What can we do about Quiet Quitting?

Managing employees is like being a parent. You can either be a really good and supportive parent and still get kids that are getting into trouble Or you can be a very bad parent and still you can get kids that are excellent.

Everyone is talking about the quiet quitting, and how that is affecting the global economy. It is estimated that 11% (7.8 trillion USD) of the global GDP is lost due to not engaged workers.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting refers to doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than is absolutely necessary.

Yesterday during a session with one of my clients I had an “aha” moment. He is smart, educated, with a lot of drive to succeed at his job and he cares about the company he works at.

Over the last few months, he was given a lot of new responsibilities but at the same time, he did not receive the guidance that was required.

He felt more and more that the company was stepping into chaos and there is not much that he can do to help with it. The reason for that is that the senior management is not giving trust and freedom to the people who are brought in, to spread their wings and they are not sharing necessary information with them.

On one hand, we cannot be complaining that part of our workforce is “Quiet Quitting”, without reflecting on the cause. When a lot of companies:

  • Are under staff and the current team is overworked and underpaid.
  • Don’t have space to grow.
  • Do not have clear job descriptions, metrics, etc.
  • Insufficient support from managers.
  • Managers that scream to their team because “I am busy and I don’t have time to sweet talk to them”.

I am not saying that there are no people who are selfish, and only want to get a salary by doing the bare minimum. Of course, they exist, I am just refusing to accept that it’s the vast majority like this.

On the other hand, we see companies like Twitter and Meta that ended up firing a huge number of employees over the last few weeks and one of the reasons was that they were underperforming.

Employees of big FinTech companies were making TikTok videos saying that they are working approximately 4h per week. No doubt that they were underperforming.

Still, as a company, we need to take full responsibility for both cases and offer a better structure and guidance to our employees.

If we want things to be better, we need to be better.