What is 'quiet quitting' and what are the effects on your organization
- 13 October 2022
- by Monique van Geest
Quiet Quitting: a term created by TikTok users and now being picked up by major US media outlets. But what does "quitting in silence" mean? The term suggests that employees are doing the bare minimum of what is expected of them and not taking on tasks that are outside their scope of duties. In short: demotivated employees. Courtesy of working from home, where employees often feel more detached from corporate culture and can schedule more free time, this trend seems to have moved at a rapid pace.
Why quiet quitting?
Imagine this: you are an employee at a nice company and on average do more than what is in your job description. You experience a high workload in the process and work long hours at your desk. Unfortunately, you do not receive a nice reward in the form of a salary increase or career opportunities, despite global inflation and price increases. This is how, after the corona pandemic, the mindset behind quiet quitting emerged in early 2022.
The term "quiet quitting" does not necessarily refer to quitting a job. Instead, workers want to reduce their workload and be completely logged out of work outside of work hours. This line of thinking has been around for some time among the Gen Z generation, for whom finding a healthy work-life balance is high priority anyway. But Millennials under 35 are also increasingly participating in this trend. The big downside? This group of workers will only grow over the years and occupy a more prominent place in the labor market.
Working to live
Causes for both the big resignation and quitting work in silence often include:
- Job dissatisfaction.
- Stagnating and low wages as inflation rises and the cost of fixed expenses increases.
- Feeling unappreciated at work.
- Lack of opportunities for career development.
- The desire for a better work-life balance.
- Wanting to have control over work hours and prevention of overall burnout.
According to the major think tank Pew Research Center, the above factors were the main reasons why most Americans stopped working for one employer and moved on to another position with another employer by 2021.
Whereas people used to have a ‘hard working is best’ mentality, younger generations in particular really see it differently. Especially when they notice that no further prospects are offered in the form of rewards or advancement opportunities. Increasingly, they feel that they are not seen and are giving up a lot of valuable time. All this while they prefer to work to live and not the other way around.
An old term in a new wrapper
The term "quitting in silence" may be new, but the phenomenon certainly is not. Wanting to have a healthy work-life balance and do only the bare minimum is an old concept. The reason the term has now become so popular is TikTok.
The popular social media platform is known for its various trends that are quickly picked up by users. As a result, in some cases TikTok trends are actually a rebranding of pre-existing phenomena, essentially giving an old term a new look. This can result in a surge in popularity and renewed interest. So quitting silently is not only old, you may have even done it before.
The effect on the employee experience
Quiet quitting, as you might guess, is a sign of a poor employee experience. In fact, this experience is all about making employees feel heard and valued. When you focus on a good employee experience, you create happy employees, reduce employee turnover and thus prevent cases of quiet quitting. A good work-life balance also plays a big part in this. A happier team that feels good about itself, in turn, ensures better business performance.
What you can do as an organization
As an employer, when you notice that your employees are doing less, it often means that they are not in a good place and may even be dissatisfied with their work. Fortunately, you can change this:
- Find ways to make employees feel valued, respected and appreciated.
- Provide a good work-life balance that focuses on employees' physical and mental health.
- Try to find ways to offer a clear career path and advance your employees.
- Don't simply expect employees to take on additional responsibilities without a pay raise or other compensation.
- Offer employees a salary above minimum wage that increases with inflation and rising prices.
- Structurally measure employee satisfaction.
Find out how satisfied your employees are
To improve the employee experience, you need to fully understand what your employees are thinking, feeling, experiencing and what they need right now. With Insocial, you measure and improve the Employee Experience, making you a better employer. Create happy employees, reduce employee turnover and attract new talent with your excellent reputation.