Quiet quitting may be a popular term, but this practice isn’t new. Workers have quietly quit their jobs for years to look for something new, whether it was because of poor pay, unmanageable workload, burnout or lack of growth opportunities.
Quiet quitting isn’t actually about quitting. It’s not really about being quiet, either. So, what’s the real message here? And what does it mean for employers and HR professionals?
In short: doing no more and no less than your job.
The Harvard Business Review offers a useful definition. They say: “Quiet quitters continue to fulfil their primary responsibilities, but they’re less willing to engage in activities known as citizenship behaviours: no more staying late, showing up early, or attending non-mandatory meetings.”
Quiet quitting sounds like workers are giving up on their job when in fact it’s a reduction in going above and beyond in their role. This is a term to describe employees doing the required minimum, as outlined in their job description. Therefore, they are ‘quitting’ a hustle culture that puts work above personal time in order to seek a better work life balance and sense of self-worth.
In the past year, 7 out of 10 workers reported having burnout, according to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work report. Additionally, the report’s findings demonstrated that burnt-out workers are less engaged, commit more errors, quit their jobs, and are more likely to experience low morale.
As the pandemic turned workplace culture on its head, it brought quiet quitting into the spotlight. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report, more people had time to reflect on, question, and seek greater work-life balance.
Is Quiet Quitting an early stage of burnout?
If Quiet Quitting is an expression of employee cynicism, of mentally checking out from work, it’s not a good thing – neither for the employer nor the employee. Studies around burnout have found that it’s often not too much work but a sense of not being in control and not feeling acknowledged for one’s efforts that make people susceptible to burnout. The decision to quiet quit only reinforces this sense of powerlessness and invisibility – and, ultimately, makes you even more powerless and invisible at your job.
The business world should get out of the trend word search and get back to the real topic. We work with people and they have feelings. Need to work and earn money. Working overtime and not getting the right response creates natural response. Quiet quitting is one of those responses. Don’t you think it’s time to really focus on people?