Have you ever noticed an employee go from being seemingly engaged and motivated at work to simply going through the motions and doing the bare minimum?
Quiet quitting is a relatively new term that is being used to describe employees who take a step back from work. These employees will do no more than what’s absolutely necessary to fulfill their job requirements, and may even procrastinate where possible.
Although employees tend to view the trend as a way of improving their work-life balance, in reality, quiet quitting is a symptom of disengagement that’s often caused by poor management.
Corporate culture training programs can help to boost morale and engagement at work, but in order to tackle the impact of quiet quitting on office culture, it’s important to first understand what it is and what might be causing it.
What is quiet quitting?
Despite what the term might suggest, quiet quitting has nothing to do with employees actually quitting. Instead, it refers to chronic disengagement at work and is a form of protest by employees who feel that too much is being asked of them.
Employees who “quietly quit” will usually still show up to work on time and perform their basic job duties. However, as a result of no longer feeling connected to or engaged in their work, they will simply opt to not give their 100%.
According to a recent Gallup survey, so-called quiet quitters now make up at least 50% of the US workforce. It found that while the proportion of engaged workers remained at 32% during the second quarter of 2022, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged workers is now 1.8 to 1; the lowest it’s been in nearly a decade.
If it’s not addressed, quiet quitting can lead to widespread employee dissatisfaction and negatively impact workplace culture.
What is causing quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting is usually a sign that an employee is feeling dissatisfied, burnt out or underappreciated at work, but there are a few different reasons for why this may be the case. Let’s take a look.
- Desire for greater work-life balance: Employees may use quiet quitting as a way of establishing better boundaries and separating their work from their personal lives.
- Burnout and job dissatisfaction: When employees feel that they are being taken advantage of or that too much is being asked of them, they will often simply disengage.
- Lack of proper management: Quiet quitting can also be a response to poor management. Employees who haven’t been given any incentive to give their 100%, will respond by simply doing the bare minimum.
- Lack of support when working remotely: The Gallup survey found that employee engagement levels dropped since the pandemic. This could be down to the fact that many remote workers feel disconnected from their workplace or aren’t receiving the same level of support they once did.
How can companies help employees who are considering quiet quitting?
Although low employee engagement and quiet quitting can result from a number of problems within a workplace, the Gallup survey found that managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement.
This is good news, because it means that organizations can tackle the issue of quiet quitting by investing in the leadership skills of their managers and giving employees more choice in how, when and where they work. Here are a few of the most effective strategies organizations can implement in order to boost employee engagement.
No one likes to be micromanaged, and research shows that micromanagement at work can lead to low employee morale, high staff turnover and reduced productivity. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure employees are given autonomy and receive positive reinforcement rather than micromanagement.
Embrace hybrid work environments
Hybrid work environments allow employees to work in the way that best suits them. Some employees may prefer to have more face-to-face interaction with clients and colleagues, whereas others will feel more productive when they’re able to work at a time that suits them, either from home or another environment such as a coffee shop or coworking space.
Focus on improving company culture
Corporate culture training programs are a good first step towards improving company culture, as they can open up critical conversations about areas of improvement in the workplace and are crucial for setting and implementing goals.
Looking to improve your company culture and attract talent from across the world? Berlitz offers a variety of corporate culture training programs to help organizations maximize performance and leverage both cultural differences and similarities to make their business attractive to global clients. Find out more.