Quiet Quitting

Doing the bare minimum duties required for one's job without dedicating any additional time, energy, or enthusiasm beyond what is absolutely necessary.

As stated by Gallup - quiet quitter make upto 50% of the workforce in the US. This is an alarming number which needs to be catered and paid attention to. With the rise of the GenZ generation, “self-care” has taken a front seat and everything else has been put aside, including their jobs.

Having said that, it is no wonder that quiet quitting has taken over and is slowly becoming a trend among all the age groups. However, according to Josh Bersin, quiet quitting is not the answer to burnout at workplaces, but it should be spoken about with managers and leaders and should be worked upon.

Conversely, AJ Nash, a keynote speaker believes that quiet quitting is just a catchphrase with not much power to it. He believes it is unfair to label someone a quitter if they are fulfilling the expectations outlined in their job description, as provided during the interview and hiring process. Instead, he suggests that if the minimum standards are deemed insufficient, they should be raised to a level that is acceptable.

With such contrasting views in hand, let us find out what ‘quiet quitting’ really means and if it holds any substance.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet Quitting.jpg Quiet quitting is the act of doing the bare minimum at work without going above and beyond. It's a way of disengaging from your job without actually quitting. Quiet quitters may not speak up in meetings, volunteer for new projects, or work overtime. They may also start to arrive late to work, leave early, or take more sick days.

Quiet quitting is often seen as a way for employees to take back control of their work-life balance. It's a way of saying "no" to unreasonable demands and putting their own needs first. In a world where burnout is on the rise, quiet quitting is becoming a way to protect your mental and physical health.

How Quiet Quitting Works?

Quiet quitting is the new black.

It's the way of the future for workers who are sick of being overworked and underpaid. Instead of putting in extra hours and going above and beyond, quiet quitters do the bare minimum and focus on their own well-being.

They don't volunteer for extra projects, they don't work late nights or weekends, and they don't respond to emails or messages outside of work hours. They're not interested in climbing the corporate ladder or making a name for themselves. They just want to do their job and go home.

Quiet quitting is a trend that's been gaining momentum in recent years. Workers are realizing that they don't have to sacrifice their personal lives for their jobs. They can have both a successful career and a fulfilling life, and quiet quitting is the key to making that happen.

Who invented Quiet Quitting?

The term "quiet quitting" was coined by Brian Creely, a career coach and employment influencer. He first used the term in a March 2022 TikTok video in which he discussed an Insider article about employees "coasting" at work. The term quickly went viral, and Creely has since become a leading voice on the topic of quiet quitting.

Creely defines quiet quitting as "when employees are no longer engaged in their work but are not actively looking for a new job. They may be putting in less effort, taking more time off, or simply going through the motions." He believes that quiet quitting is a growing trend, and he has urged employers to take steps to address the issue.

Creely is not the first person to write about the phenomenon of employees disengaging from their work. However, he is credited with coining the term "quiet quitting" and bringing it to the attention of a wider audience. His work has helped to raise awareness of this issue and has sparked a conversation about how employers can address it.

How did Quiet Quitting become a thing?

Quiet quitting is a relatively new term, but the concept of employees disengaging from their work is not. There are a number of factors that have contributed to the rise of quiet quitting in recent years, including:

  • The Great Resignation: The Great Resignation, which began in early 2021, saw millions of employees voluntarily leave their jobs. This was a major wake-up call for employers, who realized that they needed to do more to keep their employees engaged and satisfied.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic forced many employees to work from home, which gave them a new perspective on their jobs and their work-life balance. Many employees realized that they were happier and more productive when they were able to work from home, and they were less willing to put up with long hours and unrealistic expectations.
  • The rise of social media: Social media has made it easier for employees to connect with each other and share their experiences. This has helped to create a sense of community among employees who are quietly quitting, and it has also given them a platform to speak out about their concerns.
  • The changing nature of work: The nature of work is changing, and many employees are no longer tied to a traditional 9-to-5 job. This gives them more freedom to choose the jobs that are right for them, and it also makes it easier for them to quietly quit if they are not happy with their current situation.

