Quiet Quitting: What Is This Workplace Trend? And How to Spot It

Quiet quitting involves fulfilling the minimum job requirements and not putting in more time or effort than needed. The employee does the bare minimum to continue to collect a paycheck. They do not arrive early, stay late, or participate in non-mandatory meetings.

A 2022 Gallup survey suggested that at least 50% of the US workforce consists of quiet quitters. This percentage is especially high among employees under 35 years old.

Although the term quiet quitting was driven by social media in the early 2020s, many people believe the workplace trend has been around for a significant time. The term may be a trendy name for job dissatisfaction.

Due to the tight labor market, many managers are tolerant of quiet quitting. However, some managers have been “quiet firing” employees who appear to be slacking off. These managers make certain employees’ jobs so unrewarding that the employees decide to quit.

Find out how to spot quiet quitting and take steps to improve.

Examples of Quiet Quitting

A quiet quitter often does not interact with anyone from work before or after office hours. If a colleague or coworker requests something at the end of the day, such as a file to be scanned, the employee typically waits until the next day to fulfill the request.

A quiet quitter usually leaves the office when the work hours end. When the employee goes home, they typically do not think about what they need to work on the next day. The employee also does not check work email. Plus, they do not feel anxious about requesting time off or taking personal days or sick time.

What Managers Can Do About Quiet Quitting

Managers who have multiple employees who appear to engage in quiet quitting should examine their own behavior. Although this workplace trend may have to do with an individual employee, there could be a problem with the manager’s leadership abilities.

To combat quiet quitting, managers should talk openly and honestly with their employees who are quiet quitters. For instance, managers might share that they noticed a shift in the employee’s performance and are concerned they may be dissatisfied with parts of their job. Therefore, the manager would like to ensure they are not overlooking any issues by allowing the employee to share their side of the story. Then, the manager and employee can work together to find a solution to the problem.

Managers must take action based on the agreements they make. They also should regularly follow up to determine how effectively the solution is impacting the employee’s performance.

If an employee decides to find employment elsewhere, managers should conduct exit interviews to uncover the reasons for leaving. Managers can use this constructive feedback to improve the work environment, increase employee motivation, and elevate retention rates.

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