quiet quitting

Quiet Quitting: The Surprising Threat in Your Workplace


A recent study by Gallup found that “Quiet quitters” make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce.
What is quiet quitting? We all know that one employee who does close to nothing and gets paid! Quiet quitting: it’s like pretending to work while still collecting a paycheck.

If you’re a recruiter, chances are you’ve come across an employee or two who has taken this “laid-back” approach to their job. And let’s be honest, quiet quitting is not exactly the most thrilling thing to deal with. But fear not! In this blog, we’re going to take a lighthearted look at quiet quitting, explore why it happens, the costs of this covert career sabotage, and most importantly, how to prevent it.
As discussed, quiet quitting refers to a situation where an employee performs the minimum requirements of their job but puts in no more time, effort or enthusiasm than necessary. This behavior can be detrimental to the productivity and morale of the workplace. It’s essential for employers and recruiters to understand what causes it and how to prevent it.

What is causing quiet quitting?

Most of the time, employees start out with good motivation and drive and lose it somewhere along the way. There can be many reasons why an employee may engage in quiet quitting behavior. Some common reasons include:

1. Lack of motivation

If an employee is not motivated by their work or feels their efforts are not appreciated, they may become disengaged and put in the bare minimum effort. Lack of motivation can spring from multiple factors like lack of clarity in the role, too much uncertainty at the workplace, unfulfilled promises, lack of acknowledgment and appreciation, etc. 

2. Burnout
We have said this before and we will say this again, there are a lot of things that free snacks and coffee can’t solve. Organizations of all sizes and across spectrums must understand that too much work is real. Stress is real. Being overburdened is real. If an employee has been working long hours and taking on too many responsibilities, they WILL  become exhausted and start to disengage from their job. The point is to strike the right balance. Give them comp offs if they have been working the weekends. In addition, have one on one discussions about what is working and what is not. 

3. Poor management

It is often said that employees don’t leave organizations, they leave bad managers. Micromanagement and too less management can cause issues. Managers don’t have to sit on top of their teammates, they have to give them the necessary space to complete the work that they have at hand and give them directions during hiccups and roadblocks.  If an employee feels that their manager is not supportive or does not provide clear guidance, they may lose interest in their job and become disengaged.

4. Unsatisfied with job duties or compensation

It is a common scenario in companies where the appraisals don’t meet the employee expectations and they hire new employees for similar roles with higher pay. This affects the existing employees and will distract them. Another facet is where the employee is clueless about their role or everything is vague. If an employee is unhappy with the duties of their job or feels that they are not being fairly compensated, they may become disengaged and put in minimal effort.

The Cost of Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is not something that can be sidelined. More often than not, it is the previously high-performing employees who become quiet quitters. Quiet quitting can have significant costs for an organization, including:

Decreased productivity

It is a given that employees who are disengaged are less likely to be efficient and proactive. This can directly impact the overall productivity of the organization. 

Decreased morale 

Quiet quitting can have a contagious effect on the rest of the team. When employees see their coworkers disengaged and putting in minimal effort, it can lead to a lack of motivation and decreased morale among their coworkers. A negative work environment can be damaging to the overall atmosphere of the workplace.

Increased turnover

Quiet quitting can be a precursor to employees eventually leaving their job, leading to increased turnover and the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees. In addition, employee retention is a major concern for organizations across the globe. Even in the current market where layoffs are making the news every day, employees walking out is a nightmare for organizations. 

Decreased customer satisfaction

If disengaged employees are interacting with customers, it can lead to decreased customer satisfaction and a negative impact on the organization’s reputation. When employees are not fully engaged, customers will most certainly notice. This will affect the level of service they expect.

Suggested Read: 7 HR Secrets Experts Should Know in 2023

How to Prevent Quiet Quitting

Employers and recruiters can take steps to prevent quiet quitting by creating a supportive and engaged work environment. Some ways to do this include:

  1. Encouraging open communication: Encourage employees to share their thoughts and feelings about their job and the organization, and create an environment where they feel heard and valued. More often than not, the management does not realize that it is doing a bad job communicating. It is important to introspect
  2. Providing regular feedback: Regular feedback can help employees feel valued and understand what they are doing well and where they can improve.
  3. Offering professional development opportunities: Providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow in their careers can help keep them engaged and motivated.
  4. Addressing burnout: If employees are working long hours and taking on too much responsibility, it’s essential to address this and find ways to help them manage their workload.

In addition to the above discussed, you should keep a close eye on the hiring process. Filtering the candidates, and choosing the right cultural fit, everything plays a pivotal role. You can choose the right technology to ensure efficiency in hiring. Understand the needs of your organization and choose the ATS accordingly.

In a nutshell, quiet quitting can be called the silent killer of the workplace. But don’t worry, with a little bit of awareness and some good old-fashioned humor, you can prevent it from taking down your organization. Just remember, a happy employee is a productive employee, so strive to create a work environment where employees feel valued, motivated, and ready to tackle their tasks with a smile. And if all else fails, maybe just try and bribe them with donuts. It’s worth a shot!

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