What is Quiet Quitting - modern trend or deep problem?

The concept of "quiet quitting" is increasingly appearing in the writings, research, and discussions of HR professionals worldwide. In this article, we will attempt to clarify what it truly is, whether it is just another fleeting trend or a harsh reality, analyze its characteristics, and try to understand its impact on companies, as well as explore ways to mitigate it.

Quiet quitting refers to the state of an employee who, instead of leaving a specific job due to dissatisfaction with certain aspects (management, compensation, working conditions, colleagues, etc.), significantly reduces their involvement and commitment. It is as if they physically remain in the company but mentally have already checked out. Dissatisfied with some aspect of their current company or role, these employees choose to perform only the bare minimum.

As you can imagine, this is detrimental not only to the company but also to the team (apathetic attitudes can be contagious, i.e., demotivating) and the employee themselves.

Quiet quitting affects:

  • Your team spirit
  • Your team's work efficiency
  • Your company's growth

What's even more disheartening is that it can persist for quite a long time, even years, if the direct manager fails to notice this trend.

Signs of Quiet Quitting

1. Minimal Effort

Employees only fulfill the minimum requirements outlined in their job description.

2. Lack of Initiative

Only tasks explicitly instructed by the manager are undertaken. Employees don't contribute ideas or suggestions and are unwilling to take on any additional tasks, even if it benefits a colleague or the team.

3. Social distancing

Employees communicate less with colleagues or management, avoid informal events, and refrain from participating in team-building activities.

4. Low  Engagement

Attendance at meetings decreases, and when present, employees do not actively participate in discussions, express opinions, or make suggestions.

5. Lack of Enthusiasm

Employees show no signs of joy, passion, or interest in achieving any goals, whether individual, team-oriented, or company-wide. They approach new tasks or ideas without enthusiasm.

6. Lack of Interest in Growth

Employees do not participate or show reluctance to participate in company-organized courses, seminars, or skill development activities. Opportunities for internal career advancement are also ignored.

7. Decreasing Work Performance

Deadlines are frequently missed, and errors due to negligence or superficiality become more common. Employees show little concern for the final results and their impact on the company's development or reputation.

Factors Contributing to Quiet Quitting

  • Lack of Growth Opportunities
  • Toxic Work Environment
  • Unclear Expectations from Management
  • Feeling Undervalued
  • Lack of Recognition
  • Weak Leadership
  • Burnout

How to Prevent Quiet Quitting

(Un)Luckily, Quiet Quitting is not just an employee issue but an opportunity for the direct manager to apply their leadership talent and management skills. Here are some recommendations for activities that managers could incorporate into their daily routines:

1. Initiate Proactive Measures

Listen to what employees say and take action. Don't let random phrases or expressions go unnoticed; don't ignore them; don't sweep them under the rug.

2. Express Gratitude

Expressing thanks and acknowledging efforts is not as difficult as it may seem. These small phrases or even daily compliments can leave a lasting impression and pay off in the long run. A simple compliment goes a long way.

3. Respect Work-Life Balance

Allow employees time outside of work; don't organize company activities during family time. Managers should lead by example by allocating time for themselves and their families. Agree with employees on a balance between work and leisure.

4. Provide Growth Opportunities

Offer desired training to employees. Show them what career opportunities exist within the company or how professional growth and competitiveness can be achieved in the overall job market. Don't hesitate to build strong personal brands internally.

5. Create a Positive Environment

Ensure that employees feel valued. Occasionally inquire or conduct emotional climate surveys within your team. Ensure that respect is mutual.

6. Communicate Clear Goals

100% clarity in internal communication (good information flow from the source) undoubtedly improves the internal mood. Don't be afraid to state numbers, remind about values and internal culture repeatedly, and openly discuss problems related to goal non-achievement.

7. Be an Example that Employees Look Up To

Set an example for hard work and personal growth.

By incorporating these recommendations, managers can foster a healthier work environment and potentially prevent or tackle the problem of quiet quitting within their teams.