Over several months, the term “quiet quitting” has emerged on news sites, social media platforms, podcasts, talk shows, and the like. But what does the term mean, and how does it impact the workplace and employers?
What does “Quiet Quitting” really mean?
The phrase “quiet quitting” is a little misleading, and because of this, employers could be forgiven for thinking it meant their employees were slacking off. But this is not the case. Essentially, quiet quitting means that employees are doing only what is in their job description and not going above and beyond what they were hired to do. Therefore, they are not putting in the extra “hustle” to get noticed and considered for promotions.
It is not the case that employees are lazy. Rather, employees are trying to find a better work-life balance and have more time for family and/or pursuing their other interests.
Why is “Quiet Quitting” happening?
The COVID-19 pandemic changed many people’s perspectives on many things, including work-life balance. Out of necessity, many workplaces switched to remote work, but after the pandemic, employees found that they enjoyed the flexibility that remote work afforded and wished to remain either remote or hybrid. As the pandemic was especially hard on mental health, more workers reassessed their priorities, deciding to spend less time at work and more time on things that mattered to them personally. They set more boundaries between their work lives and their home lives.
Employees began to “quit” all the little extra tasks they did at work and focused more on activities that supported their mental health. They are still willing to work for a paycheck but no longer willing to burn themselves out for one.
How is “Quiet Quitting” affecting employers?
In many respects, it isn’t. Employers should have clear communication with existing and new employees about what the expectations are in their roles. Clearly defined job descriptions can help prevent employees from feeling that they are being overworked. Keeping the lines of communication open will also allow employees to feel more comfortable coming to their employers should they feel burnt out.
If an employee’s role changes over time, the employer should discuss this with the employee, and new duties should be outlined in writing.
Good workers are the best asset that most companies have, and leaders need to make workers feel supported in their roles. Having weekly or monthly meetings with your team to get in touch and ensure a feeling of contentment in their positions is a great way to engage employees and help keep everyone on the same page.
Hard work and dedication are still essential in the workplace but equally critical is guarding the mental health of your employees. As is creating a workplace culture in which employees feel comfortable speaking to their employers if they feel that the workload is becoming too much.
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Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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