Quiet Quitting. A New Trend That Scares Employers or a Non-existing Concept?
The term “quiet quitting” has been trending on social media since the second half of 2022. Many people are skeptical and do not believe that this tendency exists. But what hides behind this term: what are the reasons for it and how can employers avoid this phenomenon? We talk to Stafferty Baltics General Manager Aušra Bendikaitė and ask her for some insights.
Aušra, what is quiet quitting?
“In simple words, it is a process where an employee reaches the moment where he or she loses interest to do something extra at work that is not put on the list of the employee’s responsibilities and slowly pushes away everything that involves the life and community of the company. For example, the employee does not participate in the company’s non-work-related activities, avoids colleagues, and only does the bare minimum. They limit their impact on the company to the point that they become “invisible” and eventually quit.”
In your opinion, what are the main reasons for this phenomenon?
“This phenomenon is certainly not new in the field of personnel management, as for many years employees have quietly changed jobs in search of new opportunities, but only recently has its popularity increased.
I tend to agree with the opinion of most experts that this could be a negative result of the global pandemic. While many people lost their jobs, others had plenty of time to reflect on their careers: they analyzed if their salaries match the responsibilities and if they get enough work-life balance in their positions.
Another important reason behind this is burnout at work. Many people became more aware and trace their mental health to notice if their work is causing them stress, which is a good thing. Since employees are super aware of the stress at work, they usually tolerate a lower amount of it.
Lastly, the lack of communication between the employee and his or her manager could be the reason behind quiet quitting. In this case, the employee has no chance to express the concerns or stress that is related to work to the most important person on his or her team.”
Do you have any advice for employers struggling with quiet quitting?
“We all differ from each other, so it means that we all have specific needs that would satisfy us at work. So, make sure to evaluate your employees individually. However, it is important to note three main aspects.
First and foremost, learn how to collaborate in changes. If certain processes in the company require improvement, try to create ways for your employees to contribute. Listen carefully to what they have to say and demonstrate that you have learned from their contributions by taking the suggested actions. Alternatively, explain why certain proposals cannot be implemented. This will make the employees feel heard and create a trustworthy relationship.
It is also important to allow your employees to make decisions without micromanaging them – they want to know that they can be trusted and that their opinions are valued. They want to be able to achieve goals based on their desires, values, and abilities. Do not push them to achieve a result according to your techniques – allow them to demonstrate their abilities and provide ongoing feedback.
Do not forget to make a sense of purpose. Employees in most companies believe that they put in their time and do nothing more because they do not feel a part of something special. They must believe that what they do is meaningful beyond simply collecting a paycheck. Through one-on-one or team meetings, leadership must establish the company mission and instill that sense of purpose throughout the organization. Try to have at least one meaningful conversation with each of your employees each week and explain how their work contributes to the larger purpose of the company.For people to quit their jobs, it’s a normal process that happens even in top companies. However, it is the employer’s job to maintain the motivation of the employees, create a positive work environment, and try to satisfy their needs to keep their best specialists for as long as possible.”