January 27, 2023

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The new workplace trend, known as quitting quietly, has caused office managers and employers to revolt over what to do to keep employees engaged and enthralled – just as companies were able to recover from the tumultuous conditions caused by the Great Resignation, in which nearly 19 million workers have left their jobs.

But even as workers quit their jobs en masse last year in hopes of switching careers or finding a more meaningful job elsewhere, quietly quitting has become the workplace trend that just won’t stop.

Unlike the big layoff, which simply meant employees quit their jobs because they felt burnt out, stressed and anxious stopping quietly resembles an attitude of setting limits and not taking work too seriously.

It’s a workplace trend that has inspired millions of workers to “act their wages,” requiring them to do only what is required of them and go no further than that.

Related: Employers Should Fear the Truth Behind Quiet Quitting. This is why.

It’s more than just stopping

After years of workplace redesign due to the pandemic and the onset of remote working, workers still appear to be quitting their jobs despite looming economic and financial uncertainty.

The Talkspace and The Harris Poll Employee Stress Check 2022 Report found that workers aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to experience high levels of stress and anxiety in their jobs, which can lead to factors such as burnout. At the same time, a Gallup study found that workers born after 1989 (55%) are less likely to be engaged in their work.

There is evidence that employees are quitting their jobs in the hopes of finding something more valuable and meaningful about 40% according to research from McKinsey. For others, quietly quitting the office has become a major headache for managers, human resources and employers alike.

It’s not quite possible to calmly stop in its tracks or to prevent it from spreading around the office like wildfire. However, there is room for proactive ways to quietly stop at the office.

Talk to employees

Any employee can become unengaged at work, and it’s even harder to assume someone will quietly quit based on their performance. Several factors can affect performance, from workload to work environment.

Managerial staff should take the time and effort to talk to employees to get a better picture and understanding of their possible withdrawal from work. Try to monitor employees’ stress levels and their current workload. This will help to understand whether an employee is simply overworked or is actively quitting.

Make an effort to invest in employee well-being – not only to improve office morale or company loyalty, but also to better understand where potential workplace challenges are causing employees to do the bare minimum.

Related: Quitting quietly is taking over the workforce. Here’s how to fix it.

Understand employee needs

Often and more than usual, employees who elicit feelings of quitting quietly will do so to get back at their employer or manager simply because they feel overworked and undervalued.

In this case, now is the ideal time to promote employee engagement through active conversations. The idea is not to simply talk about workplace pain, but to actively seek solutions to the problems with workable solutions.

Research shows that the way employers and managers treat their subordinates will make a big difference in whether people remain loyal to the company or begin to resemble traits of quitting quietly. In addition, employees who do not feel emotionally and psychologically involved with their employer are less likely to speak up about possible complaints.

The best and easiest solution in this case is to promote employee dialogue among those experiencing a lot of stress and burnout, sooner rather than later.

Calls for employee recognition

Often, employees become disinterested and disengaged from their work due to a lack of recognition. This helps to stimulate quiet stopping even more.

Employees who feel that their efforts are recognized, whether by their boss, manager or team members, will find it valuable to go above and beyond what is expected of them. Yet it is not easy for those in power to follow the acclaimed progress of a large team of employees.

It’s important to think about the kind of contribution that certain employees make and what they bring to the table during projects and team meetings. Employees disconnecting from projects and other teamwork impacts other employees and overall team performance.

In general, employers and managers, and in some cases HR, need to understand the impact employees make and how they actively contribute to the overall success of the company.

Related: From great resignation to quitting quietly, here’s why good people really leave and how to keep them.

Guiding employees in their career

Quitting quietly is often about making a career switch or taking on a new job without knowing how to do it successfully. In most cases, it is normal for employees to change jobs every now and then. But those who want to commit to a career change, without proper guidance, can often feel overwhelmed and anxious doing so.

Knowing that employees are willing to make a career switch or find a new job should be a time when employers or managers can help with career management advice. For many employees, jumping into something unfamiliar is a fearful thought. To avoid silent quitters slowing progress and performance in the office, employers should help employees better manage their careers and prospects within the company.

Finish up

Stopping quietly won’t go away anytime soon. It is not possible to stop it dead before it enters your office. There comes a time when employers and managers need to step in to help assess employee well-being and performance based on their workload, commitment and loyalty to the company.

Silent quitters chasing the head is not the right way to handle the situation. Still, it is possible to effectively communicate with employees about their current working conditions and help promote a healthy work-life balance. Be more of a leader than a boss and advocate for employee well-being. It’s better to help employees, rather than abandon them to hurt your company’s bottom line.

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