What is Quiet Quitting and What Can You Do About It?
There’s a new phenomenon sweeping across social media. Shared between burnt-out, disgruntled employees, it’s gaining a lot of traction: quiet quitting. It’s an approach to the workplace which sees employees giving up on going above and beyond for the company. Instead, they’re simply ‘phoning it in’, doing the minimal amount of work possible to receive their paycheck. So what is quiet quitting and what can businesses do?
So, why is this happening?
If you think that the popularity of quiet quitting is born out of laziness, you’re missing the point. To really understand it, you have to look at what’s happening in workplaces. After all, they’ve changed a lot lately.
By increasing the use of work apps and platforms on personal devices, WFH culture has shifted boundaries. Now, work follows people home and, for remote employees, never leaves. This has created an expectation to always be ‘on the job’. Work emails can still be accessed on a Sunday, so why can’t employees take a few minutes out of their weekend to reply?
But, employee expectations have also changed. With the rise of the gig economy offering flexible positions, people can dip in and out of jobs that fit around their personal schedules. The complete opposite of traditional work patterns.
As you can see, the two concepts are conflicting. Add in a lack of upwards mobility in careers, and you’ve got the perfect storm. Dissatisfied employees will be left wondering, “is there any point in putting in the extra effort?”
What can employers do?
Even those that are sympathetic to the plight of the quiet quitter won’t want it happening in their business. If all your employees started putting in a lacklustre effort, there would be no business left. So, how can you avoid a quiet quitting culture from sweeping through your company?
Is your business blurring the lines between free time and working hours? Overtime is fine, but when employees are repeatedly doing extra work for free, it becomes tiresome.
So, make sure your expectations as an employer are clear and fair. Don’t send emails on the weekend if they can wait until Monday. If you need someone to work through the evening, then compensate them fairly. When employees feel like their free time is respected, they’ll be more motivated between working hours.
A simple acknowledgement of hard work can go a long way. By praising your employees when they go the extra mile or achieve a positive result, they’ll feel appreciated. When people are valued, job positions become a lot more fulfilling and effort levels will remain high.
3. Open Discussion
Do your employees feel comfortable coming to you with issues? Quiet quitting is centred around discontent. If employees are going to be ignored or met with hostility when coming to you with a concern, they simply won’t, and this discontent will grow. Don’t let it.
Make sure employees can be open about ideas and issues. Approachable leaders that listen and respond are not just more respected, but in a better position to solve problems, too.
Quiet quitting may be all about turning down the effort, but the concept is far from simple. Its recent popularity on social media has been spurred on by a lack of fulfilment amongst employees and a feeling that workplace expectations are unfair. But, by approaching ‘quiet quitting’ as a learning opportunity rather than with hostility, employers can strengthen their business.
- Respect employee’s free time
- Appreciate hard work
- Be open to listen
Ultimately, every business deserves hard-working, dedicated staff. In return, these staff should be properly compensated and respected. When a workplace is able to achieve this balance, you can say goodbye to quiet quitting.