Is the term 'Quiet Quitting' misleading?

The term "quiet quitting" may seem misleading, as it implies that an employee is voluntarily leaving their job without giving notice. However, the term actually refers to employees who are no longer engaged in their work but are not actively looking for a new job. They may be putting in less effort, taking more time off, or simply going through the motions.

Some people believe that quiet quitting is a misnomer and that it is simply a way of describing employees who are not overachievers. However, others believe that quiet quitting is a serious problem that can lead to stalled personal and professional development. They argue that when employees are not engaged in their work, they are not learning or growing, and they are more likely to become bored and dissatisfied with their jobs.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, is one of the critics of quiet quitting. She believes that it is not just about quitting on a job, but it is also a step toward quitting on life. She argues that when people are not engaged in their work, they are less likely to be happy and fulfilled in their lives.

How can Employers handle Quiet Quitting?

  • Create a more engaging and supportive work environment. This means providing employees with opportunities for growth and development, giving them a sense of purpose, and creating a positive work culture.
  • Be more transparent about expectations. Employees should know what is expected of them in terms of their work performance, their behavior, and their contributions to the company.
  • Be willing to listen to employee feedback. Employees should feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas with their managers. This will help employers to identify any potential problems and address them before they lead to quiet quitting.
  • Have regular one-on-one meetings with employees. This is a great way to check in with employees and see how they are doing. It is also an opportunity to address any concerns that they may have.
  • Offer employee assistance programs (EAPs). EAPs can provide employees with confidential counseling and support services. This can be helpful for employees who are struggling with personal or professional issues. Talk about your EAP in the job description or while sourcing candidates to attract quality candidates.
  • Take action when quiet quitting is identified. If an employer suspects that an employee is quietly quitting, they should take action to address the issue. This may involve having a conversation with the employee, offering them additional support, or even reassigning them to a different role.

It is important to remember that quiet quitting is a symptom of a deeper issue. If employers want to prevent quiet quitting from happening, they need to address the root causes of employee disengagement. This may involve making changes to the work environment, the company culture, or the way that employees are managed.

Here are some additional tips for employers:

  • Be proactive. Don't wait until an employee is quietly quitting to take action. Instead, be proactive and regularly check in with your employees to see how they are doing.
  • Be supportive. If an employee is struggling, be there to offer support and guidance. Help them to identify the root of the problem and find solutions.
  • Be fair. Treat all employees fairly and with respect. This will help to create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and respected.
  • Be transparent. Be honest with your employees about the company's goals and expectations. This will help to reduce uncertainty and ambiguity.

Is Soft Quitting similar to Quiet Quitting?

Yes, soft quitting and quiet quitting are similar in that they both refer to employees who are no longer engaged in their work but are not actively looking for a new job. However, there are some key differences between the two terms.

  • Soft quitting is often seen as a more passive form of quitting, while quiet quitting is seen as a more active form. Soft quitters may simply be going through the motions at work, while quiet quitters may be actively disengaged and may be doing things like taking more time off or refusing to take on new responsibilities.
  • Soft quitting is often seen as a temporary state, while quiet quitting is often seen as a more permanent state. Soft quitters may eventually become re-engaged in their work, while quiet quitters may eventually leave their jobs.

What are the effects of quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting can have a number of negative effects on both employees and employers, including:

  • Reduced productivity: Employees who are quietly quitting are less likely to be productive. They may make more mistakes, take longer to complete tasks, or be less creative.
  • Increased stress and burnout: Employees who are quietly quitting are more likely to experience stress and burnout. This can lead to health problems, absenteeism, and turnover.
  • Damage to company morale: When a significant number of employees are quietly quitting, it can damage company morale. This can make it difficult to attract and retain top talent, and it can lead to a decrease in productivity.

What do Industry Mavens think about Quiet Quitting?

