Quiet Quitting And How To Prevent It

Quiet quitting and how to prevent it welearn learning services
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    Quiet quitting refers to employees who opt to put little to no effort into their jobs. Generally speaking, they do not achieve more than the bare bones’ minimum – just enough to get by without being noticed by their superiors. The term was recently coined during the Great Resignation. The practice has become a daily substitute for quitting a job, without actually doing so physically. These individuals have mentally checked out from their jobs and perhaps even from their entire careers.

    The term “quiet quitter” refers to an individual who continues to perform their daily duties, yet has opted to become less engaged in all other aspects of the job. A common term used to describe these behaviors is organizational citizenship. Showing up early and staying late is now a thing of the past. What about any non-mandatory meetings? That is also out of the question.

    It may appear that this does not constitute an organizational issue or a problem with the career development or enrichment of employees, but this is not quite the case. Quiet quitters’ behaviors will certainly adversely affect your organization’s success.

    Job postings alone cannot adequately address all aspects of a job from top to bottom. The majority of job descriptions and postings do not go beyond stating the basic requirements required to be considered for a position. In reality, all jobs, regardless of the role they describe or the industry in which they operate, require additional demands to be met on an ongoing basis. Whenever this occurs, managers and leaders rely heavily on their employees to be able to step up and fulfill additional requests. 

    Managers and leaders have not reacted appropriately when they have begun to recognize these quiet quitters. Who can blame them? The trend is often attributed to laziness or the inability of these managers to maintain their level of engagement at their job. Leadership has since made it clear – losing an employee is grim, particularly those who work hard and apply themselves. 

    However, it can often be more difficult to lose an unwilling and seemingly lazy employee who does a minimum amount of work, as opposed to having that employee quit on their own terms. The reasons for quiet quitters are not laziness, but a lack of engagement, as well as a disconnect between the employee, their manager, and the purpose of the organization.

    Trending Numbers

    Post-pandemic, the number of quiet quitters has increased, and the situation does not appear to be improving. At best, more than half of the workforce has chosen to quit quietly. Currently, fewer than one third of U.S. workers are engaged, compared to nearly 60% during the pre-pandemic era. The economy is plummeting backwards instead of moving forward. Since a decade ago, the number of disengaged employees has reached an all-time low.

    Signs Point To Poor Outlooks Ahead

    Most employers have come to assume that employees should take on a surplus of work-related tasks that require more time and energy, without receiving additional compensation or recognition. In light of the signs that indicate a poor outlook for the economy and organizations going forward, employers should take action in order to prevent this from occurring. Without awareness and action, the number of quiet quitters will continue to increase, and downright resignation will become a thing of yesteryears.

    Redefine The Disconnect

    Engaged employees are declining, and this needs to be addressed. Some of the most common responses for quiet quitters are:

    • The overabundance of expectations related to their job.
    • Feeling less cared about by their organization and the higher-ups within it.
    • Compensation imbalance between what the employee thinks they deserve and what the employer compensates them.
    • Lack of support from managers and other higher-ups.
    • Failure to meet safe work environment expectations.
    • Stretched job expectations that are proprietary to other’s job description, rather than their own.
    • An unhealthy work-life balance due to excessive work requests.

    The quiet quitter chooses to do not only the minimum to receive a paycheck, but to psychologically remove themselves from the workplace. Loud quitters are the exact opposite – honest employees who are sick of their jobs and have no qualms about informing their superiors that their position no longer fits their lifestyles, professional goals, or is a suitable place for them to remain. 

    However, the balance between the two could not be further apart. Often, dissatisfied employees leave their current employer to find a position that better meets their needs, but only the loud quitters are honest with their current employer. Sadly, others (the quiet quitters) do so in the worst way possible – without notice or explanation, leaving many leaders baffled as to why they have departed.

    Managers can take steps to redefine the disconnect before your organization suffers a setback from more than half of its staff. It is true that these learning strategies for the leading administration and organization may not work for everyone, but they are an essential part of the solution to fixing the quiet quitting trend before it collapses even further.

    Improve the engagement of managers by reskilling them. It is estimated that less than one third of all managers are actively engaged at work. To become more engaged with employees, these managers need to be retrained or reskilled. This will serve as a motivation for employees to become more active in their work. Employees need to be treated with empathy and compassion by their leaders. Consider the fact that not all individuals in today’s society are as robotic as they appear to be. Often, employees suffer from burnout, resulting in complete disengagement, which eventually leads to quiet resignations.

    Additionally, organizations should be willing to listen to their employees in order to better understand their needs and invest accordingly. As a result, managers are able to go the extra mile, which is to lead by example and allow their employees to follow their example. It is imperative that managers spend time connecting with their employees on a personal and professional level. 

    This will serve as an encouragement to employees. Organizations need to be prepared to take this step in order to better serve the needs of their employees, which will require incentives for managers. Furthermore, time and resources will be effective means of engaging everyone, from managers to employees.

    Lastly, managers should be capable of accepting accountability for quiet quitters. In such instances, managers must be prepared to change tactics in order to regain the attention of their employees in order for them to become engaged again. Offering remote or hybrid work schedules is a small step toward showing employees that they are important, regardless of their location. Recognizing employees in any capacity helps them advance their careers in a positive direction.

    Closing Thoughts

    Quitting quietly has become a common trend that has swept the workforce. In order to prevent these employees from doing nothing more than what is necessary to survive, the issue needs to be addressed from the top down. Managers must be retrained, engage their employees by listening, and accept accountability when all else fails. It is important for employees to know that they are valued, by whatever means necessary. Organizations can stop quiet quitters and promote a culture of engagement by solidifying these learning strategies and pivoting as needed.

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