‘Quiet Quitting’ is a workplace trend that has recently been coined on social media. And it’s caused a real debate.
With up to 50% of the US workforce said to be Quiet Quitting, it’s a huge topic being talked about in the media right now.
Just look up #quietquitting on Tik Tok and you’ll find over ten million views, as well as thousands of posts on LinkedIn debating the relevance of Quiet Quitting.
Before we get started, we’re not a fan of the term by any means, but will use it for the purpose of consistency throughout this guide.
So, what is meant by Quiet Quitting?
The term ‘Quiet Quitting’ has negative connotations. It implies employees are lazy, lacking ambition, and ultimately refuse to work hard or go beyond the day-to-day workload.
But this sweeping generalisation fails to understand the reality of how many people are feeling right now. With so much going on in the world and as we’re still adapting to new ways of working, it’s no wonder that so many of us are feeling overwhelmed at work.
Quiet Quitting is a term that is, sadly, being brandished to describe a new generation of workers. But this new generation aren’t by any means work shy.
They are, however, working in a completely different world where they enjoy being autonomous, setting their own schedules, and having a healthy work life balance. And this, of course, should be encouraged.
Just take a look at a few of these stats:
These statistics show that if employees feel listened to, cared for, and encouraged by strong leadership, they are less likely to ‘Quiet Quit’ - if that’s what you want to call it.
So, if you’re worried about your employees Quiet Quitting, it’s important to start by looking at your employee wellbeing strategy.
What role does employee wellbeing play in Quiet Quitting?
At the intersection of employee wellbeing and social media, Quiet Quitting highlights the importance of the employee experience.
The collective trauma felt as a result of lockdowns, redundancies, and isolation has finally reared its ugly head and is likely to continue. Organisations and employees alike were simply not prepared for the resulting mental toll or how to deal with new pressures of work.
The answer to Quiet Quitting isn't to berate people or force them to adopt certain behaviours, nor to micromanage.
Instead, employees need to have a strong sense of purpose in their work and clarity of how they fit into the organisation’s mission. They need to have a sense of how vital their work is and how valued they are as an individual. They need to see their management being vulnerable and human, so they also feel they can bring their authentic selves to work.
This starts with communication and understanding from both the employee and the manager.
Managers/Employees: Is anyone to blame for Quiet Quitting?
Quiet Quitting can affect anyone at every level of a business. Reportedly, only 1 in 3 managers are said to be engaged at work. This could be as a result of managers trying to balance their own mental health, as well as leading distributed teams who are also adapting to new working models.
In addition, a report from Gallup suggests the workplace has become a place where younger employees are struggling. Since the pandemic, those under 35 years old report feeling uncared for by their manager, and have fewer opportunities to develop.
So, with both employees and managers feeling the effects, Quiet Quitting isn’t a term that can be thrown as an insult at any age, gender, or level of seniority.
Instead, let’s start with how to prevent employees at any level feeling burnout, unmotivated, and lacking in purpose.
How to spot if an employee is on the verge of Quiet Quitting
It can be tricky to pinpoint exactly how employees may enact Quiet Quitting, but these are a few things to look out for:
This highlights how important it is to have an understanding of how your employees are really feeling in real time - something that annual employee surveys cannot highlight effectively.
Here at Loopin, we’re helping employees at every level of a business with a holistic approach to employee wellbeing. Managers can gain a real-time understanding of their people and spot when they may be trending towards stress or burnout, before engagement issues affect business outcomes.
This much needed support for managers also coincides with a consistent approach to leadership development. We’ll not only alert you to these trends, but help you target your efforts where they’re most needed, and coach you to elevate your leadership.
For employees, connecting with their peers in a social feed provides a safe space where they can be themselves and provide kudos and support to their peers. For remote or distributed teams, this much needed safe space provides employees with an opportunity to express themselves without fear of judgement. Here’s an example from Josh, Brand Manager at Kurogo:
"For someone who’s always had difficulty expressing my emotions and tends to suffer in silence. Loopin has made my life so much easier."
Whichever way you look at it, the most important thing you can do to keep employees engaged and thriving is to implement an open, honest, and supportive culture.
How to demonstrate your business has a culture that cares
The most crucial aspect to improve the employee experience is to establish clear expectations for managers and employees.
This should include expectations on workload, healthy boundaries, and communication. Then, give your employees the autonomy to carry out their work with trust and support.
Employees need to feel valued, compensated fairly, and supported in a workplace culture that encourages their personal and professional development. Here’s a few ways to do this:
Finally, the most important part of avoiding your employees Quiet Quitting?
Give your people purpose.
Make the organisation’s vision, mission, and purpose clear. Ensure they understand their role in the make-up of this vision and how valued their individual contribution is.
Often, knowing the reasons behind work projects and decisions, the ‘why’, makes employees feel valued and included, and have a shared sense of drive and focus. In the immortal words of Simon Sinek, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.