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Quiet Quitting

What is Quiet Quitting?

  • Omer Usanmaz
  • January 30 2023

The work culture is changing dynamically. Workers are required to shift their working style in the competitive market, to make their efforts effective. In other words, it depends greatly on what they produce each hour and how productive they are. A strong workforce is a mark of successful businesses and their scaling in the future. But what is the most challenging phase of managing workers? While working harder earns workers more money, coasting earns them less. But for many reasons, workplaces witness cold cooperation from their workers, which majorly impacts the accurate representation of businesses and how it operates.

Quiet quitting is a phrase that has recently gained much popularity after the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees who are only at a job for income and aren't emotionally or intellectually engaged have recently made silent resignation. It's important to perform the absolute least rather than going "above and beyond." When your manager sees that you're putting in a lot of effort, you're more likely to receive raises and promotions.

Some people are not entirely certain that the tendency even exists. What people now refer to as "silent resigning" is adding to the quiet quitting trend. Since the beginning of labor, people have yearned for more purpose and a life outside their job. Therefore, the stronger desire from an increasing number of individuals has changed, causing the conversation to flow into the public dialogue, with social media serving as a real catalyst and reaching a larger audience. Some individuals might find the expression "quiet quitting" a little cynical because it seems to imply that people don't care about their jobs and have succeeded in quitting them in their minds so they can concentrate on what matters in life.

How Does Quiet Quitting Work?

The term "quiet quitting" refers to leaving your job after only doing the least amount of work required. As a result, it is a misnomer because the employee maintains their job and continues to get paid. Quiet resignation became a well-publicized trend in the US and other countries in the early 2020s, partly due to social media. However, some observers have questioned if it's a recent occurrence and how widespread it is.

Employees who put little more effort into their jobs than is strictly necessary are called "silent quitting." However, Skeptics query those figures and whether silent resignation is a recent phenomenon or merely a new label for employee dissatisfaction. While quiet quitters continue to fulfill their primary obligations as mentioned in their job description, they are less willing to engage in what is known as citizenship behaviors: no more staying late, showing up early, or being part of non-mandatory meetings. This observation was made in a September 2022 Harvard Business Review article intended to explain the quiet quitting phenomenon to concerned executives.

Managers' responses to the phenomenon have been conflicted. Some people have been understanding, partly because it has been challenging to replace quiet quitters in recent years due to the tight job market. Others have reacted to employees quitting discreetly by announcing their termination loudly or quietly.

Why Do People Quiet Quit?

Quiet quitting has long been creating a disconnect between employees and tampering employee experience of those who enthusiastically join the workplace with the thought of being productive. Some workplaces contribute to quitting quietly by making work so miserable that the person feels forced to leave. Poor management and the latest hustle culture largely contribute to people feeling burned out and exasperated to take a break for their physical and mental health. Allowing employees to recoup their health and providing enough sick time is essential for not creating disengaged employees and nurturing employee relationships.

The phrase "silent quitting" is now used to describe actions taken outside of the organizational culture, such as ending relationships and marriages. How workers spend their non-office hours is important to maintain the work-life balance and prevent quiet quitting because of personal issues. Managers should have at least one meaningful conversation per week to understand employee issues and do what they can to make workers go the extra mile. Successful managers dedicate extra effort and time from their primary responsibilities to encourage and add value to the worker's employment.

Can You Get Fired for Quiet Quitting?

Though managers can fire you if you don't fulfill your job duties, millions worldwide have faced layoffs for no reason. Since companies understand the importance of employee retention as one primary factor for success, many are working towards shaping a work culture that focuses on employee wellbeing. However, some firms may take action when the company faces global issues or challenges, such as economic downturns or inflation. However, they cannot discharge you unfairly or discharge you:

  • If you legitimately missed employment because of your race, gender, nationality, disability, religion, or age (for example, jury duty or medical leave)
  • If you speak up about discrimination or harassment
  • If you have an employment agreement and its terms specify how and when your work will cease,
  • If a whistleblower statute has your back

Signs Your Employer Is Thinking of Laying You Off

Employers should consider limiting employees' enthusiasm and curbing employee engagement in many ways. Ensure to look for the following signs: 

  • They do not compliment or criticize you.
  • Your raises are 3% or less, whereas those of your colleagues are higher.
  • They don't talk about chances for development or advancement.
  • Your supervisor does not assign you any interesting or novel projects.
  • Your employer frequently reschedules or cancels your regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Your employer fails to tell you the necessary information for carrying out your obligations.

Your employer's answer to your silent resignation may be a quiet termination. They may have cause to fire you if you are not completing your expected obligations (or perhaps doing marginally). In addition, if a corporation implements layoffs, it might concentrate on the poor performers.

How to Make Sure You Are Not Seen as a Quiet Quitter

Not everyone wants to work hard for the next raise or promotion, but not everyone wants to be seen as a quiet quitter. Every aspect of office life should distinguish between self-proclaimed, burned-out, or bored workers and engaged workers. Core tasks should also include many ways to define you as not a quiet quitter such as:

  • Discussing and clarifying your work description with your manager can demonstrate that you attempted to live up to (and even exceed) expectations.
  • Ask your manager to check in with you regularly. Before the meeting, prepare some questions and subjects, and make notes about your manager's responses.
  • Keep lines of communication open with your management so that you may update them on your activities and the status of the projects you have been given.
  • Demonstrate that you are working hard and doing more than just the bare minimum.

Other Options Besides Quiet Quitting

Consider your motivations if you're thinking about quietly resigning. Is it really about you and striking a good work-life balance? Or if you're dissatisfied with your job or don't feel like you fit into the company's culture. Quietly giving up has options.

  • Apply for a new position or a transfer at your place of employment.
  • If you wish to work from home full-time, ask your manager about remote work options or hybrid work, which allows you to work from home occasionally.
  • Actively leave your position and look for one with a different work environment.

In conclusion, companies cannot discharge "at-will" workers for any reason. However, you should seek counsel from an employment law attorney if you believe your termination was motivated by discrimination or another illegal act.

Finding an Effective Solution to Quiet Quitting: Contributing to Organizational Success

Top hierarchical leaders should always monitor employee advantages and core job duties and introduce whatever works best for the benefit of employees from quiet quitting. On the other hand, there should be a balance to combat quiet quitting and not enduring low performance of employees. One clever solution will be to be involved at every level and take feedback on how things work. Another is introducing what works for the company and the workers to save time and effort, such as a hybrid workplace.

Quiet quitting must be identified at the right time with the right strategies. This must be a continuous process to ensure organizational success.

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