Quiet quitting

What is Quiet Quitting?

What is Quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting (sometimes also referred to silent quitting) refers to the scenario where employees avoid taking on additional tasks beyond their basic responsibilities. This behavior is viewed as a form of passive resistance against excessive employer expectations or as an attempt by workers to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Where did quiet quitting come from?

The trend of quiet quitting emerged shortly after the wave of the “Great Resignation”, which involved mass employee departures primarily in the United States during 2021. Workers feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, or undervalued began to exit their jobs and change their professional lives. As the Great Resignation subsided, quiet quitting took hold. Employees in this trend don’t quit outright; instead, they gradually do less – often just the bare minimum – and avoid deep involvement in the company's activities.

It's difficult to determine exactly who first coined the term “quiet quitting” as there are several sources. However, it is clear that social media played a significant role in popularizing it, particularly TikTok and a video posted by career coach Bryan Creely.

What are the causes of quiet quitting?

People who quietly quit still fulfill their basic duties, but are less willing to engage further. They stop staying late, coming in early, or attending optional meetings. The reasons for such behaviors may include:

  • An excessive workload and insufficient compensation;
  • Lack of recognition from employers and a feeling of lack of agency;
  • Job burnout;
  • An effort to maintain a balance between professional and private life;
  • Stress and frustration from a negative workplace atmosphere;
  • Lack of employer support or leadership;
  • Poor job organization, such as too many administrative tasks, task monotony, or a lack of tasks requiring creativity.

Quiet quitting begins when an employee no longer sees the point in taking on new initiatives – not receiving proper compensation, recognition, and feeling that they are burning out in vain.

How does quiet quitting affect the life of a company?

Quiet quitting has a clearly negative impact on a company:

  • Team morale drops because when some employees are less engaged, others who feel unfairly burdened must pick up the extra work;
  • Overall team productivity falls as only some employees are fully engaged in tasks, leading to incomplete work and delays;
  • The organizational culture and workplace environment become less friendly, which can negatively affect the employer's reputation;
  • A low level of engagement results in poorer financial outcomes, and if employees ultimately leave, there will be additional costs associated with new hires.

This trend can also negatively impact the employees themselves. Unwillingness to take on additional duties and initiatives can cause employees to stop developing, creating a skills gap. A lack of knowledge and skills means they no longer become valuable assets to the company and attractive candidates for other employers.

How can companies deal with quiet quitting?

The good news is that the issue of quiet quitting in the workplace can be managed! Here are some strategies that every organization should consider:

  • Committed leadership and providing appropriate support and understanding to employees;
  • A reasonable allocation of responsibilities and appropriate compensation;
  • Offering employee benefits that meet the team's needs;
  • Implementing various employee retention strategies that enhance engagement and motivation;
  • Promoting mental health and well-being among employees;
  • Collecting feedback from employees about working conditions;
  • Conducting pulse surveys using eNPS questionnaires to quickly identify emerging trends;
  • Team-building activities;
  • Implementing work automation to reduce the burden of tedious, repetitive tasks.

If a company insists on sticking to an outdated or inefficient management model, the issue of quiet quitting may worsen. The only way to stop this trend is to keep up with employee needs. As the demographics of the workforce change, employers also need to learn new, effective ways to collaborate.

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