Since the fall of 2022 the concept of “Quiet quitting” has been the subject of much debate in the workplace and in the media. This notion of “silent quitting” consists of an increasingly widespread attitude among employees who, without quitting their jobs, decide to make only the minimum effort necessary to accomplish their daily tasks, and nothing more.
There are many reasons and manifestations of this phenomenon, pushing companies to look for ways to re-mobilize and re-engage their staff…
To better understand this trend, it is essential to examine its origins and its consequences on the world of work.
What is “QUIET QUITTING”?
Quiet quitting” can be defined as an attitude adopted by employees who do not quit their jobs but choose not to put in any additional effort beyond their usual duties.
They stick to their job description and schedules, but refuse to become more involved in their work by refusing to take on tasks that are beyond their scope or by not responding to off-duty requests.
They are not willing to sacrifice their personal lives by working late at night or giving up their lunch break to attend a meeting.
The phrase “act your age” or “work your paycheck off” illustrates this quiet quitting philosophy.
In summary, “Quiet quitting” can be considered a form of silent resignation that consists of reducing one’s professional commitment while keeping one’s job.
The origins of Quiet Quitting:
To go back to the roots of quiet quitting, we have to cross the Atlantic. In the United States, this phenomenon has been making the buzz since mid-July in the United States and has been taken up in the French media since September.
It all started with a short TIK TOK video in which a young American man mentions the term “quiet quitting” which he defines as the fact of sticking to one’s job description, without going beyond it, and not defining one’s value as a human being by one’s work. The video has gone viral with over 3 million views .
– Change accentuated by the pandemic
The pandemic has led to the emergence of “quiet quitting,” which is the result of workers’ periods of confinement and gradual disconnection from their work environment.
Telecommuting has become popular, offering employees many benefits such as reduced travel time, the convenience of working from home and more free time for their personal lives. However, some workers have developed a preference for this new way of working, even though it can sometimes impact their productivity. For many workers, the COVID-19 crisis has been an opportunity to reassess the importance of work-life balance. Thus, it is now essential to take into account this search for balance in workers’ professional choices.
– A new unmotivated generation
This new generation was the first to claim this new work philosophy. The new Generation Z is increasingly concerned about their quality of work life and well-being, rather than the type of contract they can get. This is reflected in a growing trend of young workers who are willing to quit their jobs if their employer demands a return to 100% face-to-face work, according to a recent study conducted by the ADP Research Institute.
The different elements that drive Quiet Quitting
There are a number of factors that are driving more and more employees to adopt the practice of “quiet quitting”. The most common are:
– Mental workload
-Toxic work environment…
However, according to a Gallup study, 94% of workers are not engaged in their daily tasks, and 25% are totally disengaged.
The consequences of Quiet Quitting on the company
–A decrease in productivity
When an employee chooses to do “just enough”, not to invest fully in his or her work, this can lead to a decrease in motivation and commitment, which often results in a decrease in productivity.
–Decreased satisfaction and motivation of other employees
Employees may feel pressured to compensate for their colleagues’ lack of effort, which can create a difficult work atmosphere and discourage the most motivated team members.
The consequences of Quiet Quitting on the employee:
Quiet quitting can also have negative consequences on the employee who adopts this attitude, including
– A bad professional reputation
A “quiet quitting” attitude can give a bad image of the employee to his colleagues and superiors, which can damage his professional reputation and make it difficult to progress within the company or outside.
–Reduced future career prospects
A silent resignation may reduce the employee’s chances of finding more interesting and beneficial career opportunities in the future, as he/she may be considered as unqualified, unprofessional and unreliable.
–The risk of professional stagnation
Employees who do not fully invest themselves in their work risk not progressing in their career, which may limit their opportunities for advancement
–The risk of being laid off
If an employer discovers that an employee is not providing quality work, it may lead to disciplinary action, including termination.
Strategies to avoid Quit Quitting
Faced with this growing trend of quiet quitting, companies must find ways to help their employees find a stable and satisfying professional situation. To this end, different approaches can be put in place:
–Detecting signs of disengagement
It is important for managers to be able to identify signs of disengagement in their employees such as:
-excessive time off
– distancing from the team
– a decrease in the quality of the work done
– a refusal to take on additional assignments
-lack of initiative or motivation
-late arrivals or extended lunch breaks..
–Find out what is causing the lack of motivation
To rebuild broken trust, the company must understand the reasons why employees are demotivated (excessive workload, lack of recognition or an unhealthy work environment…)
–Promoting a work-life balance
Companies want to maximize the productivity of their employees. However, each employee is an individual with his or her own needs and constraints outside the company, so it is important to help them find a healthy work-life balance.
Here are some tips that may help:
Schedule regular breaks to allow employees to rest and recover their energy
Implement a time-off policy that encourages employees to use their parental leave to enjoy their families and personal lives.
Encourage employees to set work boundaries to avoid burnout
Show understanding of family constraints and other external factors that affect your employees’ workload
–Offering More Flexibility
Generation Z is looking for more and more autonomy and freedom in their work. They are willing to invest themselves in their work, as long as they do it their way. To meet this demand, companies can set up collaborative tools to facilitate asynchronous and/or remote work. Each manager can establish with his team the hours and days when everyone must be available at the same time. In addition, to offer more geographical flexibility, employers can offer their employees access to flexible offices close to their home, allowing them to work in optimal conditions without having to systematically go to the office.
–Provide attractive working conditions
To encourage employees to come to work with enthusiasm, the employer must create an attractive working environment. This can be achieved by offering modern, convenient and accessible workspaces, equipped with services that contribute to the well-being of employees such as responsible catering options, relaxation areas, outdoor environments and sports activities.
These facilities can help strengthen the sense of belonging to the company, improve informal interaction between team members and foster team cohesion.
In short, quiet quitting is a timely topic that deserves further exploration. As employees increasingly seek fulfilling work and work-life balance, employers have a vested interest in addressing their needs to avoid losing valuable talent. By encouraging open communication and creating a work environment that fosters engagement and motivation, companies can not only reduce the rate of quiet quitting, but also foster the long-term growth and success of their organization.