(2 minute read)

In addition to the multitude of physical and social consequences of the recent pandemic, we’re continuing to experience impacts to the way we work.

Early in 2022, the media grabbed hold of a phenomenon (their word, not ours) labelled ‘The Great Resignation’, where individuals were placing other components of their lives ahead of their desire to strive for success in their current workplace. While there was a notable shift in how and where people were working, there was not the mass exodus that had been predicted – surprise, surprise!

Now, in the shadows of the last phenomenon (which wasn’t) comes another term for leaders and managers to understand and navigate – Quiet Quitting.

Quiet Quitting can be characterised as a withdrawal behaviour, where an employee pulls back at work in response to their environment. Rather than quitting in a literal sense, they quit the practice of going above and beyond. Whether it’s rejecting meetings outside of set working hours, self-mandating what projects to take on, or only contributing the minimal work required contractually, quiet quitting will look different depending on the employee.

Daniel McDonnell, Culture Amp

Minimising the impact.

If there has been a loss of faith in the corporate culture of hustle and grind, what can the employer, manager and leaders do?

A decrease in discretionary effort from employees can result from an environment of control and hierarchy by leaders and managers. Instead, it’s critical to empower employees to take responsibility for their own decision-making. With greater autonomy, employees can feel more ownership over the work they’re producing and demonstrate increased levels of engagement. When employees feel they’re valued enough to make decisions, trust grows too.

Other steps to take.

  • Do regular ‘pulse-checks’ on team members. (How are they feeling about their work?)
  • Use surveys where practical.
  • Share the Bigger Picture with team members. (Openly discuss company goals and plans)
  • Invest in, and promote, personal and professional development
  • Be Present! Be available to listen to concerns or questions from team members.

Leaders and people managers who understand the needs of their colleagues and team members can avoid any areas of conflict or friction which may lead to employee discontent. And that’s got to be a good thing!


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