You’ve likely heard of “quiet quitting,” but do you know what it actually means? To understand the trend, it’s best to first clarify what it isn’t: quitting.
Quiet quitting is a response to unrealistic expectations and an unhealthy work-life balance, not work itself. Tanner Bergman, a national certified counselor specializing in corporate well-being, describes quiet quitting as “people protecting the limited capacities they have.” In other words, employees want to preserve boundaries, even if it comes at the cost of appearing less effective.
Why is quiet quitting trending among employees?
Employees who quiet quit tend to be underpaid, overworked and unrecognized. At the same time, they find little joy in the work they do and feel their jobs cut into their personal lives.
Compensation is one of quiet quitting’s top motivators. If employees feel like their pay and salary aren’t adequate for their labor, they won’t search for ways to make a bigger impact in their workplace. Unnecessary pressure from leadership also contributes to this sense, especially when it creates frequent overtime.
Quiet quitting is also a protest against “hustle culture,” or the idea that overworking is ideal. The pursuit of lofty career goals isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t replace a healthy work-life balance.
How do employers respond to quiet quitting?
Again, quiet quitting isn’t the primary issue; it’s a symptom. Instead, employers should turn to enhancing their culture so it addresses the needs of as many employees as possible. For instance, wellness programs are a great option to:
- reduce absenteeism
- improve morale and loyalty
- and more
Leadership should also make a habit of asking employees directly about what engages them. A survey tool to efficiently, thoroughly and anonymously collect employee feedback can help, but it should be backed by a commitment to frequent and transparent communication.
Given how much compensation influences attrition, reevaluate your pay grades and benefit plans regularly to ensure they’re competitive and fair. And invest in self-service HR tech that empowers employees with the convenience and flexibility they enjoy in their personal lives.