Quiet quitting, work, careers

The Impact and Significance of Quiet Quitting in the Workplace

What is Quiet Quitting? Well, despite the name, it has nothing to do with quitting your job. The phrase ‘Quiet Quitting’ is trending on social media.  Apparently it’s a new phenomenon!! Although, to be honest it’s not. This was once called ‘coasting’ or ‘working to rule’. Quietly Quitting (QQ) is a rebrand and there is a resurgence; particularly since the pandemic. QQ can be described as the act of withdrawing from going the extra mile at work, to doing just enough to get the job done. 

In the wake of Covid 19 and changes to how people work, many are placing an emphasis on their mental health and citing their desire for better work-life balance as central factors for quietly quitting.  According to Gallup the workplace has become worse for younger workers’ and more employees under 35 are quietly quitting and taking their lives back!  This cohort are certainly more vocal about their frustrations with the workplace; however, but we don’t believe this exclusively effects the under 35’s. 

We carried out a survey of our own to take a closer look at what may drive someone to quietly quit. Below are just a few responses from our survey:

  • Poor work-life balance
  • Feeling burnt out
  • Heavy workloads 
  • Juggling shifting demands and tight deadlines 
  • Too many meetings. Impeding focus on the ‘real’ work  
  • Receiving little or no reward, support or recognition. 
  • Lack of clarity about what is expected in their role 
  • No opportunities to learn and develop
  • Not feeling valued
  • Not connected to wider company vision

Many shared that they could feel motivation they once had drain away.  Quiet quitters are shouting from the rooftops that they want a life that’s not all about work. They are not in a position to just up and resign or simply choose not to. So, rather than leaving they psychologically disengage from work, re-draw their work boundaries and work to their job descriptions. 

Here are some Quietly Quitting examples that you may resonate with: 

  • Only working your contracted hours.
  • Getting to work just in time, but never early.
  • Leaving work early if you can.
  • Logging out in readiness to leave; way before it’s time to clock out.
  • Saying no to working overtime/additional hours
  • Refusing to take on additional work/projects, even if you have time.
  • Reducing contributions and engagement in meetings.
  • Actively trying to get out of meetings
  • No sacrificing your day(s) off to catch-up with work. 
  • Not responding to calls or emails once you head out the door. Your out office messages are firmly on!
  • Avoiding work events especially if they happen outside work hours.

Impacts of Quiet Quitting

Loss of Talent: Quiet quitting can result in the departure of valuable employees without the organization even realizing it. These employees may possess critical skills, knowledge, and experience that are difficult to replace, leading to disruptions in workflow and productivity.

Decreased Morale: When employees quietly quit, it can have a negative impact on the morale of their colleagues who may feel demotivated or disillusioned by their departure. This can create a sense of uncertainty and instability within the team, affecting overall morale and performance.

Increased Turnover: Quiet quitting can contribute to higher turnover rates within an organization, as employees may feel undervalued or unsupported and choose to leave without voicing their concerns. This turnover can be costly for organizations in terms of recruiting, hiring, and training new employees.

Damage to Reputation: If quiet quitting becomes a pattern within an organization, it can tarnish its reputation as an employer of choice. Potential candidates may hear about the high turnover or lack of employee satisfaction and be less inclined to apply for positions within the company.

Missed Opportunities for Improvement: When employees quietly quit, it deprives the organization of valuable feedback and insights that could help identify areas for improvement. Without understanding the reasons behind employees’ departures, organizations may struggle to address underlying issues and make necessary changes to retain top talent.

Cultural Implications: Quiet quitting can reflect underlying cultural issues within an organization, such as poor communication, lack of transparency, or ineffective leadership. Addressing these cultural challenges is essential for fostering a positive and supportive work environment where employees feel valued and engaged.

Amaze Associates are not advocates of quietly quitting. The lack of engagement at work is concerning.  However we understand what the triggers are and can offer coaching support to those who find that they are quietly quitting and actually want to do something about it. A word to employers: Having employees Quietly Quit is a worrying trend and effects your bottom line in terms of productivity and profit.  This may be the perfect time to open up a wider discussion about how to identify and prevent Quiet Quitting and signal a need to create a culture where people feel engaged and a sense of belonging.   Having conversations that focus on re-engaging and reconnecting with those members of staff is the starting point.  However, Senior leaders may need to ensure their managers have the skills to to hold those conversations, improve performance management and promote individual accountability. 



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