The Quiet Quitting trend started after a short video on TikTok, only to explode across the Internet and media in the past couple of weeks. This phenomenon isn’t about quitting your job, it’s more about refusing to idolize the hustle culture and being available for work 24/7.
Simply put, advocates of quiet quitting don’t want to go above and beyond at work, trying to impress their bosses with high productivity, efficiency, and performance. They want to regain the work/life balance, doing only the tasks that fit their job description within set hours.
And you, as a manager, may wonder where this strong employee reaction comes from, what the causes of this quiet rebellion are, and what you can do if the quiet quitting starts affecting your productivity and business success.
Here, you’ll find all the answers you need to better understand this hottest workplace trend and find ways to upgrade your management skills and get employees back on track regarding their engagement and productivity.
What Stands Behind the Quiet Quitting Trend?
The reasons for Quiet Quitting may be numerous. And many involved in deciphering its causes agree that this trend depicts the workplace atmosphere in the post-Covid era, where employees are questioning their values and seeking increased work/life balance and flexibility.
This said quiet quitting may come as a logical successor of the Great Resignation wave. Or it may be a sign of revolt of those employees who strived to be highly productive, only to face massive layoffs during the pandemic.
Or quiet quitting is just a false trend that will quiet down as suddenly as it erupted.
While many of these explanations may be plausible, they aren’t sufficient if you want to get to the core of this phenomenon.
The firing rates are minimal nowadays because most leaders can’t afford the cost of hiring new employees, so job security is higher. Many employees realize they don’t have to be highly productive to keep their jobs. So they stick to doing the bare minimum.
This attitude toward work may affect overall productivity, as research shows that productivity in America experiences an unprecedented drop of 6.0 % annual rate due to the decrease in average hours per employee.
Gallup statistic shows that almost 50% of US employees declare themselves as neither engaged nor fully disengaged in their work, meaning that they are doing the minimum required to keep their jobs.
According to this research, the major cause for quiet quitting lies in poor management. Unengaged employees mostly feel that their managers don’t care about their professional development and well-being while having to tackle work overload at the same time. And these feelings are predominant among employees under 35.
These red flags require your immediate attention if you want to maintain high productivity and avoid higher turnover rates.
The Changed Perception of Productivity
According to a simple economic model, the more widgets employee produce in an hour, the more they get paid. This is also known as “marginal pay.” So the more productive you are the higher you’ll be paid.
In the more complex digital workplace that the knowledge industry is based on, it’s not that simple to measure employees’ productivity and results. This task has become even more challenging with the rise of remote and hybrid work.
Managers are often wondering what their employees do during work hours. And whether they are working on their tasks at all.
For this reason, many of them reached out for an advanced employee tracking system to monitor and measure employees’ productivity. Some numbers show that 8 out of 10 largest US companies use an employee tracking system to keep records of employees’ activities, apps, and tools they use, measuring their productive, idle, and unproductive time at work.
Some may argue that this software is intrusive and that monitoring data can be used for salary cuts and even termination.
But if you use this tool transparently, respecting employees’ rights and privacy, it can help your employees to become more time-efficient and productive. While you can use monitoring data to make well-informed decisions and become a better manager who can identify and meet employees’ needs.
Here are some ways you can make your employees happier, more engaged, and more productive with the help of an employee monitoring app.
Redistribute Workload and Set Achievable Goals
Your employees may opt for quiet quitting when they’re overwhelmed with their workload. And this is a reasonable attempt to preserve their physical and mental health threatened by overworking and burnout.
When you notice that once highly performing employees start to slack and underperform, dig deeper into the monitoring data to identify the causes for this productivity drop. You may find out that they are tackling more tasks than they can handle. And that this prevents them from completing their projects within set deadlines.
You can offer these employees a much-needed relief by redistributing some of these tasks to their coworkers in similar roles with more free time on their hands.
Also, some of your quiet quitters may struggle with large, demanding, and unclear tasks. When they don’t know what they are expected to do or where to start, employees get frustrated and it’s hard for them to focus and even start.
Instead of bombarding them with unclear complex tasks, break their workload into a number of smaller, achievable tasks.
Your employees’ satisfaction and self-esteem will soar when they clear out their to-do lists at the end of the week without struggling.
Limit the Work to Set Hours and Stop Wasting Time
Remember, you are responsible for your employees’ engagement, happiness, and well-being.
If you foster a hustle culture in your company, you’ll end up with overworked, disengaged employees that are looking for more flexible and supportive work environments.
- If you tend to send emails beyond work hours -stop it.
- If you assign tasks to employees on weekends-stop it
- If you host countless meetings that can be summarized in email-send emails instead
When you quit this hustle culture practices and free some work hours for your employees to spend on focused creative work, they may feel more fulfilled and satisfied with their work.
Also by focusing on people more than on outcomes you’ll let your employees draw the strict line between work and private life, prioritizing their well-being.