  • Josh Bersin, Global Industry Analyst - According to Josh Bersin, “As someone who has devoted decades to studying work and employment, I firmly believe that a job or career should encompass more than mere financial gain. However, if faced with an abusive, discriminatory, or hazardous work environment, the worst course of action is to silently accept the situation. In such instances, it is advisable to quit, speak up, and/or seek legal advice. No one should endure circumstances that undermine their self-esteem, well-being, or physical health.

While economic conditions may make it challenging to secure a better job, a more constructive response instead of quiet quitting is to advocate for your career, provide constructive suggestions to your manager and company, and value yourself as a valuable contributor.”

  • Quiet quitting is a silent epidemic that is costing businesses billions of dollars each year. - Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage
  • Quiet quitting is a sign that employees are not being valued or respected. It's a warning sign that something needs to change." - Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and author of Give and Take
  • Quiet quitting is a symptom of a larger problem. It's a sign that employees are not happy or engaged in their work. - Gary Hamel, business strategy expert and author of The Future of Management

The Economics Behind Quiet Quitting

Why is this situation occurring? The post-pandemic economy has witnessed significant growth, leading companies to demand more from their employees than ever before in previous economic cycles. As a consequence, industries such as retail, distribution, transportation, and hospitality are struggling to meet consumer demand due to depleted workforces. Healthcare workers have experienced substantial trauma alongside their patients, while IT professionals face relentless pressure to swiftly develop new systems to accommodate hybrid and remote work arrangements.

Moreover, with recent stock market fluctuations and historically high levels of inflation, employers are now expecting even greater efforts from their staff. The latest research from Microsoft on work trends reveals a stark disparity: 87% of workers feel productive, yet only 12% of leaders concur—a situation commonly known as the productivity paradox. This highlights a management issue wherein executives and managers fail to recognize the extent of their employees' hard work, necessitating attention and resolution.

While leaders must take responsibility in addressing burnout, employees should not respond by disengaging and quietly withdrawing from their less-than-ideal work environments, leading to quiet quitting.

Is Loud Quitting taking over Quiet Quitting?

Loud quitting is a term that refers to employees who are actively disengaged in their work and who are making their dissatisfaction known to their employers. This may involve complaining to their managers, gossiping about the company on social media, or even staging a walkout.

Quiet quitting is a term that refers to employees who are no longer engaged in their work but who are not actively looking for a new job. They may be putting in less effort, taking more time off, or simply going through the motions.

There is some evidence to suggest that loud quitting may be taking over quiet quitting. A study by Gallup found that the number of employees who are "actively disengaged" at work has increased from 16% in 2013 to 18% in 2022. This suggests that more employees are becoming actively dissatisfied with their jobs and are making their dissatisfaction known.

There are a number of reasons why loud quitting may be on the rise. One reason is that employees are more likely to feel empowered to speak up about their dissatisfaction in the current workplace environment. Social media has made it easier for employees to share their experiences and to connect with other employees who are also dissatisfied.

Another reason why loud quitting may be on the rise is that employers are less likely to tolerate quiet quitting. In the past, employers may have been more willing to overlook quiet quitting, as long as employees were still meeting their performance expectations. However, in today's competitive workplace, employers are more likely to take action to address employee dissatisfaction, even if it does not result in immediate turnover.

It is important to note that loud quitting is not always a bad thing. In some cases, it can be a sign that employees are passionate about their work and that they are willing to fight for what they believe in. However, loud quitting can also be disruptive and can damage the morale of other employees.

Quiet Quitting - Reality or Fad?

There is no consensus on whether or not quiet quitting is a reality or a fad. Some experts believe that it is a real trend that is becoming more common, while others believe that it is simply a way of describing employees who are not overachievers.

However, there is also evidence to suggest that quiet quitting is not a new phenomenon. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 23% of employees reported being "mentally checked out" at work in 2014. This suggests that quiet quitting has been around for some time, but it may be becoming more common.

Ultimately, it is on you to decide whether quiet quitting is a reality and if it is, how to handle it at your workplace with maximum efficiency.