The latest workplace buzzword is quiet quitting. Even though it sounds like someone is resigning, it is actually a rebellion against the hustle culture of doing more than expected.
As a result of Covid-19, many people have had to rethink their career choices, making them want to limit their workload and only do what is required of them, instead of going above and beyond. Quiet quitting doesn't mean that the employees are actually quitting their jobs, but rather rejecting the long-held belief that work is the purpose of a person’s existence. Despite the fact that this 'trend' has been around for many years, Gen Z have brought it to life through the widespread use of social media. Generation Z appears to be increasingly concerned with achieving a balance between work and personal life. As a result, there has been an increase in quiet quitting.
What are the signs of employees quiet quitting?
Quitting quietly can come in many forms, depending on the reasons behind the employee's decision to pull back on work. If an employee is truly unhappy, the signs may be much more evident than someone who is simply looking for a better balance between work and personal life.
Some of the early signs of quiet quitting within your office may include employees losing passion for their work, contributing less to team projects, not attending meetings, and feeling like employees have lost interest in their job overall.
Is quitting quietly a bad thing?
The concept of 'quiet quitting' is not as extreme as it sounds from the employee's perspective. After all, it is simply a matter of setting boundaries and sticking to them.
It is obvious that an employer would view the practice of ‘quiet quitting’ as an indication of employees doing the bare minimum. Therefore, it would be of great concern to them if employees are underperforming.
Nevertheless, if an employee does not take the initiative to go above and beyond, are they doing a bad job? Or are they simply performing their job as defined by their job description and the job for which they are being paid to do?
A big problem is not that the employees are quiet quitting and doing only what's required of them, but rather that a lot of these people who are quiet quitting are also disengaging from their work, which has far-reaching effects.
What could cause employees to do only what they're asked to do?
For a long time, employers have expected their employees to go above and beyond as a standard practice. Sometimes, this is the result of unrealistic expectations, unmanageable workloads, long hours, and unclear expectations.
Employer-employee relationships have become primarily transactional as carrot and stick methods of motivations are used instead of intrinsic motivation. Something happened along the way that tipped the balance. Which explains why the quiet quitting trend is so popular across all generations. Perhaps this trend can be a way to learn as employers and compensate and recognise employees for the work they do.
How do we move forward?
The first step is to shift the mindset and culture at a fundamental level. Rather than viewing employees as resources, companies should put people first. Organisations that place people first are welcoming and empathetic. Transparency and accountability are their guiding principles. Top down, they live and breathe the company's core values, which encourages authenticity. Frequently, they acknowledge good work and show appreciation. Opportunities for learning, development, and advancement are provided as well. Perhaps a solution to this trend is to recognise employees' efforts and recognise that everyone works differently and has different goals in life. Another great motivator could be staying on top of the salary average and conducting annual research of what your competitors are paying their employees.