Everything You Should Know About Quiet Quitting

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According to one survey, at least half (52%) of the respondents said they had experienced burnout in 2021. This was up 9% from before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Burnout is just one of the reasons that many people, including younger employees, are now quiet quitting, a new trend that gained traction on TikTok. 

But what is quiet quitting, and is it affecting your company? Keep reading to find out all you need to know, including how to fix the situation. 

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is different from quitting because the employee doesn’t leave your company. However, it does mean that they’ve started only doing the tasks in their job description. They won’t work overtime or put in any effort that wasn’t in their job description. Frequently, they’ll do the bare minimum instead of going above and beyond to have a better work-life balance. 

When they leave work at the end of the day, they don’t take it home without them or focus on work outside non-work hours. This trend blew up with younger workers recently on TikTok in response to employees being burnt out and being pressured into a work-hard and hustle culture mentality.

During the Great Resignation, many employees were rethinking their salaries, careers, and how they wanted to be treated at work. While some employees were able to find better jobs, many are still dealing with low pay and no advancement opportunities. With another recession looming, many employers aren’t offering raises or promotions but are still asking employees to do more with limited resources, which led to employees responding with quiet quitting.

During a webinar with Recruiter.com’s Gabriela de Sousa, she commented on the quiet quitting trend: “It’s interesting to see how that’s not only a shift, that kind of maybe we saw coming with burnout levels. But also, with the younger talent coming up through post-secondary education, and now entering the workforce, and managing to their expectations, which is much more aligned with wanting to work just their 9 to 5, having that work-life balance, etc. But I think just the whole market as a whole is also leaning a bit more into that, and leaning into a bit more being value-focused and focused on their work-life balance, etc.”

What Are the Signs of Quiet Quitting? 

Even before the term quiet quitting became popular, you may have noticed some employees who were disengaged or doing the bare minimum. Now that quiet quitting is popular; you might notice even more employees doing this. 

While it might be challenging to spot them, quiet quitters are typically not engaged employees. They might attend meetings but never participate. They might not contribute much in group settings. They may do their job but don’t excel at it or go beyond the minimum requirement. 

You might notice that other employees start complaining about their employees. They might have to pick up the slack from the quiet quitters, or they could not be contributing to the team. 

Many signs will depend on why the employee started pulling back their workload. For example, they might just be unhappy at your company or be burnt out. You can also look for signs like arriving late or early, decreasing productivity, or lacking enthusiasm or passion about their job.

Why Are People Doing It? 

One of the main reasons that people are quiet quitting is that they’re burnt out. After two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and a looming recession with high inflation, many people are burnt out from being overworked. 

Many employees might want remote work while employers force them to return to the office. They might be laying off employees to prepare for the recession, leaving more responsibility to the remaining employees. Employees may have been asking for raises to combat inflation but met with no response. 

How to Address Quiet Quitting

If you’ve noticed that some of your employees are quiet quitting, you need to take action as soon as possible. Figure out what isn’t working at your company and focus on fixing that. You might want to start with the leadership or improving poor management at your company.

Schedule a Conversation

You might want to schedule a brief conversation with each employee to see how they’re doing with work. This is different from a general one-on-one; it should be a meaningful conversation. You’ll want to ensure that you listen more than you talk. If you want employees to tell you what is wrong, you’ll need to ensure that you aren’t defensive and angry. 

Instead, take the feedback and figure out how you can incorporate it to improve your company. Keep in mind that some employees might not be comfortable talking to successful managers one-on-one, so you might want to send out an anonymous survey so that employees can provide feedback.

Show Your Team You Care

In addition to hearing your employees’ concerns, you must show them that you care and are interested in their lives. You might want to recognize important dates for employees, like work anniversaries, birthdays, and special days and events. 

It might be beneficial to write them down so you can remember everything. It will also help you create a personal connection with many employees and make them feel like they’re an essential part of the team. 

Create Career Opportunities 

Many employees want to know that they have an opportunity to grow in their careers at your company. And nothing will kill productivity more than someone feeling like they’re trapped in a dead-end job. If there’s no room for improvement, they’ll be unhappy, and you’ll have low employee engagement. This also leads to a lot of job switching, contributing to the Job Hopper Economy.

To avoid this, make sure that there are possibilities open for them to grow and continue with your company. Offer training programs or courses so employees can learn and apply new things at work. If employees have something to work towards, they’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort. 

Don’t Overwork Employees

While companies are struggling to retain talent and keep up with inflation, you need to have a good work-life balance so that you don’t overwork the employees that you do have. If you do, you’ll lose them and burn your other employees out. 

It would be best if you tried to avoid scheduling employees for excessive overtime hours or putting unrealistic deadlines on projects. When you overwork your employees, they’ll burn out and could eventually quiet quit, or worse, actually, quit. 

Remind Employees of the Mission

It can help remind your employees of the overarching mission when in doubt. It can help provide meaning to your employee’s work, improving morale and productivity. People want to know that their work contributes to something better and bigger than theirs. 

Your managers need to figure out how to make that link for people. You can use the mission or vision of the company to do that. While a mundane meeting might not seem important, you can show how it fits into the larger picture of the business’s mission.  

Hire New Talent

While you might be able to save some quiet quitters, some people might be underachievers in general. While you shouldn’t fire them immediately, have a conversation with them and give them a chance. 

But if you need to replace them, you must be prepared to hire new talent who will do a great job at your company while maintaining an excellent work-life balance. Thankfully, Recruiter.com can help you find those candidates in the labor force.

Whether using our powerful AI sourcing software, our Shortlist to give you ten candidates in ten days, optimizing job descriptions, or our Recruiters On Demand, we’re here to help with all your hiring needs. Contact us today to find out what recruiting solution is best for your business. 


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By Alyssa Harmon