Is 'quiet quitting' a thing?
Everyone is talking about "quiet quitting"! For a few months now social media has a new darling, quietly suggesting it is the top trend in the world of work. As with every alliteration I am curious to learn more. In this article I explore it's origins and want to know the answer to the question: "Is 'quiet quitting' a thing?"
Is "quiet quitting" here to replace "hustle culture"?
Quietly or not, millions of employees quit jobs during the pandemic. Remote work empowered talent, especially in the IT sector. The result? Especially knowledge workers gained negotiation power in picking a new job. And a growing number of companies entered a whole new level in the "war for talent"... and the end of "hustle culture". According to Matt Turner from Business Insider "quiet quitting" is here to replace it.
I don't think so. Here is why:
Reason 1: Quiet quitting is not new
The definition of 'quiet quitting' refer to a behavior well-known in the workplace - disengagement. As much as we might consider it unwanted, the Gallup Engagement Index annually reports that the share of disengaged employees is tremendous! With 48% percent of the US workforce actively looking for a new job in 2021 and a dark number of "quit others" who are yet to gain courage, it is obvious that a disengaged employee is rather the rule than the exception.
No matter how we define engagement, as an active or a passive resentment towards a job, it seems that working with passion has always been a seldom coincidence.
Reason 2: Quiet quitting is not a basic human need
Finding meaning in one's work, however, is something that is of tremendous importance for most employees today. According to a study by T-Systems International, 96% of the workforce would prefer to be looking for a job with a purpose. Other than quiet quitting, self-actualization is a basic human need - everybody strives for connection and belonging, which are the pillars of engagement in the workplace.
Even if many knowledge workers still suffer the consequences of the pandemic on health, stress, and well-being, the vast majority of them is already taking steps towards a job with better conditions - and more engagement.
Reason 3: Quiet quitting is a part of the great resignation, not its replacement
With up to 4.5 million American workers changing their jobs a month, the Pandemic has raised the standards of skilled talent, but also raised awareness about alternative opportunities. With an increasing number of companies offering work from anywhere, flexible working times, unlimited vacation, or peer mentoring, the barrier to quit has never been lower.
No matter how disengaged and determined "quiet quitters" are, some share of them will use these conditions to adjust t the situation. If not they will adapt with time, as nothing is harder than staying disengaged and disconnected - especially in the home office.
So "quiet quitting" is not the next trend, but it matters anyway!
The best about it is how much more memorable it is than the expression "disengaged employees". It also shifts the focus from the personal responsibility for one's work to the role leaders play in creating a connected workforce. Lastly, its current visibility puts pressure on organizations to rethink the way they operate - which is fruitful soil for one step closer to real new work and a sustainable economy.
This article was originally published here.