quiet quitting

Quiet quitting – any way back?

As an employer you will have no doubt heard the phrase ‘quiet quitting’ and you might be looking around your workplace to see if it is happening.

Whilst many are saying this is a new phenomenon coined by the Tik Tok generation, it actually isn’t new at all. At a time when you might be experiencing higher than average staff turnover and /or recruitment issues, those who stay but ‘quietly quit’ are deserving of your attention and you are probably the cause of it.

Quiet quitting refers employees who stay in their job, but they only do what is required of them – either their role or their working hours. They may refuse to take on extra tasks without extra pay or to help out at busy times or join in with events which require their presence after working hours or at a weekend.

I’m sure we have all worked with people like this and they would argue they are looking after their mental health, ensuring they have a work/life balance and appropriate boundaries in place, and many simply don’t have the same level of interest in their career development as others.

I’m sure we have all looked at our lives and decided to prioritise and re-evaluate certain aspects of it, especially since the pandemic. And there might be times when issues such as childcare or caring responsibilities have to take priority. It certainly wouldn’t be surprising if many employees are more worried about the cost of living crisis and how they are going to pay their rising living costs, rather than their day to day work at the moment.

The concern for employers is what can be done to build a more positive and engaging workplace environment and is it possible to re-engage with these employees?

Studies show that quiet quitters often feel undervalued and unappreciated at work. Employees are typically more prepared to go above and beyond for those businesses and managers who they trust and also respect and who they also feel trust and respect them. Having a strong leadership team and supportive managers who are effective in delivering what is needed of them can help to reduce quiet quitting.

Investing in management training to enable managers and team leaders to build better relationships with employees can help supported by a range of other measures including open and honest staff communication. Offering employees who you identify as a quiet quitter the opportunity for a regular one to one meeting can help and employees could be encouraged to raise their feelings and concerns and also to share their own views on what could be done to improve their satisfaction at work. Also, discussing and agreeing to clear plans for career development demonstrates willingness to invest in and upskill employees and allow them to expand their skills and knowledge base.

If quiet quitting has progressed to issues around poor employee performance then it will be necessary to refer to disciplinary processes to help you to deal with the issue which ultimately might result in the dismissal of the employee.

For advice on employee disciplinary issues, please get in touch.