Recently, the term ‘quiet quitting’ has been bouncing of the internet and many individuals have different opinions on it.

“Quiet quitting gives a sense of personal happiness and satisfaction”  – Maggie Perkins, Former Teacher

“If you’re shutting off your laptop at 5pm and going home, you’re not working for me” – Kevin O’Leary, Businessman

“Quiet quitting is a luxury afforded to those whose job security is not contingent on performing well above what their job descriptions entails”  – Benjamin Muir, SBS

“Quiet quitting is a symptom of poor management” – Jim Harter, Gallup

What is this new phenomenon, and is it really as damaging as some claim?

Quiet quitting refers to mentally checking out of work or not going above and beyond one’s assigned duties at work. Quiet quitters perform all required tasks but do not engage in citizenship behaviours such as attending additional meetings, coming early to work or taking up additional work.

Although employees should not be forced to go above and beyond for work, the lack of extra effort can be a problem, as going beyond work demands is often a competitive advantage for many organisations. The presence of quiet quitters can also negatively impact co-workers.

Often mistaken as a sign of laziness, quiet quitters may have initially had the desire, motivation and capabilities to perform the job at an exceptional level but simply choose not to due to burnout or lack of sufficient rewards. In other words, quiet quitters are dissatisfied individuals who feel they can’t voice their opinions in the workplace.

Studies find that many young millennials and Gen Z workers are starting to pursue this path of quiet quitting especially post pandemic. Since this phenomenon is gaining more attention among younger individuals who are the future of work, it is important for organisations to implement measures that prevent the rise of quiet quitting.

So, what can you do?

1. Have at least one meaningful conversation with every employee each week

This will help managers to understand each their employees on an individual level and will help the employee feel valued and comfortable to express their concerns. While listening to an employee, managers can help craft citizenship behaviour that are aligned with what motivates the employee.

2. Prioritising employee-wellbeing in the workplace

Employee-wellbeing should be assessed on a regular basis. Managers should assist employees to tackle challenges they face with their wellbeing when it comes to work. For examples, managers can help employees to set and discuss their personal work-life boundaries so they don’t feel overworked or pressured to work outside of normal hours.

Managers can ask their employees questions such as:

  • What is important to you outside of work?
  • How can we support you to achieve your work goals?
  • How do you feel about your job? Is there anything you are struggling with at the moment? If so, how can we help you?

3. Reward and recognition at work

Going above and beyond at work should be recognised and rewarded by managers. Provide various types of incentives for doing things beyond work.

Many employees may feel demotivated due to lack of recognition. Foster a culture where team member celebrates everyone’s wins and this way extra effort will never go unnoticed.

4. Resolve toxic work cultures

Managers must review their company culture and recalibrate it. This may involve implementing new policies and ensuring everyone is held accountable. A group effort is needed to ensure employees are not being forced to follow a toxic work culture.

Before quiet quitting turns into a formal resignation, why not tackle the situation early on and transform your quiet quitters into ambitious achievers?