Are burned-out employees quiet quitting their jobs?
6 December 2022 | 3 mins read
- HR resources
Following the Great Resignation of 2021 and antiwork movements, employees today are increasingly engaging in a new phenomenon termed ‘quiet quitting’ or ‘silent quitting’.
This involves employees gradually distancing themselves from their roles without actually resigning, but choosing to do only the bare minimum required in their job description.
Quiet quitting has become the new way employees are deciding to take a stand against their current workplace culture and conditions and has led to reduced engagement and productivity as well as increased employee turnover.
The trend of silent quitting has gotten some mixed reviews over the years: some people believe that it is simply employees finally advocating for their needs in the workplace, while others view it as employees shirking their responsibilities. But what is behind this sudden shift in quitting behavior?
What causes employees quiet quitting? And is it preventable?
In this post, we’ll explore the origins of quiet quitting, its causes and implications, and how employers can prevent employees from quiet quitting.
What is quiet quitting, anyway?
It’s the phenomenon of employees simply only do what is required of them in their job description and nothing else – no extra hours, no extra effort. It’s a form of passive resistance that employees do to show their dissatisfaction with their job, and it can easily go undetected by employers because employees are still technically doing their job correctly.
Quiet quitting is a growing trend among employees, likely due in part to increasing levels of burnout in the workplace. From employees feeling overwhelmed and undervalued in their current role, to employees feeling like they’re just “spinning their wheels” in an unfulfilling job – the reasons for employees quiet quitting are varied and numerous.
With the current economic downturn, employees may also feel like they’re stuck in their current job and don’t have the luxury of leaving for a new one. So instead, employees turn to quiet quitting as a way of expressing their dissatisfaction with their role.
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The employee burnout to quiet quitting pipeline
It’s no secret that burnout and loss of interest in work is a major problem in the workplace. Employees that are feeling burned out lack motivation and enthusiasm for their work, which can quickly lead to employees slipping into quiet quitting mode once it’s clear that no changes or improvements will be made.
And once that happens, you can pretty much kiss goodbye any chance of employees showing up to work with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and energy.
In addition to quiet quitting, prolonged employee burnout can lead to employees feeling ever more dissatisfied with their job and even eventually leaving the company. Then employers are forced to scramble to replace employees and bear the cost of hiring and training a new one.
But what causes employees to burnout in the first place?
From employees feeling overwhelmed and undervalued in their current role, to employees feeling like they’re just “spinning their wheels” in an unfulfilling job – the reasons for employees burning out are varied and can be difficult to pinpoint.
It could be a lack of recognition or appreciation from management or a lack of growth opportunities. It could also be employees being given too much work or employees feeling like their opinions and ideas are not valued by management. It could be a toxic work environment filled with stress and negativity.
Whatever the cause, employees that suffer from burnout can quickly slip into a state of quiet quitting, which can have serious implications for employers.
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3 things employers can do to manage quiet quitting
So what can employers do to prevent employees from quietly quitting?
The best way for employers to avoid employees quiet quitting is to be proactive in addressing the underlying causes of burnout and disengagement. This could mean taking steps such as reducing workloads, providing employees with more autonomy or flexibility in their role, offering employees support and training opportunities, or creating a better work-life balance.
In addition, employers can take steps to make employees feel valued and appreciated for the work that they do. This could include praising employees for their hard work, offering rewards or recognition for employees’ accomplishments, and providing employees with feedback on their performance.
Finally, employers should ensure that employees are provided with the tools and resources they need to be successful in their role. This could include providing employees with updated technology, training employees on how to use that technology, and offering employees access to mentors or other experienced workers who can provide guidance and support.
By taking these proactive steps, employers can ensure that employees feel valued and appreciated in their role and prevent employees from slipping into quiet quitting mode.