Thought Leadership

Quiet Quitting: The New Buzzword That Has Overwhelmed Corporates

Social media platforms have found a new favorite buzzword: Quiet Quitting: the practice of sitting back and doing the bare minimum your job requires. It makes sense that the concept of quiet quitting has gained momentum due to related trends like the anti-work movement and the Great Resignation, with feelings of despair and burnout looming over the workforce. While this is a problem attributed to Millenials and Gen Z in particular, it has more to do with employee disengagement and lack of purpose in their current roles.


But for the younger workforce, quiet quitting does not equate to spending eight hours a day feeling miserable or completely burnt out. In a viral post that’s garnered 3.5 million views, Zaid Khan, a TikTok influencer, defines quiet quitting as ‘quitting the idea of going above and beyond’ and ‘no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life,’ a kind of antithesis to the hustle culture that was handed down to this generation.


The current workforce, however, is more interested in personal fulfillment than in climbing the corporate ladder. They want to feel like their work has a purpose and is more than just a stepping stone to something bigger. And because of this, there has been a significant increase in employees quietly quitting so they can focus on something they are genuinely passionate about, which has also led to a rise in solopreneurs recently. This phenomenon is known as ‘The Quiet Quitter Syndrome,’ which is the tendency to quit without announcing it publicly or giving formal notice. 


Dr. Andrew Monroe, Director at Veris Insights and Social Psychology Expert, says, “While the causes of so-called quiet quitting are going to be multifaceted, what is clear now is that younger talent is not satisfied with the deal they’re getting at work.” He continued, “And with the hot labor market, they may feel empowered to disengage from work to preserve their mental health and personal lives more broadly.”


So can organizations keep their staff from silently walking out the door? 


1. Fix the problem at the ground level

The first rule of fighting a war is to know your enemy. So how do you start the fight against the quiet quitter syndrome if you don’t know how many people are quitting? First, you have to acknowledge the problem. You need to ask yourself, Why are my employees quietly quitting? Are they not happy at work? Are they being underpaid? Are they overworked? Once you have an idea of what might be causing your employees to quit, you can start by addressing those problems and fixing them at ground level. 


“I think the trend of quiet quitting might be less indicative of a real crisis of morale among workers and more indicative of a crisis of communication,” said Drake Ballew, CEO of Practice Health. “It’s important to remember — especially for employers — that, for the most part, quiet quitting isn’t about not doing your job. Most employees participating in the trend merely draw a line around their job responsibilities and say they don’t want to do extra. Is it bad to want to do the job you are hired for?” According to Ballew, many quiet quitters feel like they got dealt a bad hand, in which they agreed to do a particular job whose duties expanded without any discussion after signing on.


2. Offer more flexibility 

As discussed above, millennials don’t have the same desire to climb the corporate ladder as their predecessors. They are also part of a new generation that shuns traditional office spaces for the flexible and remote work environment. So if you have an employee who is quietly quitting, why not offer them a remote position if that’s what will motivate them? In fact, consider this as an option for all of your employees, which can also include flexible work timings for working parents. 


Shep Moyle of CEO Coaching International says, “As a former CEO, I know I was guilty of 4:30 a.m. emails or quick calls on the weekend to senior management on urgent items.” He continued, “Many of our leaders today are accustomed to an expectation that everyone will go the extra mile for the company, even if it means going beyond the specified job responsibilities or working extra hours. But the pandemic has completely changed this perspective. With the removal of physical office space, it’s up to companies to create a feeling of belonging and purpose to motivate employees — and to provide real, tangible reasons to collaborate and lean in without mentally draining them in the bargain.”


3. Create a thriving work culture

If you want to keep your employees from quietly quitting, you need to make them want to stay. One way to do this is to make your company a great place for everyone to work. The number of women in the workforce has increased over the decades, but at a different rate than men. The same goes for LGBTQ+ and specially-abled employees. What tools can your organization offer to make them feel more comfortable and thrive in their current role?


“The first mistake that leaders make in working to retain employees is looking for just one silver bullet or a golden egg that will work for everyone,” says Dana Manciagli, Global Career Expert and Author. “Different people will decide to stay with a company for various reasons, so your plan for retaining employees should have a diverse strategy, much like a retirement plan. Seek to understand the needs of varying age groups and create strategies for each generation. Baby boomers, for example, seek title recognition. The title of ‘Senior Marketing Manager’ may recognize the person’s years of service to an organization. Giving employees in this age bracket a unique project will indicate that they are valuable,” she adds.



The best way to keep your employees from quietly quitting is to make them happy at work. Ask them what would make them happy at work and make a real effort to make those things happen. You can also address the root causes of why people may be quitting. Offer more flexibility and benefits for remote work, make your company a place people want to stay, and, most importantly, make it clear that you care about your employees.