Belfast Telegraph

Quiet quitting – what is it and why should you care?

Ellie Francis
Ellie Francis
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Employers have been grappling with the challenges brought about by The Great Resignation for many months now.

Added to difficulties associated with finding high-quality candidates in a fiercely competitive hiring market, this trend has seen companies struggle with achieving strategic objectives and pursuing ambitious growth, not due to a lack of business opportunities, but rather a shortage in people available to capitalise on them.

Now, in addition to ‘The War for Talent’ and ‘The Great Resignation’, employers are battling with the latest HR trend – ‘Quiet Quitting’. More of a silent assassin than its talent-trend predecessors, Quiet Quitting sees employees are not officially resigning their positions, but rather resigning themselves to doing only tasks which are essential to their job. This causes problems for employers who have grown to enjoy the discretionary effort offered by those who are eager to please and go above and beyond in their roles. Therefore, leaders should strive to understand Quiet Quitting and its causes. In this article, I am talking about three main reasons employees quietly quit, and what you can do to stop it.

It is no secret that many people experienced a shift in values during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who had previously ran the rat race gleefully, only to find themselves laid off en masse as lockdown followed lockdown, find themselves prioritising other things. Perhaps they reignited old passions or started new hobbies, which they now need to fit into life as it returns to normal. Alternatively, it might be that they do not place the same value on work as they used to, given that the ‘big picture’ has now changed. Either way, it’s important for employers to show their awareness that life is different now, and demonstrate a genuine willingness to help people make the job fit their life, rather than the previous habit of moulding life to fit the job.

Secondly, with so much noise in the macro-environment, it is easy for employees to feel as though their efforts go unnoticed. It is important for leaders to take an extra few seconds each day to recognise employees’ contributions and thank them. Employees who believe their work adds value, are less likely to quietly quit.

Finally, with unemployment remaining at historically low levels in Northern Ireland, it follows that the risk of termination is also lower. Therefore, the incentive to work more than you need to has decreased. For this reason, employers have little currency to play with when enticing people to part with their valuable discretionary effort. That is why, it is paramount that employers find and fight to retain people who are passionate about their mission, and who do not see the job as just a job, they see it as a purpose.

As ever, the task of finding talented employees who are not only capable, but also willing to do the job is a challenging one. However, those employers who can crack the code and inspire enthusiastic and innovative teams have much to gain.