There’s a new phrase for only performing the tasks for which you get compensated, that is “quiet quitting”. The idea of a “quiet quitting job” was developed by a group of Gen Z employees who assert that they are rejecting the 24/7, always-on, above-and-beyond work culture that their parents adopted.
What is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting is a form of work-to-rule, in which employees are only permitted to perform tasks during specific work hours. Contrary to its name, the notion of quiet quitting emphasizes accomplishing exactly what is required of the job rather than quitting a job altogether. Quiet quitting is also known as acting your wage by supporters.
The phrase “quiet quitting” was first used by economist Mark Boldger in September 2009 at a Texas A&M economics symposium on Venezuela’s waning ambitions. Other individuals, such as author Nick Adams and economist Thomas Sowell, continued to use the phrase.
Despite the fact that the term “quiet quitting” was first coined in 2009, workplaces and popular culture have long practiced some form of quiet quitting. An example of quiet quitting is seen in the 1999 movie Office Space, in which Ron Livingston’s character Peter Gibbons completely gives up on the idea of working and only performs the barest minimum.
A movement in China called tang ping emerged in April 2021 (“lying flat”). Despite the fact that the idea of quiet quitting predates the movement, tang ping has many traits with it.
Following a successful quiet quitting TikTok video, quiet quitting saw a rise in popularity in 2022 throughout many newspapers. On forums, especially on Reddit, Reddit quiet quitting questions get a lot of attention.
In the same year, it was discovered that about half of the American workforce consisted of quiet quitters.
Quiet firing is the reverse of quiet quitting work, where an employer purposefully offers only the minimum wage and benefits and rejects any advancements in the hopes that an unwelcome employee will resign.
>>>Read more: How to Increase Flexibility without Losing Productivity?
The actual situation of quiet quitting
Beginning in the second part of 2021, engagement started to decline, which coincided with an increase in job resignations. Among other groups, managers saw the biggest decline.
According to Gallup, a global analytics and advice firm, the second quarter of 2022 saw a further decline in employee engagement in the United States, with the percentage of engaged workers continuing at 32% but the percentage of actively disengaged workers rising to 18%. Now, there are 1.8 actively engaged employees for every one actively disengaged employee, the lowest ratio in a decade.
A rising gulf between workers and their employers may be seen in the overall reduction, which was particularly related to expectations that were clear, opportunities for learning and growth, and feelings of care.
Many quiet quitters are “not engaged” at work; they perform the bare minimum and lack the psychological commitment to their employment. This applies to 50% of the American workforce.
The remaining population is either actively engaged (32%) or disengaged (18%). They are “loud quitters,” as they say. Actively disengaged workers frequently have their requirements at work unmet and are vocal about it; they have posted on TikTok videos that have received millions of views and comments.
The majority of disengaged or actively disengaged workers are already looking for new employment.
Reason for quiet quitting trend
People aren’t leaving for higher income, which is one of the reasons why we’re seeing the Great Resignation. Workload and a lack of compassion from their employers were the two main reasons they were quitting.
The engagement and employer satisfaction of distant Gen Z and younger millennials (those under the age of 35) are declining.
Comparing this to the years before the pandemic is noteworthy. Since the epidemic, younger employees have experienced a marked loss in their sense of belonging and prospects for growth, especially from their managers.
Between 2019 and 2022, there was a six percentage point decline in the proportion of engaged employees under the age of 35. Additionally, throughout that same period, the proportion of actively disengaged workers rose by six points.
The percentage of younger workers who strongly believe that they are cared about, that someone supports their growth, and that they have the opportunity to learn and improve has decreased by 10 or more points.
Young workers who are fully remote or hybrid declined 12 points in the strong agreement that someone supports their growth.
Uncomfortably, fewer than 4 out of 10 young remote or hybrid employees are fully aware of their responsibilities at work.
What do workplace experts say about quiet quitting?
Who are supporters of this trend?
Michael Timmes, a senior expert at Insperity, a human resource consulting firm, said that quiet leave can be a positive trend if workers focus on working as much as possible at the office. Timmes points out that quitting a job quietly can free up time for workers to work on side projects.
