The trend ‘quiet quitting’ is not a new trend, it is something that many HR professionals have been aware of for some time, perhaps described in other ways. It became more commonly known and shared with me via a TIK TOK video that went viral from @zaidlepplin ‘work is not your life’.
As he shares, Quite Quitting is the common practice of employees refusing to put in more effort than is required for the job. He shares that this is felt to be an antidote to the hustle culture that we have all become accustomed to.
At the same time, some believe that it means doing what one is getting paid to do without taking on extra work. It is an employment trend where employees do the bare minimum due to lack of motivation or any other reason, do not get fired, take home the salary and that’s about it.
Quiet Quitting came to light because the pandemic forced the whole globe to step into a deeper period of reflection in a very unexpected way.
I think it’s safe to say, many but not all, of our working population up until the pandemic had been undeniably conditioned to work in a way that led to poor work practices that involved long hours, heavy commutes, and a hustle culture; always pushing to do more.
Effectively many adults were in sleepwalking mode going to work. During the pandemic, a large proportion of working adults were pushed into either a period of no work or furlough or for some different work.
This sudden shift for this population really brought home front and centre that if your life had up until this point been all about work, suddenly you were now left in a complete vacuum. This vacuum allowed ‘space’, an uncomfortable period where you had to go inwards and suddenly question who you were and what you stood for as work was no longer the ‘thing’ that you were or did.
These reflections then brought up an awareness and challenged working adults to really look at, what do I really want to do? What really is my value or purpose? And more importantly, how do I want to live my life?
Now, many of us can see that previous ways of working contained practices that were great for capitalism and wanting more, but mostly lacked good health, love, safety, and great relationships. We were devoid of all the actual ingredients that were needed in a pandemic – now we have awoken to this.
There are signs for quiet quitting, that can be true for other issues. So, we ought to assume here that the employee is not suffering with ill health and is also not in a culture that is toxic with poor work practices.
Unchecked or unaddressed, quiet quitting can harm your culture: it could disincentivise other employees, discourage them from going above and beyond and sadly not afford the organisation the chance to see the employee perform at their best.