What is “Quiet Quitting” and how can you address this in your business?

Quiet Quitting has been trending on social media and been making news headlines, but what is it and what does it mean to employers?

What is quiet quitting?

This may be the first time many people have heard the term quiet quitting, but the practice has been around for some time.

Quiet quitting doesn’t mean quitting at all. In fact, the simplest way to describe it would be that a quiet quitter has become disengaged to the point where they are doing the bare minimum to keep their job.

Doesn’t that mean they are lazy or slacking? It might seem that way, but the reality is that they are re-evaluating their priorities, whether it be in search of a better work-life balance or focusing their energy and attention elsewhere, such as on a side hustle.

Why is quiet quitting trending now?

It’s not surprising that quiet quitting has become a trend now and there are a couple of reasons why.

Labour shortages resulting from the pandemic and the Great Resignation have seen workloads increase, giving rise to burnout. It’s not just employees who are feeling the strain, but managers too.

This has led to some people seeking alternative employment, but for others, financial woes, or a fear of having the same issues in their next job, persuade them to stay put.

They may feel exhausted by their workload and start to scale back on their willingness to do anything further than what’s in their job description.

It’s possible that the move to remote or hybrid working has also contributed to the quiet quitting trend. Without effective management and people planning, remote employees can feel a disconnect from their co-workers and their purpose at work. They will start to contribute less in meetings as they mentally check-out.

Disengaged employees damage the wider team and the business. This is especially true for a small business where the impact can be felt further, quicker.

Preventing quiet quitting in your business

To stop quiet quitting from holding your business back, you need to address it.

It’s helpful to monitor behaviours that could suggest an employee is quiet quitting. Are they keeping their webcam turned off? Are they contributing less in meetings or unwilling to take on additional work?

Complaining that the employee isn’t pulling their weight may seem like the obvious solution, but it’s best to understand when and why this started. This will help you avoid the same problem arising in the future.

A 121 can be revealing and help you to work out the cause of an employee checking out. Are they struggling with their workload and in need of support? Is their work not challenging enough for them, leading to boredom? Are difficulties with a co-worker making them withdraw?

Tell them about your plans for the business. Are there any new projects coming up that they could be involved in? Let them know your expectations for their role and how it could develop if certain criteria are met. Think too about planning in some work socials to give your team the opportunity to connect and have something to look forward to.

These sorts of conversations and plans can help disengaged employees make a decision about their future at your company. Do they want to be involved or is it time for them to move on?

People planning for success

Your people plan is there to help your business succeed. Consider the roles required to take your business to the next level, who you need to fill them, and what you will do if those people underperform or leave.

Get more advice.

What is “Quiet Quitting” and how can you address this in your business?

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