Working In Power-Saving Mode: Quiet Quitting

Recently, a new trend has been spoken about in the business world of many countries: Quiet Quitting. Some people see it as laziness, while others interpret it as a way to balance work and private life. On the other hand, almost everyone agrees that this is a new name but is not a new concept. We are talking about a behavior that existed in the business world with various names in different periods. This time, the phenomenon labeled previously as job dissatisfaction, burn out or slow down transformed to quite quitting.

What Is This Quiet Quitting?

According to the definition, we talk about quiet quitting when the employee does what the job requires at the bare minimum, but nothing more. Employees stop putting extra effort, taking the initiative to go beyond, or thinking about work beyond working hours to do their best. In short, they give up on the idea of ​​more. Also, they drop the idea of ​​a career in that company or dream of a future in that job.

Think about the battery of your electronic devices. As they have low energy, the device switch to power-saving mode and shuts down certain functions by itself, right? It is almost the same for the quiet quitting concept. They spend their energy on work at a minimum level. So, the work is done, there is no problem with that, but the potential for better work becomes inactivated.

How Did This Concept Emerge?

Although the concept became popular through the video of an American TikTok phenomenon watched by 3.5 million people, it quickly spread in different countries with the hashtag #quitequitting that was used 159 million times. Through this trend, the voices of employees from many cultures found a way to be heard. It also brought the need to talk about the change created by the pandemic in the business world from a different perspective.

One Out of Every Four Employees are Quite Quitters

The research conducted by Youthall with over 1,000 participants in Turkey shows that one out of every four people is in the process of quiet quitting (1). Some associate it with the characteristics of the new generation because the trend is common among young people. Some say these people are resistant to being expected to work harder just because they are at the very early stage of their careers.

If You’re A Manager, How Do You Understand The Signals Of Quiet Quitting?

The sooner you recognize the signals of quiet quitting, the more opportunities you have in order to prevent losing your talents and maintain the team spirit. The following items are significant but not precise indicators. It will be healthier to decide after observing for a while to determine the source and continuity of the issue.

  • It is an important change when an employee shows indifference who previously acted harmoniously and willingly.
  • The fact that the employee stops taking the initiative to perform better and does not want to volunteer for a new task.
  • If avoidance and silence are preferred instead of talking about problems, or if it is perceived as normal to ignore emails/messages or reply them after a long time, this may be a sign of apathy.
  • If they are standing back from group work and waiting for the first action from others
  • In general, the decrease in productivity can be the biggest indicator of quiet quitting or a sign of another important issue.


The Important Question To Ask Yourself: Is It About Your Employees Or Your Leadership Style?

Analysts from Zenger Folkman explored the motivation of putting extra effort on the job under the conditions of working with and without a leader who is sensitive to their needs (2). When they examined leadership reviews from 2020 to 2022, they discovered that employees with a leader who recognizes ​​their needs are willing to put in 3x more effort, and only 3% tend to quit quietly. On the other hand, 14% of those who work with a leader who ignores their needs say they are in the quiet quitting process. Some experts interpreted the reluctance of the employees with the quiet quitting movement as a reaction against their managers since the support of the manager makes such a difference.

What Should You Do If You Get These Signals In Your Team?

1- Prioritize the well-being of your employees

Many employees are rethinking the bond they have with their work due to the negative consequences of work-life imbalance. You can support your employees’ well-being to enhance their engagement.  Is there any specific moment in their experience that could be improved? What can you do to make it better? For example, taking breaks between intense projects to compensate for periodic increases in workload or reviewing work pace during working hours, etc.

2- Develop a culture of appreciation

It is a well-known phenomenon that people try to do their best where their efforts are recognized. Do not miss the opportunities of appreciation to make your employees feel the value of both for them as individuals and the work they do. Appreciate the strengths and achievements of both the team and individuals, and do not ignore any extra effort.

3- Maintain close communication and strengthen your bond with your team

When you are in close contact with your employees, you can easily and quickly notice behavioral changes in your team. Create an environment of psychological safety where your employees can express themselves and share their problems. Find opportunities to get to know your teammates better and discover how to inspire them to embrace your company values. It may not be easy to have a connection with everyone, especially in remote working teams; focus on finding common interests outside of the work.

In summary, quiet quitting is neither new nor local. If you encounter symptoms in your team as a manager, you can help your team to reengage by focusing on how you can prioritize your employees’ well-being, foster a culture of gratitude, and strengthen communication.





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