HR Glossary / Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is when an employee does the bare minimum; performing only the tasks they are assigned, without going beyond their manager’s expectations.


Why does quiet quitting happen?

Employees will practice quiet quitting to restore their work-life balance. They don’t really want to leave their jobs. They simply no longer subscribe to the culture of overwork. They decide to do the bare minimum required of them so as not to exhaust themselves.

Some employees also engage in quiet quitting as a way of speaking out against the injustices they feel. Some workers don’t feel that their efforts are recognized at their true value. So, they will decide to stop going beyond their employer’s expectations, as a show of their dissatisfaction.

The phenomenon of quiet quitting has intensified with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who are the employees who engage in quiet quiting?

There are generally two types of employees who will quiet quit:

  • Employees who are still committed to their jobs or employers but refuse to go the extra mile to exceed expectations. They prefer to prioritize their personal lives.
  • Employees who disengage from their jobs and are looking for new ones. These employees will usually end up leaving their job to find one that suits them better.

How to know if an employee is practicing quiet quitting

Behaviors that can signal an employee is quiet quitting include:

  • Following schedules to the exact minute
  • Refusing to help coworkers
  • Not participating in social events put on by the employer
  • Refusing to work overtime
  • Refusing to perform any duties not listed in their contract
  • Showing low motivation and commitment to their work

What is the link between quiet quitting and the labor shortage?

The labor shortage has changed the balance of power between employees and employers. Employees find themselves in a position of greater power since they can easily find another job if they must. In this context, they are more comfortable showing their dissatisfaction with their employer.

Quiet quitting is one of the ways employees express their dissatisfaction when they do not feel rewarded or fully appreciated.

What is the difference between quiet quitting and burnout?

Quiet quitting is a method that employees use to avoid overwork and to restore balance between their professional and personal lives.

Burnout, for its part, is a syndrome of work overload that leads an employee to cease working for some time.

What’s the difference between quiet quitting and the Great Resignation?

With quiet quitting, employees do not necessarily want to leave their jobs. They are content to stay on the job and do the absolute minimum.

In the case of the Great Resignation, employees actually leave their jobs to work for another employer or in another field.

How can you fight quiet quitting as a manager?

Managers can apply several solutions to combat quiet quitting within their teams, such as:

  • ·  Offering greater flexibility
  • ·  Prioritizing employee well-being
  • ·  Acknowledging their own mistakes
  • ·  Restoring trust with their team
  • ·  Helping employees better manage their stress
  • ·  Active listening
  • ·  Examining and changing their staff management practices
  • ·  Offering the possibility of telworking
  • ·  Being more empathetic

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