Amongst lip-syncing clips and influencer tutorials, the idea of “Quiet Quitting” has recently become a major trend across social media. Quiet Quitting, which is considered a rebellion against “hustle culture,” encourages employees to avoid going above and beyond for their employers and to stick to the bare minimum of their job duties. This trend arises in the wake of the Great Resignation, in which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71.6 million people quit their jobs because of widespread job dissatisfaction and wage stagnation.

Quiet Quitting has been embraced by Millennials and Gen Z, but studies show Quiet Quitting has occurred throughout all generations. Reasons for Quiet Quitting may include burnout, wanting a better work-life balance, lack of self-fulfillment, or feeling undervalued by employers. Signs of Quiet Quitting include:

  • Employees being unwilling to work overtime
  • Late arrivals and early departures
  • Low productivity
  • Low participation in team activities
  • Lack of enthusiasm for work

Quiet Quitting may be a concerning trend, but employers can take deliberate steps to combat contributing factors. Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General released a Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace, urging employers to focus on developing five key categories to support the well-being of their workers:

1. Protection from harm: This category includes prioritizing physical and psychological safety in the workplace and developing supports for employee health. Employers may strengthen this area by encouraging and enabling adequate rest, normalizing discussions regarding mental health, and focusing on strong Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (“DEIA”) policies and practices.

2. Connection and community: This category emphasizes the importance of personal and professional relationships in the workplace. By cultivating inviting and inclusive cultures, developing trusting relationships, and underscoring collaboration and teamwork, employers may create a more welcoming and supportive environment.

3. Work-life harmony: Employers can make major strides with employee satisfaction by focusing on work-life balance. Examples of improving this category include giving employees greater autonomy over work completion, having flexible schedules, increasing access to paid leave, and setting and respecting appropriate work-life boundaries.

4. Mattering at work: Feeling undervalued is more than unhappiness; it’s a major psychological factor in making decisions about a job or career and is also associated with negative physical health outcomes. By providing a living wage, engaging employees in decisions, and ensuring gratitude and recognition are adequately communicated, employers can ensure employees feel more satisfied with their work and role in the workplace.

5. Opportunities for growth: When employees feel they matter and have an opportunity to grow personally and professionally in an organization, they become more enthusiastic about contributing. Workplaces can offer quality training, education, and mentoring opportunities, emphasize clear, equitable opportunities for career advancement, and focus on providing relevant feedback to keep employees engaged.

Although Quiet Quitting will likely remain a popular social media trend, all hope is not lost. According to the University of Phoenix’s Career Optimism Index, employees “remain optimistic and hopeful about the future of their careers.” For those who are currently dissatisfied in their roles, 69% of Americans stated that if their workplaces improved, they would consider staying at their current jobs. By supporting employee health and cultivating positive workplace practices, employers can keep employees engaged and fulfilled, and combat the effects of Quiet Quitting and the Great Resignation.

If you have questions or concerns about workplace practices and initiatives, please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of Gardner Skelton’s employment team.