Is Quiet Quitting Real? Can Managers Combat It?

In late fall 2022, a new concept called “quiet quitting” dominated business and economic chatter. To some, quitting would be a short-lived HR trend with no legs; to others, it was not an easily definable concept and therefore was brushed off.

Almost six months later, quiet quitting has become an HR nightmare that dramatically impacted every business’s recruitment and retention strategies. For companies still recovering and regrouping from the pandemic and for managers still new to understanding how to respond to quiet quitting, we are defining and offering ways to combat quiet quitting.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is when an employee does the minimum job requirements and puts in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than is absolutely necessary. The employee will not quit but stay in their current position and collect their salary.

Quiet Quitting Trends

A 2022 Gallup survey suggested that at least half of the U.S. workforce consists of quiet quitters. Quiet quitters typically continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities, but they’re less willing to engage in activities, will not stay late to complete projects or show up to the job early, and will not attend non-mandatory meetings and employee social gatherings.

In June 2022, quiet quitters, who are 18 and older, make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce, and the percentage is exceptionally high among workers under age 35.

How do you address quiet quitters?

A manager's role is vital to helping workers align with purpose and combat the quiet quitting phenomenon. When encountering employees, managers should ask questions like, “Looks like you have a bit too much going on. How can I help?”, then follow up with solid solutions.

If managers aren’t present to help inspire, lead and follow up on critical issues, it's logical that an employee may think, “Is anybody going to notice if I don’t do this for a week? Or two weeks? Or, wow, it was three months until somebody had a conversation with me.

At some level, quiet quitting results from an employee’s actions, but on the other hand, it can be a failure of management best practices.

To learn more about quiet quitting, contact our consultants to help your organization become effective in establishing positive morale in the workplace to lessen the possibility of breeding quiet quitters in your organization.