You’ve probably heard of “parallel parking” or “quiet loitering.” But have you ever heard of “quiet quitting?” Unlike its more common cousin “ghosting,” which refers to the act of abruptly cutting off all communication with someone without any explanation, quiet quitting is when an employee gradually disengages from their work overtime without formally resigning.
While it might not seem like a big deal, quiet quitting can actually have a significant impact on an organization. For one thing, it can cause morale to drop among the employees who witness it happening. Additionally, it can lead to a shortage of skilled workers, as well as increased turnover costs. In short, quiet quitting is something that all employers should be aware of and take steps to prevent. So let’s take a closer look at what quiet quitting is, what its antecedents are, and what organizations can do to stop it from happening.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting happens when an employee gradually disengages from their work overtime without formally resigning. The process usually starts with the employee becoming increasingly disengaged from their work tasks and responsibilities. They might start showing up late or taking more days off than usual. They might also start doing less work than they’re supposed to do or producing lower-quality work than they used to produce.
The term ‘quiet quitter’ refers to employees who quit their jobs after performing only what they are expected to do. Alternatively, they may refuse to accept any additional tasks without remuneration if they work only their contracted hours. Consequently, some companies are losing 20 percent of their employees’ annual salaries through ‘quietly quitting’, while the UK economy is losing £340 billion annually. To combat this phenomenon, employers need to be aware of it and consider what positive measures they can take.
The concept of Quite Quitting has been popular on the video streaming platform Tiktok, primarily among Gen Z and millennials. However, it may not be strictly applicable to these groups. The concept of quite quitting isn’t new, but in these times of economic turmoil when employees are bracing themselves for rising household bills and lower real pay, the term resonates more than ever. Disengagement from work is associated with dissatisfaction, burnout, or a feeling of underappreciation, resulting in disengagement from work and then Quite quitting.
What Are the Antecedents of Quiet Quitting?
There are several antecedents of quiet quitting, which are factors that increase the likelihood of it happening.
One antecedent is job dissatisfaction. If an employee is unhappy with their job—perhaps because they feel like they’re not being paid enough or because they don’t find their work interesting—they may start disengaging from their work in order to signal to their employer that they want to leave.
Poor Fit between the Employee and Organization
Another antecedent of quiet quitting is poor fit between the employee and the organization. This often happens when an employee is hired for a job that turns out to be different from what they were expecting—for example, if they were promised one set of responsibilities but ended up with another. In cases like this, employees may start feeling like they made a mistake in taking the job in the first place and may slowly begin withdrawing from their work as a result.
Another antecedent of quiet quitting is organizational change. Whether it’s a change in leadership, a merger or acquisition, or something else entirely, organizational change can be disruptive and unsettling for employees. In some cases, it may even lead them to believe that their job is no longer secure—even if there’s no evidence to support that belief—which can cause them to start looking for new employment opportunities elsewhere.
Five Solutions for Quiet Quitting
Solution #1: Talk to your boss before you put in your two weeks’ notice.
The worst way to quit is to simply stop showing up without any notice or explanation. This will not only hurt your reputation, but it could also cost you future opportunities—after all, you never know when you’ll need a reference from a former boss. The best way to quit is to have a conversation with your boss beforehand. Explain your reasons for wanting to leave and express your gratitude for the opportunity they’ve given you. Once you’ve had this conversation, you can put in your two weeks’ notice and leave on good terms.
Solution #2: Give plenty of notice.
In addition to talking to your boss before you quit, you should also give them as much notice as possible. Two weeks is the industry standard, but if you can give more notice than that, it would be greatly appreciated. This will give them time to find a replacement and train them properly so that there’s no lapse in coverage. It will also allow you to tie up any loose ends at work and transition smoothly into the next phase of your career.
Solution #3: Offer to help with the transition.
If you really want to go above and beyond when quitting your job, offer to help with the transition. This could involve training your replacement, writing documentation, or anything else that would make the transition smoother for everyone involved. Not only will this help establish you as a team player, but it will also make the process less stressful for everyone involved—including yourself!
Solution #4 Career Development, Progression and Training
Employers should focus on career development , progression and training as this can enhance employee engagement through employee benefits. Investing in training can facilitate employees growth and contribute to them experiencing a greater sense of commitment to the organisation. its important to recognise and reward employee contributions as this reinforces their achievements and value from the organization.
Solution #5 Wellbeing
Invest in the physical , mental and financial wellbeing of your employees as the need for this is heightened due to remote and hybrid working which will improve employee morale, motivation and productivity. Investing in mental wellbeing has a strong business case as data from the HSE 2022 suggests that The estimated number of workers in Great Britain suffering a work-related illness is 1.8 million with stress, depression, and anxiety making up around half of cases, new figures show.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published its annual statistics on work-related ill health and workplace injuries.
The figures from Great Britain’s workplace regulator show there were an estimated 914,000 cases of work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22.
Stress and poor mental health is the number one cause of work-related ill health. The effects of stress, depression, and anxiety can have a significant impact on an employee’s life and on their ability to perform their best at work. HSE’s annual statistics release shows the impact work-related ill health is having on Great Britain’s economic performance:
36.8 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and non-fatal workplace injuries in 2021/22 which consequently effects the bottom line, performance and productivity.
When it’s time to move on from your current job, it’s important to do so quietly and on good terms. This will ensure that you don’t burn any bridges and that you maintain a positive relationship with your former employer. The best way to achieve this is by talking to your boss before quitting, giving plenty of notice, and offering to help with the transition process. Employers are advised to focus on employees wellbeing and to provide training and development opportunities which increases engagement.
By following these simple steps, you can quit your job the right way—and set yourself up for success in your next venture or maintain engaged employees with high morale.
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