Quiet Quitting: What Is It and What Can You Do About It?

Hustle culture is out. Quiet quitting is in. Quiet quitting is a viral new term that describes the act of only working within your job description. 

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is not really about quitting. It’s more of a philosophy for doing the bare minimum at your job. Introduced on TikTok, quiet quitting refers to not outright quitting your job, but quitting the idea of going above and beyond. Driven by many of the same underlying factors as resignations, quiet quitters are becoming less invested in their work. They continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities but are less willing to engage in work hustle culture. 

The rise of quiet quitting

Quiet quitting is having its moment, especially among Gen Z employees. Many are joining a larger online community of workers who have been sharing their experiences of taking on a quiet quitting mentality. In the wake of the pandemic, the movement has caused employees to reimagine what work could look like regarding their work title and room for growth. Although doing less might feel good in the short-term, company executives and workplace experts argue that it could harm your career in the long run.

For the first time in over a decade, the percentage of disengaged workers in the U.S. is increasing. According to Gallup, 18% of workers are actively disengaged employees who tend to have most of their workplace needs unmet and spread their dissatisfaction. Most employees who are not engaged or actively disengaged are already looking for another job. With so many employees feeling detached from their work, it’s not surprising that quiet quitting has a particular resonance.

How does it affect employers?

At first glance, this may not seem problematic. Employees aren’t disengaged from their core tasks, they’re just not going above and beyond, right? For many organizations, a workforce that is willing to go beyond their job description is a critical competitive advantage. Additionally, their unwillingness to go the extra mile often increases the burden on their colleagues to take on extra work instead. 

Each year, lost productivity costs U.S. employers $1.8 trillion dollars. The average cost of losing an employee can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Losing employees, mentally and physically, leads to decreased productivity since there are fewer engaged team members to complete unfinished tasks. As the remaining engaged employees receive a larger workload to help make the difference, they’re less likely to perform at their best.  

How can employers prevent quiet quitting?

Employers may want to first consider manager engagement. According to Gallup, only one in three managers are engaged with their work, which may directly affect their reports. Managers should create accountability for:

  • Their individual performance.
  • Team collaboration.
  • Customer value. 

Managers are in a position to truly know employees as individuals. Consider starting with one 15-30 minute meaningful weekly conversation with each team member. Developing habits of engagement can help managers connect with employees and prioritize workload. This can lead to further reducing employee disengagement and burnout.

It’s important for employees to see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose. Showing gratitude for work quality can help employees perceive the true quality of their work and how it further contributes to the organization. Remember that gratitude isn’t just about thanking people for their accomplishments. It’s about helping them see their worth as a colleague. Employers can further motivate their employees through accurate compensation and comprehensive benefits.

The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.