What is ‘Quiet Quitting’ and How Can You Stop It?

If the ‘Great Resignation’ was the workplace phrase of 2021, then ‘Quiet Quitting’ is making a play to be it’s 2022 successor.

The trend has featured extensively on Social Media as well as business pages this month.

Although the phrase itself may be new to most people, the action won’t be. In fact, you possibly work next to someone who you think quietly quit a long time ago!

What is Quiet Quitting?

Effectively it is the act (or is it a non-act?) of doing the bare minimum to stay in their job….but no more than that. No staying late to finish a project. No volunteering to help a colleague. No replying to messages outside of office hours.

Maria Kordowicz, an associate professor in organisational behaviour at the University of Nottingham and director of its centre for interprofessional education and learning, said the rise in quiet quitting is linked to a noticeable fall in job satisfaction.

Gallup’s recent ‘State of the Global Workplace’ report for 2022 showed that just 9% of workers in the UK were engaged or enthusiastic about their work, ranking 33rd out of 38 European countries.

“Since the pandemic, people’s relationship with work has been studied in many ways, and the literature typically, across the professions, would argue that, yes, people’s way of relating to their work has changed,” Kordowicz said.

She added: “The search for meaning has become far more apparent. There was a sense of our own mortality during the pandemic, something quite existential around people thinking ‘What should work mean for me? How can I do a role that’s more aligned to my values?’

“I think this has a link to the elements of quiet quitting that are perhaps more negative: mentally checking out from a job, being exhausted from the volume of work and lack of work-life balance that hit many of us during the pandemic.

“But I think that can lead to less satisfaction at work, lack of enthusiasm, less engagement. So, we could juxtapose ‘quiet quitting’ with ‘the great resignation’. Do we stay put but switch off? Or do we move towards something?”

What can you do about it?

If disengagement is the precursor to quiet quitting, what can employers do to re-engage their staff?

Hire great managers. Sounds obvious, right? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some managers are simply not great at engaging their teams or inspiring them to work at their best. The best leaders know the importance of staff engagement and motivate their people by creating an environment in which employees are valued and appreciated. A recent survey of 2100 UK workers showed that 43% of them had previously left a job due to poor management. A stark reminder of how crucial your management hires can be.

Show some appreciation. Publicly recognising your staff will motivate them to do more great work as well as inspire their colleagues. Ultimately, if you do go above and beyond and get no recognition, you’ll not be as inclined to do it again, will you?

Treat your staff like the adults they are. Nothing screams a lack of trust louder than micromanaging your staff. Allow your team to manage their own workload and be held accountable for their actions. Delegating tasks to your team members allows them to develop their skills and grow professionally. On the other hand, if employees feel trapped in a work setting that is stifling and boring, they will quickly become disengaged.

Set clear goals and expectations. Your team needs to know what they are working towards and what is expected of them in order to do their jobs effectively. Employees who are given clear goals and are held accountable will be much more likely to deliver great results.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways for you to prevent an epidemic of quiet quitting from breaking out within your team.

We hope this has been useful for you.

We’d love to help you if you have any recruitment requirements and can be contacted on 01383 641 222 or hello@canmorerecruitment.com