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The Reality of Quiet Quitters: How Are They Reshaping the Landscape of the Modern Workplace?

March 30, 2023
By: Patrick Bosworth in the Performance Coaching category.

The term “quiet quitting” has already cemented itself as one of the biggest workplace buzzwords of the year. As this new phenomenon finds its way into offices across the country, leaders are starting to worry. Is quiet quitting as bad as it sounds, and does it pose a real threat to the future of work? Many leaders have also begun to wonder whether quiet quitting has infected their teams. To ensure that you manage quiet quitters in the most effective way possible, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with this concept first.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting describes an employee’s decision to do the bare minimum at work rather than exceed their job expectations. Despite what the term suggests, quiet quitters have no intention of actually quitting their jobs. Instead, workers who subscribe to this concept have rejected the idea of going above and beyond their job description. They simply do what is expected of them at work without putting in any extra effort.

Ever since the term first went viral on social media in 2022, it has significantly gained traction, particularly among young workers. Quiet quitting is now considered a form of rebellion against the “hustle culture” mentality popularized by millennials. But is it as much of an issue as the internet is making it out to be?

According to a Gallup survey, employee engagement has taken a hit as a result of the quiet quitting phenomenon. The percentage of employees who are considered “actively disengaged” has increased to 18%, a trend that began during the second half of 2021. While there are numerous reasons behind this drop in engagement, burnout is likely one of the most common reasons. Workers who first began experiencing burnout during the COVID pandemic found that their symptoms worsened as time went on, leading them to resort to quiet quitting.


What Leaders Can Do

Leaders need to recognize that they aren’t powerless against quiet quitters. With the right tools, you can boost engagement and inspire your team to go the extra mile at work. One way to accomplish this is by helping your employees set boundaries that work for them. Maintaining a healthy work/life balance is crucial to success in the workplace. Be sure to stay in tune with your employees’ needs to ensure that they’re not on the path to burnout.

Another effective strategy is to regularly seek out feedback from your team and take action accordingly. When employees feel that their voices are being heard, they are far more likely to put in a little extra effort. Take the initiative to see how your workers feel about the current state of their jobs and adopt an open mindset when it comes to implementing any necessary changes.

At the heart of quiet quitting is a misunderstanding of employee expectations. If you’re concerned that your team is falling short of its responsibilities, take the opportunity to communicate with your workers on a more meaningful level. It’s possible that they might not be aware of the full extent of their expectations at work. Sometimes, boosting employee engagement is as simple as having a conversation with them and listening to what they have to say.


Taking the Initiative

Overcoming quiet quitting isn’t a process that happens overnight. However, by taking simple steps to improve your employees’ attitudes toward work, you can make a meaningful difference in their overall performance. With a bit of time and effort, you can begin to see the results you want across your entire organization.

Download our Leadership Guide to Emotional Intelligence