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Everything you need to know about tackling Quiet Quitting in your workplace

Whether your business has fully embraced remote working or has established a hybrid of office and home working, it's likely your employees are enjoying the flexibility your company continues to afford them long after the pandemic moved on. However, there's now a new challenge that employers must look out for and remote working is a major cause. It's called "quiet quitting".

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting is when an employee appears to be working, but they're actually only putting in the minimum effort required in order to keep their job and collect a salary. This means they're not contributing any of the enthusiasm and energy that they used to and have mentally "checked out", in some cases, using the time they've saved by doing less work for you to take on a second job and another line of income.

Why are people quietly quitting?

We've already mentioned that quiet quitting can free up time for those in need of additional income to take on a second job; something growing in popularity due to the cost of living crisis. But there are other reasons.

The pandemic caused fatigue for many people. It changed their working life beyond recognition, it may have reduced their responsibilities and may have lost them colleagues too. And, thanks to reduced time in the office, many are feeling disconnected from their job and colleagues.

Not only that but the mental health crisis continues to worsen and this can have a huge impact on productivity and focus.

The last reason is boredom. Without the commute, the banter, and the travel to meetings – there is more time in the working day to get work done and that feeling of not being busy can be very demotivating. So what can be done about it?

How do you identify employees who are quietly quitting?

Here are some tell-tale Quiet Quitting signs to look out for:

  • Decreased productivity. If someone used to be very productive but their output has suddenly dropped, this could be a sign they're no longer putting in the same effort.

  • A lack of enthusiasm and focus on the job. If a once enthused employee has lost their spark and no longer invests in their job, this could be another sign.

  • Increased errors and mistakes. Without care or focus on the job, more mistakes will inevitably be made.

  • A request to work from home a lot more often, or a refusal to return to the office as frequently as you'd like them to.

  • A lack of presence on team calls or a continued lack of communication.

  • An increase in the number of sick days

  • A lack of engagement with colleagues and team tasks.

What can you do as an employer to manage the situation?

There are a couple of things you can do as an employer to tackle quiet quitting head-on.

First, you need to take steps to understand why your employees are putting in less effort or appear less engaged. Armed with this knowledge, you’re in a much better position to act accordingly or provide help where needed.

In addition to this, ensure regular check-ins are put In place, both as a team and one-on-one with your direct reports. This will allow you to identify any issues quickly and address them before it becomes a bigger problem.

If productivity has really dipped, you have a right as an employer to reiterate your expectations of your staff. This could be done by referring back to their performance plan or targets and flagging any areas that need improvement.

We mentioned above that a change in productivity and engagement could be down to poor mental health. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff to support their mental well-being so make sure

you have proper support systems in place for employees who are struggling. Mental health issues can often be the root cause of quiet quitting, so make sure you have a way of providing support to those who need it either via internal coaches or external help.

If boredom is the cause, create opportunities for growth by providing training and development options and assign more challenging tasks that can help employees find a new purpose in their job. Don’t forget to also show recognition and appreciation for your employees’ hard work. This will help build morale and create a positive working environment.

Finally, give your employees a reason to want to reconnect with their colleagues and spend more time in the office with a special focus on team building. Remote working can lead to feelings of isolation amongst your staff and this shouldn't be neglected. Regular video calls or virtual team events will help everyone stay connected.

What are the consequences of not managing quitters effectively?

Ignoring the signs of quiet quitting can be damaging. Poor performance, lack of motivation, and unhappiness all have a knock-on effect on the rest of the team; leading to poor morale and productivity. If these issues aren't addressed quickly, it could lead to further disruption in your workplace.

Not only that but if you don't take the time to properly understand why someone is quiet quitting, then they may feel unsupported and unfairly treated. This can cause bigger problems in the future - from a damaged employer brand to potential legal action.

In conclusion, it is important for employers to stay alert and be aware of signs that their employees might be quietly quitting. By understanding the reasons why, providing support, and creating opportunities for growth, employers can prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. In this way, they will create a positive working environment and ensure their employees remain engaged and productive.

For more support on quiet quitting or any other people management issue, get in touch.

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