If you’ve been on the internet lately, you’ve probably heard of a new trend emerging in the work environment. Quiet quitting–the idea that employees are no longer going above and beyond at work and are only meeting their job description– is a term that has been going viral recently on social media. This concept is most popular among younger millennials and Gen Z workers, especially those working remote.
Many employees credit the COVID-19 pandemic with accelerating the popularity of the quiet quitting trend. During the height of the pandemic when employees were working from home a majority of the week, thousands of employees had more time to think about their careers and consider a change. This greatly contributed to the Great Resignation; the massive increase in employees resigning from their jobs.
When unhappy employees choose to remain in their positions, they may begin to do the bare minimum at work. This is what is defined as quiet quitting.
Why are employees quiet quitting?
Although “quiet quitting” is a relatively new term, the idea has existed for years. This notion, however, has much more to do with than merely doing the bare minimum. For many employees, it has more to do with work stress and an effort to maintain a healthy work-life balance. In fact, it could be a result of unengaged employees and employee burnout.
According to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work report, seven out of ten employees experienced burnout in the past year. It’s likely that the increasing number of employees experiencing work-related burnout in combination with the pandemic resulted in an overall lack of employee engagement and motivation, thus, quiet quitting was created.
How to prevent quiet quitting
Although quiet quitting can harm the overall productivity of a workplace, there are measures employers can take to reduce the effects of it. The simplest way to do this is by improving the employee experience. Easier said than done, right? Maybe not.
There are several easy ways to create a more positive work environment for employees. Assess your employee base’s overall level of engagement and motivation, and create an action plan. There are many fun ways to motivate and engage employees. Engaged employees are more likely to go above and beyond at work and create high quality work. Keeping employees motivated and engaged in the workplace can also reduce burnout,
Similarly, it is important to encourage employees to have a comfortable work-life balance. Set reasonable goals and realistic workloads for employees. Provide them with resources to manage work-related stress. It is also important to respect your employees by letting them know that their work is appreciated and that they are an integral part of the success of the company.
Lastly, listen to employee feedback. Another contributor to quiet quitting is employees feeling unheard in the workplace. Watch for warning signs of quiet quitting and be attentive to it. For example, not attending meetings, arriving late and leaving early, reduction in productivity, etc., may all be signs that an employee is joining the “quiet quitting” bandwagon. It is important for employers to be cognizant of these workplace trends and prevent them from negatively affecting the workplace.