Quiet quitting is a silent act of sabotage that can have a devastating effect on an organisation and team culture. It’s where you see people who are disengaged yet visible, and it’s not always easy to spot. Here are my tips on understanding what quiet quitting is and what to do about it.
So, what is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting is where an employee doesn’t outright quit their job but decides to quit the idea of going above and beyond in their role and instead focus on the bare minimum. TikTok user, Zaiad Khan explains it as “you are still performing your duties, but you are no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentally that work has to be our life.”
It can be a sign of burnout, depression or feeling undervalued or unfulfilled. When an employee is burned out and ready to quit, he or she may not want all the drama that comes along with rocking the boat, which means going quietly under the radar, often while looking for other work.
Quiet quitters are logging off at 5 pm, muting their emails and work-chat platforms and saying no to tasks beyond the scope of their role. Where they may have volunteered to extend their knowledge into new projects, they are coasting and just doing their tasks and nothing more.
The pandemic made a lot of people realise that they don’t want their career to take over their lives and move into positions of more influence. A recent article in the Guardian explained that “there was a sense of our own mortality during the pandemic, something quite existential around people thinking ‘what should work mean for me? How can I do a role that’s more aligned to my values?’”
How can you deal with quiet quitting?
While it can be frustrating and difficult to deal with quiet quitting, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The best way to encourage others’ participation is through open dialogue.
Also understanding that while money is a huge driver to engaging and attracting talent, especially with the increasing cost of living, feeling respected and valued are two other important factors businesses need to keep top of mind. Supporting your staff and helping them understand that you value them and their contribution to the business is a sure way to have these feelings reciprocated.
Look to introducing passion projects or offering an allowance to pursue further study, short courses or time to do what the employee loves, like a cooking class or massage.
Keeping your team included in decision-making and providing work that is meaningful and makes a difference is another way to reduce quiet quitting in your business.
In the end, it’s important to note that quiet quitting isn’t just a problem for companies. As an employee, you can also be a victim of the phenomenon. If you feel like you’ve become a quiet quitter in your job and want help getting back on track with your career, I recommend chatting to your manager or HR department, who can provide guidance and support throughout this process.