Quiet quitting is a trend in which employees only apply minimal effort to their jobs solely for the purpose of getting through the workday or simply doing just enough work to get paid or to remain employed.
Gaining traction since the novel coronavirus pandemic, the concept of ‘quiet quitting’ is gradually becoming a feature of labour markets globally.
More popular in the US and Europe and emerging as a by-product of the great resignation, quiet quitting is said to be a trend in which employees only apply minimal effort to their jobs solely for the purpose of getting through the work day or simply doing just enough work to get paid or to keep employment.
So while it’s not the case that these individuals are actually quitting their jobs, they tend to display a lack of enthusiasm to duties or a type of worker’s dissatisfaction, with some of the most common trends seeing them not choosing to go above and beyond their duties in ways that include refusing to do work outside of billable hours, or even skipping extra assignments that fall outside core duties. Building momentum on social media, the practice is said to be largely popular among Generation Zers.
Beyond the workplace, the term is also now being applied to non-work aspects of people’s lives, such as marriages and relationships.
According to a recent Forbes report, “What is important about the quiet quitting trend is that it’s waking all of us up to an economic situation in which many are forced to take jobs just to make ends meet, and to an economic climate that makes it more challenging than ever for people to make a living doing what they love.”
With the pandemic providing employees hybrid options for work and the chance to have better control of the work-life balance, experts believe that a growing number of workers are becoming quiet quitters, especially in the post COVID-19 era when many seek to live life to the fullest, with no intention of overworking themselves.
Assessing the phenomena in a local context, human resource management consultant and trainer Joni-Gaye Cawley, speaking in an interview with the Jamaica Obsever, said that while no official statistics were at hand to substantiate claims for a spread of quiet quitting locally, she believes there are aspects of the growing global trend which may have seeped into the workplace. The clearest sign of this, she said, can be linked to some complaints about low productivity being witnessed across some companies.
“While quiet quitting may benefit the employee who operates at bare minimum, the employer will not get a win from it as any loss of productivity could negatively impact the company’s profits,” she said.
Cawley, however, said that while many managers may opt to dismiss employees guilty of the practice or order those on work-from-home arrangements back to office, a much better remedy is to improve performance management.
“Set key performance indices (KPIs) and deliverables to hold staff accountable as these are often found to be better management tools other than to have a big stick over employees. This also works better in the sense that once the employee is able to have all issued targets completed, no amount of quiet quitting by him/her is likely to affect operations,” she said to Sunday Finance.
To counter the negative spin-offs of quiet quitting the HR practitioner further called on employers to facilitate more staff engagement sessions in order to keep employees motivated and feeling valued, as well as offering them some amount of flexibility and added incentives.
“With cost of living increasing, employers are being urged to also find added ways to drive profitability, engage productive employees, and pay them a liveable wage. We have been seeing too much these days where employers want to pay their staff the most basic wages yet get maximum service from them; but as we have also seen, that is not going to work going forward. If we are to combat quiet quitting and rid ourselves of all its ill-effects there also needs to be a common understanding across all parties,” Cawley stated.
“To break the pattern of quiet quitting, employees should also follow their passions so that they’re not just showing up somewhere to make a buck,” the Forbes report added.
CAWLEY…While quiet quitting will benefit the employee who operates at bare minimum, the employer will not get a win from it as any loss of productivity could negatively impact the company’s profits
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