Kelsey Wat, a career coach agrees and says that taking a quiet break from work for a season can help them refocus on needs outside of work and hopefully help them recover from the condition. burnout and have a clear understanding of their needs and boundaries in future work. Wat added that taking a silent break can provide short-term relief from a “results-focused” work environment.
Johnny C. Taylor Jr., President, and CEO of the Human Resource Management Association, the world’s largest human resources organization, said remote work has caused severe burnout, and Zoom is tired. fatigue and make it difficult for some workers to stay home. Taylor, as CEO, personally leads a team of more than 500 associates, advocating for his employees to quit when they feel overworked, but he sees no silence in passing. How useful it will be to employees in the long run.
Who are opponents of this trend?
On the other hand, Kevin O’Leary, an investor and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” said that giving up in silence was “a really bad idea.” He said that those who went beyond trying to solve problems for their organization, their team, their manager, and their boss, were the people who succeed in life.
The decision, in the opinion of Lensa CEO Gergo Vari, quiet quitting won’t benefit workers in the long run.
How to prevent quiet quitting?
Defining Core Job Tasks anew
Job creep, or the steady increase of an employee’s primary responsibilities over time, happens to everyone. However, the costs of good citizenship may feel increasingly outweighed by the benefits, particularly after more than two years of pandemic-related firefighting, during which time an increasing number of tasks that might have once been considered “above and beyond” have become expected parts of employees’ jobs.
Therefore, it is probably a good idea for managers to reevaluate employees’ primary job tasks so that they better reflect the work that is actually required and the work that should be considered additional. As a result, managers can concentrate on inspiring employees to do their most crucial job duties at a high level while yet allowing them time to take care of themselves outside of the workplace.
Invest after hearing
Companies then need to listen to their employees before making investments in them. When employees feel supported by their businesses, going above and above is less likely to result in citizenship fatigue, and effective support begins with knowing what people genuinely need.
Therefore, in addition to taking the time to interact with staff members directly, leaders must also promote and reward managers for keeping tabs on staff morale and ensuring that they have the time and tools necessary to do so.
This goes beyond simply demonstrating empathy. Employers must gather qualitative and quantitative information about what each employee needs to feel engaged at work in order to practice true listening. Additionally to one-on-one dialogues like preemptive “stay interviews,” HR analytics solutions can provide granular visibility into the factors influencing employee well-being and performance.
Additionally, leaders must place a high priority on fostering a culture where employees feel comfortable raising issues, feel that their concerns are heard by management, and know that their problems will be taken seriously.
Your workforce is not homogeneous, after all. Some employees may appreciate the chance to advance their careers, while others may prioritize having a flexible schedule, and yet others may only care about getting paid more. Leaders will only be able to make targeted investments that address employees’ specific needs, such as a stretch assignment, a change in work hours, or a more open bonus structure, after talking with the workforce.
Less hustle, More Creation
Finally, leaders don’t have to subject their staff to an unsustainable “hustle” culture in order to maintain the advantages of citizenship behavior. Leaders should encourage staff to pursue what we call citizenship crafting rather than encouraging an always-on mentality that wears people out.
Employees who work in environments with unhealthy work cultures frequently feel pressured to go above and beyond in ways that are bad for their health, like taking on extra assignments that prevent them from attending essential family or social gatherings.
These activities, however, can be exhilarating rather than draining for employees if they can give priority to citizenship behaviors that are consistent with their own motivations and demands.
As an illustration, some workers might be motivated by assisting others and so be eager to take on additional chores when there is a prosocial component. Others may benefit more from concentrating on civic initiatives that are very visible within the corporation since they may be more driven by public recognition.
It is the responsibility of managers to pay attention to their staff, assist them in identifying the particular citizenship tasks that align with their intrinsic motivations and encourage staff to concentrate on these tasks if and when they have the bandwidth to do so outside of their core job responsibilities.
Quiet quitting can really be even more detrimental than the Great Resignation, despite the fact that its impact on organizational operations may be less obvious. To meet this issue, leaders must concentrate on inspiring people to complete their primary responsibilities, pay attention to their needs, and establish cultures that encourage individuals to develop their own views of citizenship and listen to their input.
On the other hand, every manager and HR executive should keep in mind that some employees are putting in extra effort at work because they are frightened to resign and that these employees still require support and flexibility from their employers.