely to discuss important topics affecting their job engagement.

  • Encourage a Good Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important for keeping employees engaged and satisfied at work. Ensure that your workforce has the ability to take vacation, sick days, or personal days as needed. If possible, avoid scheduling too many late evenings or weekends during the month.

  • Try Not to Overwork Your Team

Employees that are overworked are more likely to be burnt out, stressed out, and unhappy at work. Managers should avoid scheduling too many overtime hours or placing employees under too much pressure to reach unrealistic targets. Overworking employees will just add more stress, obligations, and risk of burnout and reduce productivity in the long-term.

  • Be Flexible

Employees prefer flexible organizations that accommodate their needs and demands. Permitting employees to work from home, offering flexible hours, and even delegating some of their tasks to others when the workload is too heavy can all contribute to higher employee satisfaction at work.

  • Create Opportunities For Growth

If a person feels trapped in a dead-end job, they are more likely to be unhappy and disengaged at work. Avoid this by creating opportunities for growth within the company. One example is offering training and development courses to periodically present new challenges and extend responsibilities.

Avoid Quiet Quitting with Tulip Media Group

No employer wants employees to discreetly leave them, but employee happiness and motivation is a two-way street. Both employer and employees should collaborate in order to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed and valued. Addressing employee engagement and cultivating cultures of belonging are two vital endeavors that will benefit the organization as a whole.

If you believe you may have some quiet quitters in your workforce, talk to us about it at your next strategy session. Our CEO and Certified Scaling Up Coach Andy Buyting and I can help guide you through the process of addressing these employees and work with you to develop a plan to bring them back to center. Book your session online today at www.TulipMediaGroup.com.