What Employers Should Know About Quiet Quitting

“Quiet quitting” has taken over as the latest trending topic in business, flooding social media and news sites. Here’s a look at what quiet quitting is, why employees are participating in the phenomenon, what it means for employers and how to prevent it from happening at your workplace.

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting describes the recent trend of employees setting boundaries at their jobs to prevent their workflow from spilling into their personal lives, often alluding to doing the bare minimum or refusing to go the extra mile. Examples of this include:

  • Dropping tasks or refusing new ones that employees believe lie outside of their job description
  • Not responding to work messages outside of their allotted 9-5 work schedule
  • Only doing what is asked and not taking initiative to go above and beyond

The ongoing pandemic has been the catalyst for quiet quitting. The workforce had to adjust to a drastic shift, which has been impossible to alleviate for some. While some companies have been able to provide a flexible situation for their employees, from working remotely to adjusting their hours, others have been forced to delegate additional responsibilities.

Burnout has been a key term for the past few years, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. Some employees are exhausted from the constant pressure they have faced amid the pandemic, while others resist attempts to return to semi-normal. For some who have experienced working from home, many have become accustomed to the flexibility — returning to the office and strict hours is simply no longer an option.

In some ways, the pandemic gave employees a heightened understanding of the boundaries they can put in place to mitigate burnout, stress and unfavorable tipping of their work-life balance.

What Quiet Quitting Means for Employers

Quiet quitting can look like a lack of passion or drive shown by employees. This becomes an issue for employers, who can now begin to analyze the value of these employees and if they need to search for new hires. But with more employees participating in quiet quitting, this can quickly become overwhelming, if not unsustainable.

In a job market where future and current employees hold the cards, it’s crucial for employers to become attuned to the reasons behind the quiet quitting phenomenon. Are your employees truly doing the bare minimum or are they enforcing healthy boundaries to maintain longevity at your company?

To retain employees and remain attractive to potential new hires, employers should consider being open to a flexible workforce and expect employees to deliver what is asked of them rather than expecting a constant “above and beyond” performance.

How To Prevent Quiet Quitting in the Workplace

As an employer, ask what can be done to prevent employee burnout. If flex hours and a hybrid environment have proved to be sustainable, is it necessary to make the in-person 9-5 a requirement? If set hours have been agreed upon, are messages outside of these hours truly urgent?

Encouraging passion and next-level productivity among employees also come from fostering a sense of belonging and inclusion in the workplace. If employees feel seen by their employers, and if they believe their employers truly care about their health and wellbeing, they are more likely to not only stay with their company but also produce higher quality work.

Consider the employee resource groups (ERGs) available at your company. Do they provide what your employees need to feel supported at work, or can these ERGs be improved upon?

In summary, quiet quitting can seem detrimental to companies. But if employers work with their employees to provide support and maintain their wellbeing, companies could see better work than ever.