Until fairly recently, it seems, no one had heard of quiet quitting. It’s unlikely, however, that you haven’t heard the term in the past six months or so, as it’s something that, as we’ve emerged from the pandemic and often having no choice but to work from home, has been identified more and more in our workplaces.
You may be thinking, what is quiet quitting? Also known as a silent resignation, it refers to a situation where an employee becomes disengaged from their job and gradually reduces their efforts and commitment without making their feelings or intentions clear to either their employer or colleagues. There are no specific rules or guidelines for quiet quitting, but it is generally considered unprofessional and disrespectful toward the employer.
Instead of a formal resignation letter or a conversation about their intention to leave, the employee may simply reduce their level of involvement, productivity, and enthusiasm. So how, if that is the case, do you as an employer spot the signs of quiet quitting, and what can you do about it?
Gradual disengagement: quiet quitting typically involves a gradual decline in an employee's level of motivation, productivity, and commitment. An employee that has, until this point, been engaged and keen to progress may start neglecting tasks, missing deadlines, or showing a general lack of interest.
Evading responsibility: employees who are quiet quitting may reject the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities or new projects. They may begin to show little interest in team efforts and withhold knowledge or expertise from colleagues.
Lack of participation: quiet quitters may avoid actively participating in meetings, discussions, or team activities. They may become silent observers, not sharing ideas or offering input.
Reduced social interaction: employees may withdraw socially and limit their interactions with colleagues, stop participating in casual conversations and isolate themselves from the team.
There can be a number of reasons why an employee decides to quietly quit their job. It might be dissatisfaction with the work environment, lack of career growth opportunities, conflicts with colleagues or management, or personal reasons.
Quiet quitting can have negative consequences for both the employee and the employer. If an employee was once a valued member of the team, it suggests they are unhappy and dissatisfied with their prospects and opportunities at work. For their employers, it means a decline in an employee’s performance and reduced productivity and will potentially affect the morale of other team members.
While it is easy to think that someone who is quiet quitting is generally unprofessional and disruptive as an employer, it needs to be recognised and, if possible, understood how to re-engage or motivate the individual in question.
If possible, try to get employees to engage in open and honest conversations with their managers or HR representatives about their concerns. This may well help address issues and find potential solutions. There may be an alternative career path within the company, or when highlighted, may make the employee consider whether they want to remain in their current role. Either way, bringing the issues out in the open may be the catalyst that’s needed to bring about change.
If you’re experiencing this behaviour, speak to the ACS Staffing Solutions team about how we can support you in the search for new talent.
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