What is Quiet Quitting and Why Should You Care About It?

Quiet quitting is a new buzz word, but it’s definitely not a new concept. Many people will be more familiar with the ‘old-fashioned’ term for it – work to rule. It happens when employees either consciously or unconsciously decide to stop going above and beyond for their employer. They are still doing their work and performing their duties, but they no longer give the discretionary effort that they used to give.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that quiet quitting is on the rise as people start to tire of working themselves to exhaustion and start to put an emphasis on life work balance and in part, thanks to a TikTok video that recently went viral. It’s a response to burnout and the most common factors contributing to an employee working to rule include:

  • Unachievable workloads or workloads that cannot be achieved within the employee’s allotted hours each day/week
  • A feeling of being expected to answer emails and phone calls outside of work hours
  • A feeling of being expected to do extra hours without being asked if that is ok and if it will impact on the employee’s private life
  • Pressure to meet and exceed KPI’s month over month

I suspect that this is not a passing fad so, I guess the days of workplaces full of Gordon Gecko’s may soon be a part of history. That’s not a bad thing, actually.

There is a lot of debate about this subject and many employers are concerned about it and with good reason. Is being “quiet” an appropriate response instead of standing up and speaking up and establishing appropriate boundaries between home and working lives?

It stands to reason that the next logical step after quiet quitting is actual quitting and with more options available out there now and the world being much smaller thanks to technology, this is a real possibility for employers. Finding staff is challenging in this current employment market and replacing lost staff takes longer, and costs more.

How would your business be impacted if staff put in less discretionary effort, or worse, they left altogether? If this makes you lose sleep at night, then it may just be a great time for you to consider talking with your staff and working with them to establish where the pain points are, introduce manageable boundaries that suit both of you, and identify ways that you can eliminate some factors that contribute to the quiet quitting phenomena.

If you can achieve a win-win you will have higher success of retaining your good staff and you send a message to your employees that you value them and the contribution, they make to the success of your business.

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