If you think Quiet Quitting means to reduce your performance to a minimal level without being fired, you’re wrong. Quiet quitting is a phase that unfortunately gives that impression. Rather, the phrase “quiet quitting” means that employees will perform at a required level without having to give more to the company than expected. What’s the cause of this movement and what can you do about it? Read on.
The pandemic over the past 3 years has caused companies to ask more of their employees than they expected: Extended hours, overtime (sometimes without added pay), understaffed work groups, overworking the remaining employees, high turnover, lack of proper training, remote or unprepared supervisors, ever changing policies, alternating from an office to remote to hybrid schedules, and so on. All of these events have caused family issues (school, day care, and so on), employee burnout, along with constant shifting of priorities and turmoil. Finally, employees are saying, “Enough already!!”
Employees want to stop doing work for which they weren’t hired to do in the first place. And in cases where employees accept more work, more hours and an unsettled environment, at least pay them for their effort and time. Companies were unprepared for the issues caused by the pandemic and employees where initially OK with the changing demands. They understood the changing environment and were willing to accept the new normal. But those days are over. The latest conflict is companies that are requiring employees to go back to office work 100% of the time and give up remote work. However, workers have acclimated to working from home and like it. There’s an inevitable push back. So, what to do?
- Define your career goals long and short term. What do you need to move to the next level? Are your chances best accomplished with your current organization or another? Develop a short and long-range plan with timelines and benchmarks.
- Determine what currently works best for you and your employer. Are there results that can best be done remotely while others need face-to-face interactions. Make a rationale for both alternatives, then meet with your supervisor to figure out if accommodations can be made that will satisfy both parties.
- Talk with your supervisor and human resources about career building responsibilities, training/development opportunities, on-line programs or courses that may be available. Plan for your professional growth.
- Ask for opportunities for you to contribute in a new and different way: Train new employees coming into the organization, volunteer for in-house or community organizations, recruit for new talent, and so on. Demonstrate that you are willing to go beyond your function to produce results.
Your decisions should be mutually beneficial between you and your employer. However, be aware. If you decide to quiet quitting and your peers decide to put in the extra time and effort on the job, guess who will advance in their careers and get the next promotion?
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