The ‘quiet quitting’ trend has taken the internet by storm. It is basically when workers are no longer engaged at work, so they simply fulfill their job description. They do the work they are required to do, but they don’t go above and beyond for their employers.
Employees and HR experts have taken to social media to debate whether this trend is a good or a bad thing. Many have suggested that employees shouldn’t go above and beyond without extra compensation, but the issue, according to Gallup, is that “most jobs today require some level of extra effort to collaborate with coworkers and meet customer needs”.
Gallup has surveyed more than 15,000 US employees and found that half of them are ‘quiet quitting’ or are not engaged at work. While 32% are engaged with their work, and 18% are actively disengaged.
The latter group – the so-called ‘loud quitters’ – are those whose needs at work are consistently unmet and they are more vocal about their dissatisfaction.
Gallup found that the ratio of engaged to disengaged workers was the lowest in the decade; 1.8 engaged to 1 disengaged.
Younger workers (Gen Z and millennials) are the most disengaged. The percentage of engaged workers under the age of 35 dropped 6 percentage points between 2019 and 2022, while the number of actively disengaged grew 6 percentage points over the same period.
There was also a 10 percentage point drop in those who strongly agree that someone cares about them at work, or someone encouraged their development.
The research further found that most of those of all generations who are either not engaged or actively disengaged are already looking for a new job – thereby proving that ‘quiet quitting’ is more than disengaged workers plodding along at their jobs, rather employees may eventually resign.
How to stop ‘quiet quitting’ in its tracks
This situation begs the question, what must employers tackle ‘quiet quitting’ and stop it contributing to their company’s high attrition rates?
Given that Gallup sees poor management as the core of the ‘quiet quitting’ trend, the polling company recommends that organizations focus on upskilling managers to better support their direct reports.
Managers need to feel more comfortable having conversations about why employees are disengaged and burnt out. The best way to do this, according to Gallup, is for managers to have one meaningful meeting for 15 to 30 minutes per week with every direct report.
Another concern for employees, and particularly younger workers, is that they don’t know what is expected of them, and they don’t feel like their work has meaning and purpose.
It is a manager’s job to sit down with workers to discuss their individual and team goals, and how these feed into the company’s broader strategy and purpose.
Now is the time to take action on ‘quiet quitting’. The ‘Great Resignation‘ is going nowhere despite the cost of living crisis, so make sure you don’t risk losing your talent and worsen your attrition crisis.
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