In this article, Senior HR Consultant, Louise Angell, explores quiet quitting and offers advice to employers on how to manage this within the workplace.
Despite the name, it actually has nothing to do with quitting a job.
It means doing only what the job demands and nothing more. Quitting doing anything extra. They still show up for work, but stay strictly within the boundaries of the job requirements. They no longer help out with additional tasks or check emails outside work hours.
It is widely associated with employee burnout and an increasing concept amongst employees that work should not take over one’s entire life. Since the pandemic turned our view of work, careers, and work-life balance there has been an increase in quiet quitting as people reassess what’s important.
The movement is centred around self-preservation and “acting your wage”.
Whilst it has always been present in our workplaces whereby people become disengaged due to lack of career growth, poor pay, poor rewards and large workloads there has been a rapid increase.
Quiet quitting can take various shapes and forms, from reduction in productivity, non-attendance at meetings and failure to contribute to team projects, to arriving late and leaving early. This type of work-disconnect allows individuals to maintain their wages while looking for a better job.
Speak with all staff to discuss how you could best help them feel valued and appreciated in the workplace.
Others might be bored and looking to take the next step in their career to challenge themselves further so find out if this is how they are feeling and remedy it.
To prevent employees from getting in this state, it is important to ensure that people are engaged in their work and that work provides purpose and meaning for them. Employers should remember that employees need to feel part of a bigger picture, have autonomy and control, and feel psychologically safe – all the things that we know make a good day at work.
You must ensure you’re making employees’ workloads realistic and that there are appropriate boundaries in place. Through this you’re encouraging employees to look after their mental health by putting the mechanisms in place.
It should be relatively easy to spot someone who is quiet quitting. They will not be putting in the same effort as they used to, they will be disengaged from the wider workforce, and their usual standards will have slipped.
You need to meet with the employee to fully understand how they are feeling, why they are less motivated, and what can be done to rectify the issue. Doing this can help build positive working relationships and resolve the issue without the individual leaving or facing formal disciplinary action. Informal discussions are likely the best approach in the first instance.
It’s important to establish the reason for decline before you label someone as a quiet quitter. There can be other reasons an employee becomes disengaged such as the current economic climate causing stress, worry and distraction.
Approach the conversation with an open mind. You don’t want to make assumptions and manage the situation wrong. You must avoid alienating your talented and most valuable employees.
The CIPD estimates the average cost of filling a vacancy in 2021, including labour costs, is £6,125. For a manager role, these figures rise to £19,000. Therefore it is vital you look after your employees and prevent those quiet quitters from job hunting.
If you think quiet quitting may be taking place in your company and need support handling the situation, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our expert team of consultants today.
T: 0330 107 1037