A new controversial work phenomenon among employees is causing alarm among employers and hiring managers – Quiet Quitting. Have you heard about it?
Picture this scenario:
Ally has been working as a computer engineer in a medium-sized tech company for the last five years. In the last several years, she has tried her best to flow with her company – achieving highs and lows in the workplace like the rest of her colleagues. Yet lately, feelings of demotivation, disengagement, and even apathy have been marring her attitude towards work. She may still report to work, but her mind is already far from it.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting is a term that spreads on social media about employees not going above and beyond what is expected of them at work. Instead, these workers aim only to achieve the minimum, barely meeting their job description.
What is highly alarming is that a recent Gallup poll revealed that at least 50 percent of employees in America are quiet quitters. That is one in two employees!
This trend is concerning because most of the jobs available today require employees to go above the bare minimum to impact the company, effectively collaborate with their colleagues, and efficiently meet the needs of their clientele and other stakeholders.
More data supports the idea that quiet quitting is rampant in the workplace.
In the latest US work engagement data for the second quarter of this year, the proportion of engaged workers was 32 percent vis-a-vis the actively disengaged employees at 18 percent. It means that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees currently stands at 1.8 to 1, the lowest it has been in a decade.
The rise of the quiet quitters started in the second half of 2021. At about the same time, the Great Resignation started to go full swing in corporate America. Surprisingly, most of the quiet quitters were initially employees coming from the managerial level. However, as the Great Resignation spilled over to 2022, the trend of quietly quitting one’s job also became evident among young employees, specifically remote Gen Z workers and millennials.
Why Are Workers Quietly Quitting Their Jobs?
The bottom line behind quiet quitting is essentially employee dissatisfaction at work. We need to identify why employees are not engaged at work and are not motivated to go the extra mile or give their tasks a little bit of extra effort. Let us uncover three of the top reasons behind quiet quitting.
Worker Expectations Are Unclear or Unrealistic
When employers and managers put too much pressure on their employees, this can backfire in a way that is detrimental to the entire company.
A 2021 survey by Gallup revealed that 57 percent of workers in the US are stressed out. This figure is way higher than the global percentage of 43 percent. In fact, the same report says that if you are in North America, chances are you have the highest stress level among workers anywhere in the world.
A mammoth workload, beating various deadlines, and unrealistic targets from management all take a toll on employee morale and engagement. A chaotic organizational culture, poor leadership, and lack of communication also contribute to employees feeling overstretched with work.
If you are an employer or a manager, do you have enough manpower for your teams to meet deadlines consistently? For supervisors, were you able to set clear instructions and expectations? Were you able to communicate these with your team before setting them out to work on a task?
A Lack of Opportunity for Employee Advancement
Many employees who quietly quit their jobs do so because they feel their bosses and companies are not giving them enough career growth and development opportunities. When employees felt boxed in and stuck doing what they have been doing in the last several years with little to no growth opportunities, they often ask, “What is the point of doing anything then?”
Another factor that has caused quiet quitting to grow exponentially, especially in the tech sector, is the recent layoffs of big tech companies as well as startups. These massive layoffs have made many tech workers question the value of being loyal or going the extra mile for your company when they can replace you or lay you off at a moment’s notice.
Employees Feel That They Are Being Exploited by The Company
Do you ever feel that you are just being exploited by your company?
An in-depth study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) showed that employees are more productive than ever. However, their wages in the last 40 years have mostly grown sideways compared to the salary growth of CEOs and other top management personnel.
According to the study, from 1978 through 2000, C-suites’ salaries grew by 1,322 percent, while non-executive employees only grew their salaries by 18 percent in the last 40 years. If we factor in inflation and other economic shocks in the last four decades, it is quite safe to say that workers today are earning even less even though they are doing so much more.
The Antidote to Quiet Quitting: Setting Boundaries in the Workplace
First of all, managers should know that the antidote to quiet quitting is not quiet firing!
Quiet firing is a passive-aggressive approach to performance management. Instead of firing employees, managers make the workplace as unpleasant as possible by withholding feedback or outrightly neglecting them.
Quiet firing is as detrimental to your company and employees as quiet quitting. It is a reflection of poor management and a company that is on the brink of retrogression. It is extremely unhealthy.
For employees, there are several ways that you can still have that proverbial work-life balance despite the challenges of work. You may want to do the following:
Use Your Time Wisely
As an employee, never forget that it is your responsibility to use your time well. Be organized and schedule your tasks so that you do not have to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. This practice will prevent you from spending long hours in the office and will open up more time for you to do other things.
Ask For Help When Needed
We all know that employees usually have so much to prove. However, being the messianic hero in your company can also multiply your stress and burnout levels. So ask for help when you need it. Get in the habit of asking questions and getting advice from your colleagues on performing your tasks.
Avoid Conflict at Work
Counterproductive habits like gossiping and rumor-mongering dampen employee morale. Never engage in it. As much as possible, maintain a pleasant working relationship with your colleagues and bosses. The key is to communicate with them often.
Read more: How to Identify and Respond to Microaggressions in the Workplace
Schedule Time to Rest
Set aside time to pursue your other passions, spend time with family and friends, and get enough sleep. It may be challenging, albeit very rewarding. Life is not a race but a marathon. So take time to pause and take a break.
For company managers and business owners, here are some ways to prevent your employees from quitting quietly.
Help Your Team Prioritize
Let your workers know what tasks should be finished ahead of the others, so they don’t roam your workplace with misaligned priorities. By helping them prioritize, you can also determine what resources you need to help your employees succeed. Is it more manpower? Is it a more flexible schedule?
Offer Programs on Mental Health and Stress Reduction
Invest in programs that help alleviate stress and support your employees’ mental well-being. Never forget that your company’s most important resource is your human resource.
Know When to Have Fun
Be liberal with praise and recognition. Reward your team for a job well done. Spend time with them during company lunches or a few drinks after work on a Friday night. Needless to say, foot the bill when you take them out.
Make Changes in Their Workplace
Beautify your employees’ workplace and make it conducive for them to grow and thrive. You may also want to consider allowing some of them to work remotely on certain days to give them more flexibility.
LET FOX SEARCH GROUP HELP YOU HANDLE THE IMPACT OF NEW GLOBAL TRENDS LIKE QUIET QUITTING.
If you are looking for a company that takes good care of its employees or if you are looking for top talent who is determined to keep themselves motivated and not just do the bare minimum, consider partnering with the Fox Search Group. Fox Search Group, a staffing agency that champions diversity, is ready to work with you in your job search and talent acquisition needs. Reach out to us today!