There’s a lot of talk about quiet quitting these days. Quiet quitting is an act done by people who are not satisfied or engaged at their jobs – they do the minimum level of work and are usually looking for a new job at the same time.
In fact, quiet quitting is not new; it’s just been given a catchy name and gone viral. Quiet quitting is an act done by people who are not satisfied or engaged at their jobs – they do the minimum level of work and are usually looking for a new job at the same time. Then, one day they suddenly quit without telling their manager that they have been unhappy. Many people do this. I’ve done it, and I know clients and family members who have done it, too.
While people may argue whether quiet quitting is good, bad, or ethical, the real issue is determining why you want to quietly quit in the first place. Is the job a poor fit for your skills and interests? Are you scared to speak up about your dissatisfaction because of fear of retaliation? Or do you just have a habit of quitting when things get hard? People engage in quiet quitting for different reasons and in different ways. There is always a root cause.
Employees will always be engaged at a variety of levels in their jobs. For some people, their job is a career. To some, like me, it’s a calling. And to others, it’s just a job. There is nothing wrong with having a job to pay the bills and then going home. Of course, you can choose to show up at your job at whatever level of engagement you want. You can do the minimum, or you can go above and beyond. However, it’s important to know that your choice may impact your relationship with your boss and your teammates.
Here’s what we need to focus on to increase employee engagement and satisfaction.
Employers: Make your workplace culture the best it can be and foster regular communication with employees, especially if they work remotely. Don’t expect 100% engagement from everyone all the time; that’s not realistic. Make your workplace a positive environment. Spend time communicating with your employees and check in with them, but also know when to pull back and let them do their work. Trust them. Measure their performance by their level of output and meeting their deliverables, not by where and when they’re working. Your staff will appreciate this and stay with you longer.
Employees: Initiate regular communication with your boss, if it isn’t being offered. Try resolving any issues at your job that are causing you to disengage. Rather than quietly quitting, communicate your needs and concerns with those who are involved. You can do this in a diplomatic and non-confrontational way. Take ownership for your choices and make sure that you’ve done everything you can to salvage your current role, if it’s possible. If that doesn’t work, then maybe you do need to quit. (By the way, it’s okay to look for another job while you still have one.)
Bottom line: There’s responsibility on both sides.
Now, I’d like to discuss another form of quiet quitting. One that’s far more important, in my opinion. Where in your life – outside of the workplace – are you quietly quitting on yourself? Think about that workout that you keep skipping in the morning. Think about that diet you tried for three days and then stopped. Think about that book you said you’d write one day, or the business you wanted to start.
We quietly quit on ourselves all the time by quietly stopping taking action. Or we quietly fall back into whatever old habits we were trying to shed. Then one day, we wake up and realize that we’re not hitting our goals, or we’ve completely forgotten about them. It’s funny how we make such a big deal about quitting with our employers, but we’re quitting on ourselves all the time. Where are you quitting on yourself?
Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do. But pay attention to yourself and your habits. If you are consistently not showing up in an area of your life, it might be time to make a change! Sometimes we quit too early, or sometimes we stay too long. Are you quitting because things got hard, or because whatever you’re doing isn’t right for you?
We need to change ourselves before we can change our jobs, our bosses, or anything else outside of ourselves. Dig deep and ask yourself if there are any other areas of your life where you are quitting on yourself. It may help you to see your work situation in a new light.
For more articles like this visit the AWIS Career Center.