Hot Topic – ‘Quiet Quitting’ and what to do about it

The term ‘quiet quitting’ has been doing the rounds lately, thanks to social media and TikTok in particular. 

‘Quiet quitting’ is the concept of employees choosing to disengage from their work. Often going hand in hand with employee burnout, it is when employees become disengaged from their work and choose to carry out the bare minimum of their duties.

Some may view the idea of quiet quitting as a sign of serious dissatisfaction within the workforce, whereas others may view it in a different light, and that it only highlights that work should be a part of one’s life, rather than taking over. 

However, this ‘trend’ is nothing new. Think “Work to Rule” a trade union term which can incur a reduction in productivity. Whatever the view, the practice of ‘quiet quitting’ is something that employers should be taking notice of.

There are many reasons that workers may choose to quietly quit. For example, lack of career growth, poor pay or an unmanageable workload may cause an employee to become disengaged. 

Perhaps recent global events may have spurred on the practice further or prompted more and more people to question their career and work-life balance choices?

When an employee does ‘quietly quit,’ the disengagement can come in many guises – for example, reduced productivity, failure to attend meetings or engage in team projects, arriving late and/or leaving early. 

Quiet Quitting may occur when an employee feels undervalued in the workplace. They may feel their work-life balance is becoming problematic and that they are experiencing burnout. By dialling down the work effort, employees may feel as though they are deprioritising their jobs and redressing the balance. By disconnecting in this way, it allows workers to maintain their current salary whilst looking for a new opportunity and avoid the stress of handing in their resignation prior to having a new role to go to.

How can you prevent your workforce from quiet quitting?

The key here is to improve employee experience, and for employers to have a discussion with staff to find out how as an employer they can help them feel valued, supported, and appreciated. Perhaps some regular words of encouragement will go a long way. Others might be bored and looking to take the next step in their career, so providing them with a challenge can help them to progress themselves further?

Employees need to feel part of a bigger picture, to have autonomy and control, and to feel psychologically safe – all the things that we know make a good day at work.” Its highly important for employers to ensure staff have realistic workloads, appropriate boundaries in place as well as prioritising one’s mental health.

What can you do when you notice quiet quitting taking place in your organisation?

Experts agree that it should clear when someone within the organisation is quiet quitting as there will be a noticeable decline in their efforts and disengagement from the wider workforce.

Some employers may approach this as a conduct issue, but looking into this more deeply it maybe that meeting with the employee to understand why they are feeling disengaged and whether there is anything that can be done to rectify the situation may be a more effective approach.

What are your thoughts on the term ‘quiet quitting’? Is it simply a new ‘buzz word,’ or has the pandemic resulted in an increase in this behaviour within organisations? 

If you are curious about this topic and have questions on how to manage this area then please do get in touch by calling Tara 07983 936747 or email 

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