Shh..Someone is Quiet Quitting

Employers must first recognize that quiet quitting is about more than just setting boundaries. It speaks to the tired and frustrated feeling that many people are experiencing as the pandemic winds down. People are reevaluating their priorities, and social disconnection may be a contributing factor.

Quiet Quitting, Quiet firing, Moonlighting, and all these trendy Gen Z terms have flooded the internet. Are you not doing your best but holding onto a job? Trying to differentiate between burnout and quitting? Let’s talk about it now

In Today’s edition, we talk about Quiet Quitting :

  1. How to identify it
  2. How to make organizations better for people

Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is not actually quitting, but doing the bare minimum at your job, enough to not get fired. This has always existed in workforces, people just didn’t have a term for it. Since the pandemic, millions of people are not going above and beyond at work and are simply meeting their job description.

There is a very fine line between quiet quitting and having boundaries. An employee who reevaluates their priorities in life and recognizes that work is a subset of life rather than the other way around is not quitting. It's insensitive to assume that just because they don't want to work past their scheduled hours or do more than what they're paid for, they've mentally quit. Going above and beyond has become so common in corporate culture that anyone who does not do so is labeled a slacker. The trend is resonating strongly with Gen Z and Millennial employees fighting to rewrite workplace rules.

Heet Tike, co-founder of Ripen said “I've realized it is more about being a rock star in the nine hours that you're working and not a rock solid 24 hours of the time, right? So a person going above and beyond doesn't need to go above and beyond in terms of how much time they're spending. They need to go above and beyond in terms of the output they have. And that has a direct correlation with how efficient they are.

Quiet quitting is basically doing what you’re paid for” a KPMG employee told us. It is just another sign of workers – sometimes not even consciously – looking for ways to feel less burnt out, more motivated, and more engaged.

Niharika who is Linkedin Top voice 2022 wrote that she realized “maybe I was quiet quitting corporate culture since the day I started.

Similarly, Deloitte USI’s employee said he didn't know what he wanted to do and where his career was headed. He just wanted a brand tag on his resume, so he was doing the bare minimum throughout his job. He has been Quiet Quitting since Day 1.

A lot of companies who mass hire, let Quiet Quitting slide because the cost of hire > cost of getting subpar work. The attrition rate of college hires is high and According to Deloitte, the average cost-per-hire is $4,000. It takes 50-60% of the employee’s salary to find his or her direct replacement. The cost of hiring an employee does not just include his or her salary. It includes the recruiter’s salary, time and efforts, training and onboarding costs, and more that add to the overall expense of making a new hire. It is more cost-efficient to put employees on a Performance Improvement Plan and review them closely.

How to identify if your workforce is quiet quitting?

On a lot of occasions, it's something that is not hard to detect. One week or month into it, the managers will know that this is not their team’s maximum output or they're not happy with the employee engagement. Some quick signs to look out for are:

  • Disengagement on a regular basis
  • Only meet the bare minimum of performance standards
  • Isolation from other team members
  • Refrain from engaging in any unnecessary conversations, activities, or tasks
  • Meeting attendance but not speaking up or taking action

Simran from Rephrase.Ai says that “It’s never an immediate decision but is a slow withdrawal process.” That is true, if it is identified early, it can lead to quicker quitting, quicker letting go, or getting early feedback to improve performance and engagement.

A good manager can identify the change in behavior of a team member because quiet quitting or silent quitting starts as small as not attending meetings on time or skipping them altogether.  When this behavior is showcased for a long time and there are signals like these which quiet quitters give unknowingly, leaders should be smart enough to catch them on time” says Omkar Pradhan, Associate Director - People Culture at GoKwik on TSOW Community’s exec-ama.

How to make workplaces better for people

Employers must first recognize that quiet quitting is about more than just setting boundaries. It speaks to the tired and frustrated feeling that many people are experiencing as the pandemic winds down. People are reevaluating their priorities, and social disconnection may be a contributing factor.

1. Manager Assessment-

Managers must establish accountability for individual performance, team collaboration, and customer value, Employees must understand how their work contributes to the organization's overall goal. These factors should be considered when deciding whether to work on-site, remotely, or on a hybrid schedule. Most importantly, every organization requires a culture in which people are engaged and feel a sense of belonging.

2. Redefine Career growth-

The definition of career growth is different for everybody and is more than money or bonuses. For many people, career growth is:

  • More time off to rewind
  • Work-life balance that allows more time with friends and family
  • More leadership responsibility
  • A change in job title
  • Opportunities to upskill or develop new skills
  • Recognition and appreciation

3. Make processes easier-

Excessive paperwork and lengthy processes with multiple handoffs drain your workday, forcing you to work unpaid overtime and spend more time away from your family than necessary. As a result, high performers do not tolerate it. They simply find startups that recognize the importance of providing their employees with adequate ownership and automation.

4. Give breaks -

Heet Tike, the co-founder of Ripen, told us “We've sort of made the mindfulness time off a compulsory thing for everyone in the company that everyone has to at least take one hour a day off. You can go DND anytime, it's not supposed to be a common time every day because that's the way you will get into that routine. And there is a new hire and she's very happy with this like she or she just caught up on mindfulness, but like the point is that you know, that's the time we don't bother that person at all. You can be deep working, or you can be not working on anything but you're not like the idea that one hour of the day through the day doesn't work. Because I think that's relaxing. Your mind is very important right now. So this mindfulness is something that we're trying to do.”

One of my colleagues told me “I wasn’t taking enough leaves and my manager asked me during my 1-1 that I should be taking more offs

Giving people time off helps them return with a fresh mind and work better.

5. Rewards and Benefits -

Many companies started taking “workactions” during the pandemic and working remotely from different locations. Employees must take breaks from their computers to avoid burnout. While wellness-related perks like fitness allowance and mental health days have grown in popularity during and after the pandemic, leaning too heavily on fleeting benefits can lead employers to overlook the fundamentals of the work experience. We need to understand that perks and benefits are important, but they should not be seen as an alternative to recognition and appreciation.

6. Regular feedback and Performance management -

Setting expectations from each profile and constantly exchanging feedback helps employees and managers work in the same direction.

To better understand how employees are feeling, organizations should frequently survey staff, going beyond productivity scores and seeking comments that help managers understand the full picture of engagement.

HR departments should conduct in-depth onboarding and offboarding to get a sense of what motivates employees and what drives them to leave.

It is important to recognize that people can be engaged and motivated at work without having to center their lives and identities on it.

Do you work in HR, and are open to having a chat? Email or DM @janwhyy on Twitter. For completely confidential conversations, ask Janhavi for her number.

What we are pondering on: