Labor Relations

How Quiet Quitting is Killing Productivity and ROI

Quiet Quitting is something HR managers need to take seriously if they're going to keep the company on track. It may be a real danger to productivity.

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Do you have "Quiet Quitters" in your workforce?  If so, they may be a real danger to your productivity.

Quiet Quitting was first popularized early in 2022 in TikToks that have gained millions of views over just a few months, and the trend seems to only be growing.  This is something HR managers need to take seriously if they're going to keep the company on track.

What Is Quiet Quitting?

Despite the name, there's no actual quitting involved.  Instead, Quiet Quitters (QQers) are employees who reject hustle culture and refuse to go above and beyond, only doing the minimum they're contractually obligated to do.  For example:

  • Declining to take on extra unpaid job roles.
  • Leaving the office promptly at the end of their shift.
  • Not volunteering for overtime, or only accepting OT at high pay rates.
  • Generally, not looking to excel at work when 'good enough' will fulfill their obligation.

This is a complicated issue.  On one hand, it is undoubtedly very bad for businesses.  A large number of QQers in an office can substantially harm productivity and profitability.  Worse, QQing can be 'contagious.'  If Employee A and Employee C are both QQers, Employee B may lose motivation as well.  Over time, the cumulative effect of these workforce decisions could be disastrous.

On the other hand, many experts believe that QQ represents a response to genuine issues in the workforce.  Worker stress is at all-time highs, with more than half of surveyed workers reporting serious burnout and dissatisfaction with their work-life balance.  For many workers, lowering their own workplace standards is a way of psychologically rebalancing.

Further, it's not unreasonable for workers to expect compensation for their work.  Why should they answer emails during their off hours, when it amounts to working for free?  This can be particularly problematic if workers feel they aren't getting other rewards for excelling either, such as being passed over for raises or promotions.

This is an HR problem and demands HR solutions.

How To Reduce Or Prevent Quiet Quitting In Your Workforce

1 - Utilize better employee monitoring

The first step in combating Quiet Quitting is to recognize that it's happening.  Productivity monitoring software solutions can help you track workplace engagement over time and notice early signs of burnout or QQing.  Then you can intervene before it becomes prevalent.  

2 - Use carrots, not sticks

Punishing workers for QQing is risky and could easily increase morale problems - especially if the workers are genuinely staying within the bounds of their contract.  With workforce shortages in so many fields, workers know they can find other jobs easily if they become too dissatisfied at their current workplace.

3 - Reward success

If employees are genuinely putting in extra effort and trying to excel, they need to be tangibly and visibly rewarded for their efforts.  Refusing to offer pay raises or passing people over for promotion in favor of hiring outside the company, will only encourage QQing.  Make sure your employees know that extra effort will truly be rewarded - and not just with a pizza party.

Remember, retaining employees through incentives is almost always cheaper than hiring and onboarding new ones.

4 - Have open lines of communication for feedback

Often, QQing results from employees who are dissatisfied, but don't speak up out of fear of reprisal.  Simply having ways for employees to report genuine grievances, and feel that they're being heard fairly, can significantly boost morale. 

LaborSoft offers robust HR software solutions for monitoring your workforce, tracking complaints, and implementing real policies that improve morale.  If you believe Quiet Quitting is on the rise at your business, see how LaborSoft can fit into your workplace and improve productivity before it puts your company at risk.  

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