Quiet quitting: What it is and how to curb it

Quiet quitting: The phrase that rose to prominence over this past year and has a different meaning depending on whom you ask. For many employees, quiet quitting is defined as “acting your wage,” not going above and beyond, and doing the minimum that your job description (and salary) requires.

However, for some employers, quiet quitting holds a different sentiment. They define quiet quitting as employees slacking off, being difficult or no longer displaying enthusiasm in their roles. Whichever way you look at it, quiet quitting can be prevented, and we’ll give you a few examples on how to combat it.

Quiet quitting explained

We mentioned that quiet quitting can mean something different to both employees and their employers, but in truth, quiet quitting is nothing new. It’s a new term for when employee engagement drops and workers are no longer motivated to go above and beyond their job responsibilities. That is, simply doing the bare minimum needed to get by.

Employees turn to quiet quitting for several reasons, including:

  • Feeling like their efforts aren’t appreciated.

  • Being asked to do too much, leading to burnout.

  • Feeling disconnected from the company’s mission or purpose. 

  • Being denied a raise or turned down for a promotion.

  • Feeling like there are no opportunities for them to learn and grow.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, employees that may begin quietly quitting feel disengaged from the company, and that can lead to lower morale overall. Even though there is no sure way to prevent employees from moving on, rest assured there are ways to combat quiet quitting.

Ways to prevent quiet quitting

One of the biggest causes of quiet quitting stems from employees feeling disengaged from their company. So, we’ve gathered the top nine ways to help keep your employees engaged—and prevent quiet quitting in the process.

Schedule regular one-on-one meetings

Meet with each employee at least every other week for about 15-30 minutes to check in with them on how they’re doing and their capacity (meetings can occur both at work and outside of work).

1. Allow for flexibility

If your business can swing it, offer flexibility in employee work schedules—this includes supporting virtual workspaces. Focus less on the amount of time spent and more on the quality of work produced.

2. Make raises a priority

When an employee’s job responsibilities grow, so should their compensation. It’s important to keep pay competitive with current living standards and market rates.

3. Respect work-life balance

Set strict timeframes for work hours, encourage taking breaks for mental health during the workday and don’t expect communication after hours.

4. Provide regular performance reviews

Make it a point to meet with your employees at least once a year (more if possible). This offers dedicated time to thoughtfully give staff detailed feedback so they can make improvements, and you can highlight the strides they’ve made since their last review.

5. Reduce unnecessary meetings

Everyone’s time is valuable, so before scheduling a meeting, consider whether it’s worth taking time away from the tasks at hand. If it can be handled via a Teams or Slack message, do that instead.

6. Invest in employee growth

Encourage employees to develop in their careers and create opportunities for them by offering free training or leadership programs.

7. Recognize employees

Reward employees for any positive impact they’re making in your company. Whether it’s a public shoutout, a bonus or a promotion, employees need to know you value their work.

8. Encourage self-care and using vacation time

Ensure that your team focuses on their mental health by promoting self-care and insisting they use their vacation time. Taking a break from the daily grind encourages motivation and creativity.

Summing it up

While it’s important to recognize the signs of quiet quitting, it’s even more essential to prevent it from happening in the first place. Consistently check in with your team, listen to and supply feedback, encourage them to grow, and make them feel valued and appreciated. 

These small steps will help you keep your top performers motivated and engaged. And it will make them want to stick around for the long haul! 

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