Quiet Quitting

Quiet Quitting: A Name for an old problem + How to correct It

A Clarity Wave White paper

It’s no secret that the traditional workplace we all know and are used to has been going through a bit of an upheaval lately. Actually, that’s probably a massive understatement. “Dumpster fire” might be a better, more accurate analogy.

For a bit of context and to see how it all has played out, here’s a quick walk down memory lane.

First, it started with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Remember when workers were sent home and quickly had to get up to speed working remotely? And the problems that ensued from endless Zoom calls to workers complaining they were being overly micromanaged? CEOs and managers were forced to learn, some better than others, how to manage virtually. 

Second, came the klaxon call to return to the office. Followed by the cries and acts of revolt from workers who had not only adapted to remote work but had grown to love the flexibility of it. 

Necessity and circumstances closed a door, prompting many to refuse to return to work in offices. Thus began the Great Resignation, people resigning en masse. 

According to the World Economic Forum, 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November of 2021. Twenty percent more are expected to quit before the end of 2022.

But this was really just a great reshuffling-workers simply switching to jobs that better aligned with their new outlook and expectations. 

And this reshuffling trend soon gave way to the Quiet Quit. 

So, what is Quiet Quitting? Should you be concerned as a business? And if so, is there a way to correct it?


What is Quiet Quitting?

Coined on TikTok, quiet quitting is simply a new name for employee disengagement.

It isn’t actually about quitting but doing only what is required to complete the job. No more or less. In other words, what is clearly defined in their job description.

However, it stems from a greater phenomenon: employee burnout and the need for work-life balance.  

For generations, Americans’ identities have been tied to the simple question, “What do you do for a living?” 

But many are seeking a new identity. One that doesn’t revolve completely around work. Work, they feel, that is often unappreciated, unrewarding, and simply a means to an end.

According to Pew Research.org, “47% of Americans view their jobs as just a way to pay their bills.” They question why they should go above and beyond for businesses that are quick to layoff and fire them when downturns occur. And there is a growing divide between CEOs and the employees who work for them, in terms of compensation and respect.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, has made news wondering why employees refuse to return to the office and work until nine o’clock at night. 

To many workers, especially GenZ workers, this type of attitude on Musk’s part clearly demonstrates his lack of respect for employees’ desires for a work-life balance. While Musk argues he is simply passionate about his companies and employees should be too. Otherwise, they should consider working elsewhere.

Which raises the question. Do your employees have to have a passion for your business to get the job done? 

Though passion certainly goes a long way to ensuring a company’s success, good employee engagement is vital. There is a distinct correlation between how engaged an employee is to how productive they are.

Employee engagement starts from the top and touches every level. From the founder to the newest hire. It is also crucial if you want a top notch company culture employees are hungry to work for. 


Signs of Quiet Quitting

Perhaps you’ve had problems with employees refusing to answer texts or phone calls after work. Or refusals to work overtime, logging off or clocking out on the dot when their shifts are over. Maybe you’ve noticed certain employees disconnecting from the team, offering no input or ideas. Or wondered how to increase low motivation and desire among your staff.

These are possible signs of quiet quitting.

Now, there’s nothing wrong about establishing clear work-life boundaries. Doing so can be key to maintaining mental health, which in turn can lead to an increase in worker productivity. 

However, the key factors to look out for are a worker’s low motivation and desire, as well as disconnecting from the team and offering no input or ideas. These may signal more than just quiet quitting. But instead, offer telltale signs of a worker’s apathy.

How to correct Quiet Quitting or increase engagement

Research from Randstad USA found that, “59% of workers feel companies view profits as more important than how people are treated.”

This belief has led to disgruntled workers resigning, reshuffling, and organizing unions. Even among companies like Starbucks, that just five years ago, was seen as progressive toward workers’ rights.

And though many companies have raised salaries in an attempt to retain workers, pay isn’t the number one reason employees quit.

The top reasons: employees feel overwhelmed by job demand and lack of empathy from their employers.

The writing’s on the wall. If you don’t care about your workers, they won’t care about you. Employees want to be seen and heard. They want to feel valued.

According to Gallup, “Engaged employees lead to a 202% increase in performance.” But engagement starts at the beginning before the employee is even hired.

If you want to turn the tide on quiet quitting, you need to hire the right people for the job. This starts with examining your company’s culture.

“46% of job searchers”, according to findings by Leaders.com,”look at a company’s culture as one of their top career factors.” 

A positive culture attracts talented and skilled workers who want to work for you. These workers then create quality products and implement top notch services. Which leads to happy clients and customers.

Creating a successful work culture is easier than you think.

Start by clearly defining your vision. This is crucial as it acts as a roadmap. 

Next, clearly state your values and seek out potential employees whose values correspond with them. 

Then incorporate positive collaboration and feedback. 

Finally, make sure to place the right people in the right roles according to their training and skill set.

Wondering how to ensure you hire the right employees? 

Start with the job description. Make sure it’s calling out exactly who is right for the role. Then make onboarding and orientation an incredible, fun, energizing experience. 

No one likes first days. Help new workers past this awkward, sometimes nauseating hurdle by introducing them to their coworkers.

Finally, give them a 90 day plan for success. Map the plan out in 30 day increments, discuss goals for them to meet, and follow up at each step to see how they’re progressing.

Remember, taking care of employees doesn’t end when orientation does. It’s an ongoing process and involves supporting your team whether they’re onsite or remote.

And don’t fall into the trap of thinking onsite leads to better engagement. Actually the reverse has been found. 

Remote and hybrid workers have higher engagement levels, up to 37%, according to Gallup.org.  While employees who work exclusively onsite, only 29% of them are engaged.

A good way to support all employees is by implementing 15-30 minute sessions with each employee weekly. Ask how they are and if they’re having any problems related to their particular role. Figure out ways to help them develop by creating opportunities so they grow and become better.

Value what your employees bring to the table. Realize they contribute far more than just spending time in a chair performing busy work. Truly see them as more than just their job or title. 

Build up your team by creating relationships. Celebrate their wins and milestones. Recognize and reward. Encourage peer recognition. Constantly look for ways to improve. Consider establishing a mentoring program and encouraging professional development. 


Final Thoughts

The unexpected events that have occurred in our world over the past two years have led many workers to question what they truly want out of life. 

If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, or manager, it helps to realize not all your employees may possess the same level of passion for their jobs as you.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Often passion can be cultivated. It simply comes down to leadership and vision. Being able to see your employees’ talents and then placing them in roles where they can shine.

When it comes to turning the tide against quiet quitting or rather, truly ensuring your employees are more passionate about their jobs, engagement is key. 

Never underestimate the power of communication and empathy. It should be the trend you focus on going forward.


About Clarity Wave

Clarity Wave’s innovative software helps you create a better workplace. Designed with engagement in mind, it allows insights into how your employees are thinking and feeling. 

Connect with a representative today to discover how you can better engage with your employees.