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What Is Quiet Quitting? What You Can Do To Avoid It

A recent Pew Research Center survey found that a lack of opportunities for advancement, low pay, and feeling disrespected at work were the leading reasons why so many people quit their jobs in 2021.

However, the term ‘quiet quitting’ doesn’t refer to people quitting their jobs at all. It’s about workers redefining their responsibilities and establishing clear boundaries between work and life.

Most jobs today require employees to do some extra work to ensure customer satisfaction or efficient communication. The question is: should workers go the extra mile to retain their jobs? What does this phenomenon have to do with the ongoing ‘quiet quitting’ movement?

In this post, we’re going to explain the term ‘quiet quitting’, its impact on organizations, and what you can do to avoid it.

What is “Quiet quitting”?

Starting in the spring of 2021, the Great Resignation or Big Quit have led thousands of workers to voluntarily quit their jobs. A lot has been written and talked about the Great Resignation. Today, we have an emerging trend called ‘quiet quitting’.


The term quiet quitting refers to workers opting out of tasks that are beyond their assigned duties. In other words, the quit-quitting mindset encourages people to become less psychologically invested in work.


Quiet quitters are willing to perform their primary responsibilities, but they don’t want to engage in things like staying late at the office or showing up early, or responding to emails during weekends.


quiet quitting is read and alarming HR professionals and executives. Workers want to save their jobs but not at the cost of going outside of their described job. So, Quiet quitting is not about workers quitting their jobs but quitting the idea of subscribing to the hustle culture mentality.


According to a Monster poll, 60% of workers are quiet quitting for being underpaid for what they’re asked to perform. The same survey found that 72% of workers had been asked to work extra hours.


Gallup identifies poor management as one of the reasons behind the quiet quitting trend. They highlighted that only 1 in 3 managers was engaged and equipped to work in a new hybrid environment.


How ‘quiet quitting’ is influencing companies


As an employer, does this behavior sound problematic to you? After all, you shouldn’t expect workers to perform tasks that are not mentioned in their job responsibilities. After all, your workers are performing their core tasks - they just don’t want to go beyond them.


Well, many organizations need a workforce that is ready to go beyond the call of duty. While it’s hard to define jobs in formal descriptions, organizations want their employees to step up and meet the extra demands.


This is exactly why business leaders reacted negatively to the quiet quitting. Businesses neither want their people to leave nor they can accept the unwillingness to go the extra mile. When some employees within an organization follow the quit-quitting trend, others have to deal with the increased load of work.


It’s true that going above and beyond as an employer comes at a cost. When a worker is staying late at the office or doing work during weekends, it negatively impacts their personal life. In healthy workplaces, when organizations ask their workers to go above and beyond, they counterbalance it with increased well-being and career success.


quiet quitting makes sense when employers demand additional work from workers without giving them anything in return. Considering the economic outlook, quiet quitting becomes a more feasible option for workers in such circumstances.


As a business or HR leader, you can take certain steps to eliminate the root causes of quiet quitting


Related: 6 Strategies companies can use to overcome talent shortages

Best practices to identify and avoid quiet quitting in your company

Most Gen Z and millennials say that they get fewer benefits, less pay, less support and less job security than prior generations. When people feel undervalued and powerless, they don’t take their job too seriously.

As an employer or HR professional, what are you supposed to do about this? How can you navigate through this trend in a way that works for everyone?


1.    Listen to and invest in your employees

Do you want your talented workers to stick to your company while happily going the extra mile? Listen to your people and invest in them. Going beyond the bare minimum job requirements doesn’t make workers feel fatigued when they’re properly supported and compensated.


To better deal with quiet quitting, you need to listen to your workers and understand what they actually need. This means taking some time to connect with your employees and stay abreast of how they’re feeling. You can incentivize managers and give them all the resources they need to build healthy relationships with their teams.


This isn’t about showing empathy but gaining insights into when employees feel more engaged at work. One-on-one conversations are a good way to abstract data into your employee experience. Besides, you need to take steps to create an environment in which your employees feel free to speak up and express their feelings.


This will make them feel confident that their organization cares about them. In short, develop a workplace where leaders don’t hesitate to hear and address your employees’ concerns. Some workers want a flexible schedule, others want higher pay. Listening to your employees will help you make targeted investments that address your employees unique needs.


Related: The Race To Retain Employees: What Should You Do To Win?

2.    Redefine job tasks


Following the impact of global pandemics, employees’ core duties have evolved over time. Some duties that were considered above and beyond have become inseparable parts of jobs. In such a situation, workers may feel burdened and doing more than what they’re getting in return.


Therefore, this is high time for you to redefine your employees’ core job responsibilities. The objective is to clearly define what work is necessary and what is additional or extra. This way managers can motivate their teams to deliver essential job tasks at a high level.

Final thoughts

Quiet quitting is real and probably here to stay. It can be damaging to your bottom line. To address the challenge, encourage your employees to fulfill their core tasks while addressing their needs and concerns.