The latest and most polarizing trend in the workplace is “quiet quitting”. Leaders and managers hate it, while employees are jumping on it at rapid rates.
The term itself sounds scary, but it has nothing to do with job quitting. It refers to performing the role within its established bounds, such as not doing tasks outside of the job description or staying late hours.
So why are managers and team leaders not on board?
The Rise of Quiet Quitting Explained
You can say that quiet quitting is a response to the “hustle culture” born in the 90s. Back then and until fairly recently, the idea was that the more effort you put into your work, the better the rewards.
Employees who stayed late hours routinely and never said no to a task or challenge were often the ones receiving the most praise within a company.
Unfortunately, this culture created some toxic environments as companies started to expect more and more from their employees, without necessarily giving much back in return.
The rise of remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic meant that for a lot of people, the line between work and home was destroyed completely.
This led to massive numbers of employees reporting burnout and now its response: quiet quitting.
Your Employees Aren’t Slacking. They Are Setting Boundaries
It’s a mistake to assume quiet quitting will mean tasks don’t get finished anymore and your employees are wasting time.
Quiet quitters are still getting the job done – they’re just setting better boundaries for themselves.
Interestingly, many quiet quitters don’t necessarily now believe their job or work isn’t important. But they are realizing their personal life is equally important.
And, perhaps most importantly, they are realizing they should not overextend themselves for a job that doesn’t give anything in return.
So What Does This Mean for Managers and Leaders?
If you’ve begun to notice quiet quitting is making its way to your office, you may ask yourself how to approach it or even stop it.
But, quiet quitting may actually help your company in the long run.
Hustle culture, if anything, leads to burned-out and unhappy employees who will be not able to perform well at their jobs even if they want to. Employees who set healthy boundaries can do much more for your productivity, even if that productivity is limited to the 8-hour daily work schedule.
Employees are looking for a better work-life balance, so companies who wish to keep quiet quitting under control may want to look more closely at what they are doing to help their staff create this balance.
Leading Your Team Through the Quiet Quitting Movement
If you’re a leader or manager, it’s time you connect with the people you lead. Quiet quitting, if anything, is an opportunity for the company to do better at engaging its employees, and creating a healthier working environment that benefits everyone.
So talk with your people. See what’s working, and what isn’t. And don’t blame them for setting a healthy boundary.