What You’re Getting Wrong About Quiet Quitting

You may have heard or read about quiet quitting in the previous few months, but it’s likely the term’s meaning has been over exaggerated. Most people assume quiet quitting involves workers dropping all of their responsibilities until they have achieved the bare minimum workload, but that’s not the case.

After facing more than two-and-a-half years of pandemic working, a smaller work force, and additional responsibilities that came without extra compensation, quiet quitters are workers that have reverted back to their workload prior to the pandemic – prioritizing tasks that only align with what they were hired to do.

The pandemic’s complete upheaval of the modern work force left workers with new responsibilities to make up for the effects of the pandemic and the great resignation – all without additional compensation. Quiet quitters are still working their 40 hours per week but are no longer seeking out and completing these additional tasks that are beyond the scope of their job description without additional compensation.

According to a Gallup Poll conducted earlier this year, 32% of U.S. employees feel engaged and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. Compared to 2020 (36%) and 2021 (34%), engagement appears to be slightly lower. However, when you compare the current numbers to the past two decades, workers are staying at roughly the same levels of engagement, hovering around 31% engagement on average. In other words, employee engagement has stayed at about the same levels for the past 20 years or so.

Simply put, quiet quitting is nothing new. Some have remarked it’s the old “phone-it-in.” What is new is that management has a real challenge to boost workplace engagement when their employees are more burned out than ever.

Workers are continuing to meet their goals and accomplish what is expected of them but are burnt out from taking on tasks that they were not hired to do. Quiet Quitting is a management and HR problem: not enough staff and failure to align compensation with increased responsibility.

If you want your staff to consistently go above and beyond their job duties, you must address the root cause of decreased workplace engagement.

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