Are Your Employees Quiet Quitting?

You probably have seen recent headlines and social media buzz about “Quiet Quitting.” So, what is it, and how worried should you be? There are several definitions for this new term. Generally speaking, it refers to employees who are no longer willing to go the extra mile for their employer or put in additional time or effort without receiving extra compensation. Young workers promoting Quiet Quitting on social media are expressing frustration about receiving work texts and emails at all times of day or night, being unable to use vacation or sick days, and not receiving fair compensation. Meanwhile, some leaders and older generation workers say the new generation of workers are lazy or don’t want to work. However, the data shows that Quiet Quitting is really about bad managers, not lazy employees.

The Truth About Quiet Quitting

Zenger Folkman analysts studied data from 360 leadership assessments since 2020, reviewing more than 13,000 employees’ ratings of 2,801 managers. To take a closer look at Quiet Quitting, they compared two data points:

  1. How employees rated their manager’s ability to “balance getting results with a concern for others’ needs”
  2. How employees rated to what extent their “work environment is a place where people want to go the extra mile”

The researchers found that managers who scored poorly on balancing getting results with a concern for others had 14% of direct reports quietly quitting. Worse, only 20% of their team was willing to put in any extra effort. However, managers that scored well on balancing results with a concern for others had 62% of their employees ready to make an extra effort at work, and only 3% would be considered “quiet quitters.” The data is clear; Quiet Quitting is a leadership problem.

How Managers Can Prevent Quiet Quitting

The research shows the importance of leadership and workplace culture for increasing employee engagement. Managers who focus on building trust by setting clear expectations, respecting boundaries and showing gratitude for their employees won’t have to worry about Quiet Quitting.

  • Help Employees Prioritize –Managers can set clear expectations by helping employees prioritize work tasks. This is especially important for younger workers who may not feel confident making decisions about which tasks are urgent and which can wait. Often, this lack of prioritization makes workers think everything is urgent, leading to overwhelm and burnout. A quick one-on-one meeting once or twice a week to prioritize tasks can help employees learn how to break work into smaller tasks and feel good about their progress each day.
  • Respect Healthy Boundaries – Managers build trust by respecting their employees’ boundaries. Simple rules like avoiding texting and emailing about work on an employee’s day off, not questioning their use of paid time off, and encouraging a healthy work/life balance will help build better relationships on any team.
  • Show Gratitude – Employees want to know that their work matters. Ultimately, providing regular feedback and recognition for an employee’s efforts will drive employee engagement on any team. Employees who say they are Quiet Quitting report that they don’t receive any benefit from extra effort and, therefore, no longer see any reason to do more than the bare minimum. These employees feel taken advantage of by their managers instead of valued and respected for their hard work. Managers should take note and prioritize recognizing and rewarding employees who put in extra effort or work long hours.

Do Your Managers Have the Skills they Need to Prevent Quiet Quitting?

If your organization struggles with low employee engagement, high turnover, or lack of productivity, it could be a leadership problem. Do your managers have the skills they need to get the results you want? Crestcom’s interactive management training programs achieve real behavior change. Our process will help your managers master essential leadership skills such as communication, leading through change, managing a diverse workforce, and so much more. Reach out today to find out how Crestcom’s leadership development programs can help your team!