The Premier Blog

News, tips, and insights for job seekers and employers.

Unmasking Silent Disengagement: The Business Impact of Quiet Quitters

Quiet quitting is an approach to work that’s gained significant traction in recent months. The concept focuses solely on doing what’s listed in an employee’s job description and nothing more. Essentially, workers aim to meet expectations, sometimes in a somewhat narrow sense, but aren’t willing to go above and beyond what’s formally outlined as a responsibility.

While meeting expectations doesn’t seem problematic, it’s potentially disruptive in the workplace. Here’s a look at why quiet quitting is on the rise, how it impacts businesses, and what companies can do to avoid it in their workplaces.

Why Quiet Quitting Is on the Rise

Many business leaders assume that quiet quitting is becoming more common because employees no longer want to work. In reality, the reason quiet quitting is on the rise is multi-faceted, and a lack of desire to work isn’t typically the driving force.

In some cases, quiet quitting is a response to an ongoing increase in responsibilities or frequent elevation in duties without a direct benefit to the employee. In this case, it essentially serves as a counterpoint to what’s referred to as a quiet promotion, a situation where a company functionally expects a worker to perform at a level beyond what the employee’s official position dictates without offering an elevated job title or additional compensation. In the worker’s eyes, if their employer isn’t willing to provide them with something in exchange for higher-level duties, then going above and beyond isn’t worthwhile, causing them to quiet quit.

Employees may also embrace quiet quitting as a means of ensuring work-life balance. At times, going the extra mile means more stress, longer work hours, or other disruptions. If the employee doesn’t want to take their career in that direction, quiet quitting may seem like a reasonable option.

Finally, quiet quitting may be a response to a company failing to maintain an appropriately sized team. If a company leaves a vacancy open and assumes its remaining employees will handle the additional work for more than the typical amount of time it takes to find a replacement, quiet quitting can be an attempt to force the company’s hand. Essentially, it makes hiring a new staff member essential if the company wants to avoid productivity declines, so it’s a move some workers will make if they fear their employer may forgo hiring someone if productivity doesn’t fall.

How Quiet Quitting Impacts Businesses

In many cases, the first noticeable impact of quiet quitting on businesses is a decline in productivity. Employees functionally limit what they’re willing to take on, and that can cause certain tasks to go unhandled.

Quiet quitting can also have an impact on engagement. Employees who quiet quit may feel less committed to the organization, which may alter their performance. Additionally, quiet quitting can have a negative impact on morale, including at a broad scale.

Other employees may feel hindered by a quiet quitter, making their jobs more stressful. Plus, they may have to make up for the lower productivity of the employee who is merely meeting basic expectations, leaving them overburdened. In time, resentment can build, and burnout may occur, both of which are harmful.

How to Combat Quiet Quitting

While quiet quitting may seem pervasive, it’s relatively easy to address. First, companies need to ensure that workers going the extra mile feel seen, valued, and appreciated. Second, coupling recognition with suitable rewards – such as pay raises or promotions – is a must. When employees feel they have as much to gain from going above and beyond as the company, they’re far more likely to stretch.

Also, don’t overlook the value of open communication. If an employee seems disengaged, managers should schedule a one-on-one conversation. When they do, make sure the focus isn’t on reprimanding their declining performance. Instead, ask them about obstacles, challenges, or frustrations they’re encountering. Then, work together to find solutions.

Finally, make an effort to fill vacant positions. Being short-staffed creates unnecessary challenges for your team, leading to higher stress and greater degrees of disengagement and burnout. By bringing in capable new hires, you ensure no one is overworked, and that makes a difference.

If you’d like to learn more or need to hire top talent to fill vacant positions, Premier Staffing Inc. wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

Share It