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The Silent Exit: Understanding Quiet Quitting

By Rob Numata


The Employer’s End


First introduced in 2022, "quiet quitting" is a buzzword that isn't losing viral traction. "Quiet quitting" describes the phenomenon where employees gradually lose their motivation and effort toward their work. Noteworthy is the distinction between employees who “quiet quit” versus those that are “checked out”. The key difference is intention; "checked-out" employees may be doing so unintentionally, while "quiet quitters" make a proactive choice to disengage from responsibilities. Instead of quitting immediately, they only do the bare minimum of their work, which can lead employers to perceive them as disengaged or unresponsive. Quiet quitters are typically dissatisfied with one or more aspects of their job and possibly biding their time until they find another opportunity outside the company.


How do businesses support employees who may be experiencing quiet quitting? The first step is to ensure that there is an open channel of communication between employees and leadership. Employees should feel that sharing their concerns and frustrations with their supervisors will not be met with repercussions. More so, they should receive support through a plan of action to alleviate the pain points. Weekly one-on-one check-ins with individual employees illustrate that management cares about employee well-being as much as the business’s bottom line.


Building the framework for a positive working relationship requires time, patience, and understanding on the management’s part. Understanding your employee as a person and giving them respect enables management to have an honest discussion with the employee if they notice that the employee has not been performing up to their previous ability.


Employees should feel comfortable expressing their concerns and frustrations with their supervisors without fear of negative repercussions, and management should proactively check in with employees to gauge their motivation levels before they reach the point of quiet quitting.


Perhaps the most important component for businesses is to recognize and reward an employee’s strong performance. Even if your business cannot provide monetary compensation for good performance, a verbal acknowledgment that their work is appreciated is more likely to keep them engaged and motivated than saying nothing.


The Employee’s End:


The principle of "quiet quitting" suggests that by intentionally lowering your performance, you are making a statement against a perceived toxic or excessively demanding work setting. The underlying idea is that this strategy reduces stress levels by minimizing emotional involvement. However, in reality, this approach simply shifts your emotional state from being stressed to feeling resentful about what you believe you deserve.

Therefore, if you want to enhance your mental well-being, there may be more effective solutions than quiet quitting. Talking to your manager or HR representative about your feelings is critical. They may be able to offer you support, such as additional training or mentoring,


If you are dissatisfied with your pay, you should meet with management to discuss creating a promotion pathway. This plan should outline specific, measurable skills and responsibilities you must work on to be considered for a pay raise.


It is worth considering that personal issues may be affecting your emotional state in the workplace. Have you been getting enough sleep, and are you participating in activities that bring you joy? Occasionally, an imbalanced lifestyle can result in burnout, causing disengagement and a lack of motivation at work. Ensure your mental well-being is prioritized by seeking support resources, such as counseling or therapy, if necessary.


Remember that your present job may serve as a launching pad to greater prospects in the future. Write down some professional goals for yourself. Just as a car requires continuous momentum to reach its destination, achieving your goals demands persistent effort. By proactively tackling obstacles, you cultivate vital communication and problem-solving skills, driving you closer to your desired destination.


For more information on tips and tricks for interviewing, please email us at jessica@gobehindthedesign.com or schedule a Discovery Call to discuss your

recruiting needs.

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