'Quiet quitting - what are your employees trying to tell you?' written over image of young woman at desk looking fed up

‘Quiet quitting’ – What are your employees trying to tell you?

If you’ve been on LinkedIn over the past few months, you’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘quiet quitting’ – but what does it actually mean? Put simply, it’s employees doing the bare minimum to get by in their job and completely lacking enthusiasm for the role. This trend of listlessness sounds like a recent phenomenon, but whether or not this is just putting a name to an existing employee mindset is up for debate – you may have previously heard of this in the more extreme form of ‘work-to-rule’ (doing no more than the minimum requirement of a job as a form of protest).

An unhappy employee may not be enjoying the job, leading to less productivity – so it’s a lose-lose situation. Quiet quitting can be a sure sign that an employee is readying themselves to leave a company, so what can you do to identify the behaviours and ensure your staff are satisfied?

Why do people quiet quit?

Generally speaking, employees outwardly ‘checking out’ is a symptom of job dissatisfaction. From feeling underpaid to a toxic culture, there are many reasons that your workplace could be subject to quiet quitters, including:

  • Reward – A lack of reward in return for the work is a biggie, as no matter how much an employee enjoys the job, if their salary, benefits, and acknowledgement from peers and managers don’t reflect the work they put in, feeling undervalued and deflated is inevitable.
  • Progression – Feeling stuck from a lack of progression within a workplace is another motivation-killer. If years are passing with no promotion, skills development, or opportunities in the foreseeable future, your employees may be doing the least they can get away with while searching for alternative employment.
  • Work environment – if the day to day experience for your employees is in any way uncomfortable or understimulating, their interest could start flagging. From an unfriendly or even hostile atmosphere between staff to a generally negative or indifferent vibe, never underestimate the importance of a healthy, positive workplace mood.

With the pandemic giving people perspective, highlighting existing issues, and introducing working from home to so many companies, we’ve all had more reason than ever to be reflecting on what makes us happy. If employees are having an epiphany of being unhappy with any aspects of work, your employee retention could suffer.

The warning signs

Occasionally it can seem like staff leave or stop going above and beyond out of the blue, and in all fairness, sometimes they do! Personal issues can arise at any point in a person’s life and sometimes it can be difficult to intervene and help to boost your employee. But employees seeming detached at work and losing passion for what they’re doing can be a huge red flag telling you that they’ve become disinterested in their role.

Some behaviours that could indicate a quiet quitting mindset could be general quietness around the office, a lack of enthusiasm throughout the working day, and refusing to participate in social activities outside of work. While there could be many reasons for individuals acting in this way, getting to the bottom of it could ensure happy employees and a cohesive, productive team. So keep an eye out for despondent staff and be vigilant for anyone seeming unhappy specifically around work, as at the end of the day it’s better for everyone if the whole team is happy!

How to Solve

At this point, if you’ve gotten the impression that an employee is quiet quitting, you may feel that you’ve already lost them – but that’s not necessarily the case. Obviously prevention is the most effective tool at your disposal, but for those times when people slip through the cracks or don’t communicate issues explicitly, you can still win them back by addressing the problem head on.

Taking a step back, looking at why can inform you what action is needed to help reignite your employees’ passion. If they feel undervalued or underpaid, looking at salary, benefits, and reward schemes could be your solution. Something as simple as acknowledging an employee’s achievements and encouraging peer-to-peer recognition can go a long way. If the employee is feeling stuck, could meetings be organised to discuss progression and training to develop skills? Or if it’s the environment as a whole that feels hostile or uncomfortable, the office culture could be what needs a reevaluation.

A good way to keep up-to-date and informed with workplace satisfaction and employee engagement is implementing regular anonymous surveys and feedback so that staff feel they can freely voice any concerns without being reprimanded. Essentially, creating positive associations around your company can be fruitful for a variety of reasons, such as company reputation, recruitment, and employee retention. My Staff Shop looks at Employee Value Proposition (EVP) as a priority, ensuring that your people know that you’re interested in keeping them happy and rewarding adequately.

If you’re looking for ways to show employees how much you value them, learn more about our extensive rewards program, with plenty of benefits to boost staff morale and incentivise work?

My Staff Shop give all this and so much more. Read our White Paper to discover more or, if you prefer, request a demonstration for yourself now.

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