Quiet quitting: if you can’t beat them, roll with them

The term ‘quiet quitting’ started popping up at the end of July, and now it’s everywhere. And no one can agree on what it means.

Jordan Hart at Business Insider defines quiet quitting as “refusing to do more work than they’re being compensated for.”

The Washington Post reported that Kathy Kacher, founder of Career/Life Alliance Services, describes quiet quitting as a synonym for employee disengagement.

In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald quotes a quiet quitter, software engineer, and musician, Zaid Khan, who says, “You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.”

Then we go into a bit of humor on Twitter with, “We rebranding “quiet quitting” to “acting your wage.”

Refusing to work more, not hustling, disengagement, doing what you’re paid to do, and nothing else, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to how HR approaches quiet quitting. Instead of arguing over where it comes from and the exact definition, you can look at your workforce and decide if you want to do anything.

Do you want disengaged employees?

Of course, you want your employees to be engaged! To be happy! To be working their little hearts out!

Do you?

To keep reading, click here: Quiet quitting: if you can’t beat them, roll with them

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6 thoughts on “Quiet quitting: if you can’t beat them, roll with them

  1. If so called “quiet quitting” simply means doing the job for which one was hired, how can that possibly be a bad thing?

  2. I have quietly quit according to the definitions I see on LinkedIn. I simply do not care if this place burns to the ground. I come in, do my job to a level as to not get fired, comply with the rules, and go home. I see an error, and don’t fix it. I can help out a team member, but don’t. I don’t participate in meetings, I go to them and I’m there just like the chairs. I’m trying to leave because I am obviously miserable, but no luck so far. Perhaps my miserable attitude is not helping. Yes, I’ve tried to fix things and I’ve spoken to management. They don’t care and I can’t do anything but be mad about it. So I’m warming the seat.

  3. I think the term is ridiculous especially since it has such varied meaning from “retiring in place” to having healthy work boundaries. Using terms to mean wildly different things isn’t helpful.

  4. If you’re only going to be at a particular job for a few years, it makes perfect sense to do no more than the job requires. And that’s certainly very common these days – in a lot of professions (I’m looking at you, IT work), the only realistic way to advance one’s career (and income) is to change jobs every few years. And with few companies willing to do more than verify dates of employment, how well you did your previous job won’t have much effect on references.

    But if you have any interest – at all – in making a career out of a particular job at a company that you life working for, doing only the minimum is a great way to get passed over for merit raises and promotions. You stagnate in your position with, at best, cost of living raises, because you show no potential for more.

    All coins have two sides.

  5. Gee, I must have been “quietly quitting” for a long time when continued to work at my job but started to not always be available to cover when the usual coworker had the usual Friday through Sunday problems despite begging to be scheduled. My biggest quiet quit act was to limit how much overtime I would accept after finding out that any hours over 4 total in overtime were merely extra payment for tax and would never add to my net pay. I did my job well but learned the power of the word No for any extra work being passed on. It made my supervisors realize that they couldn’t ignore the workers trying to avoid working when scheduled and to be firmer and fairer in expectations of job performance for the slackers, who are the source of most employee dissatisfaction problems.

  6. Early on in my career I realized something: You can have a fantastic program by either 1) having fantastic systems in place, or 2) relying on fantastic people.

    2 is cheaper. One person doing the work of six? What manage WOULDN’T want a Leslie Knopp! But it is incredibly fragile. If you’re relying on everyone giving 100%, then if any employee leaves, or gets sick, or retires, or (gods forbid, but it does happen) die in their sleep one night, the rest of the team has no capacity to make up for it. Everyone’s already operating at 100%, so there’s zero buffer to absorb the blow. And since everyone’s operating at 100% communications almost certainly have shut down, meaning that the only person who could fix the mess is the one that’s not available.

    1 is more expensive in the short term–you need more people, and management needs to really be on the ball at the very start. But in the long run it’s better. If someone leaves suddenly the hand-off is far easier. Plus, since everyone’s operating at maybe 75%, they’ve got the bandwidth to spread the load out and absorb the shock for a time. Folks can take time off, have a work/life balance, and take care of themselves, allowing them to be rested and mentally sharp on the job, producing better work overall.

    That “for a time” is important. If you’re not replacing people as the leave, or if you expand the role the team is filling without expanding staff, folks will start giving 80%, then 90%, then 100%–and you’ve fully transitioned from a Type 1 team to a Type 2, with all the fragility it entails. Management has incentives to do this, as Type 2 teams are much cheaper and still give the margins–for a time. But it’s incredibly short-sighted.

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