Tis the Season to Be Jolly: So Why Are So Many Employees Quiet Quitting?

Company Culture

Quiet Quitting in the Workplace - Santa Shushing

Business leaders everywhere are scrambling to find new and inventive ways to retain their employees and improve workplace culture. The days of mailing out holiday cards and throwing an office Christmas party are no longer enough to spread cheer. The phenomenon of “quiet quitting” has recently taken the workforce and social media by storm. And no other business department has been under more pressure to keep up with this fast pace of change than human resources.

The days of employees standing up at their desks to suddenly announce, “I quit!” are over (and okay sure, maybe that’s not such a bad thing). But quiet quitting in the workplace makes it almost impossible for a manager to know that a person has quit or is just doing the bare minimum until they simply stop showing up to work. Unnerving, right? So what can be done to settle the score and make it so that your employees want to stay?

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is nothing more than a new phrase for an old concept: It describes employees who are towing the line between burnout and loyalty to the company. Put plainly, quiet quitting in the workplace happens when employees are disengaged and no longer interested in what the company has to offer. They have one foot out the door at all times. Quiet quitters are content to cash their paychecks and clear their inbox—nothing more. They won’t volunteer to help out a colleague who’s in the weeds or plan a happy hour to celebrate team birthdays.

According to an industry study, 1 out of 3 quiet quitters have reduced their hours by 50 percent and 21 percent claim to only do the bare minimum of work required. Some organizations blame remote work for quiet quitting, believing it has given employees a way to hide their complacency. While this may be partially true, the reality is that quiet quitting has always been a thing. Now we just have a name for it. So what’s really to blame for this new trending topic?

Is Your Corporate Culture Naughty or Nice?

Corporate culture is a major factor behind why employees are quiet quitting in the workplace. An overwhelming majority of quiet quitters admit that they could be motivated to work harder. So does this mean corporate HR policies are outdated and no longer meeting the demands of employee wellbeing? Are decision-makers cutting down on spending and choosing not to invest in human capital management (HCM) technology? Or are business leaders simply not paying close enough attention to the individualized needs of their staff? All of these questions are valid and it all boils down to one thing: your people.

It’s important for employers to support employees in all aspects of their personal and work lives. Workplace wellness programs are a win-win for both employers and employees. Employees who participate in wellness programs tend to be more fit, more productive and have higher morale than employees who do not otherwise treat or address their health conditions. A Forbes article indicates that 62 percent of employees identified mental health and wellness benefits as a key factor in deciding whether to stay on with a company. It’s not enough to just offer a few extra days of vacation or a day out of the office for team building exercises. That’s like putting a bandaid on an open wound. The only thing you’ve done is cover it up. How are you planning to treat the issue? 

3 Ways to Make Spirits Bright With Employee Engagement

Reduce quiet quitting in the workplace and improve retention by showing (and proving) that there is a future with your company. Give your employees a reason to stay. People tend to show up to a place where they feel valued and respected.

Here are three ways to brighten the spirits of your employees this holiday season and beyond:

1. Actively Engage

Having meaningful conversations with your employees can build trust and camaraderie. Unfortunately, many managers are saddled with so many competing responsibilities that it can be challenging to spend adequate time actively engaging with their people. Even the best managers need to spend more time having 1:1 wellbeing discussions, career pathing and aligning business objectives with employee needs and contributions.

2. Create Purpose-Driven Work

Let’s face it; no one employee is the same. As a business leader, you hire your people for the unique set of skills they bring to the table. It was their individual talents that got them through the door. So why is it that they are now ready to walk back out if it? You may be guilty of forcing your employees to trade what they are naturally qualified to do, for a set of skills they had to manufacture in order to handle their current workload.

Purpose-driven work is work that brings out the best in your employees and therefore produces high-yielding results that bring out the best in your business. Just because someone has a background in accounting doesn’t mean they want to spend all of their time sorting through back taxes for your organization. Many job roles and positions are multi-purpose and have many different facets and functionalities. Are you utilizing the skills of your employees in a way that makes them feel useful or used?

3. Allow Room for Autonomy

Micromanagement is a huge turnoff for employees. Nobody likes someone constantly looking over their shoulder or requesting daily progress reports. You hired your employees to do a job – so let them do it. A week filled with staff meetings that could have been an email takes away from your employees’ ability to feel productive. Any great business leader knows that productivity is a top KPI, so don’t do anything to hinder it. Give your employees the space they need to be successful, while also being sure to keep your door open for any questions or concerns.

Resolve Quiet Quitting With Quanta

At Quanta, we pride ourselves on being more than just a provider; we’re a partner. Our employee lifecycle specialists help you manage your most valuable asset (employees) from pre-hire to retire. You shouldn’t allow the backend of your business to slow growth or impede employee success. That’s why we’ve created an all-in-one solution to manage the employee lifecycle. Our HCM suite, separated into HR, time and attendance and payroll modules makes your business – and the lives of your staff – easier. Contact us to learn more about how your business can be a force for good when leaders step up and give back to employees, the community and ultimately, to the organization.

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