Brief

Avoid the pain of “quiet quitting” among your team members by listening to their unique needs and restructuring their jobs to increase engagement, satisfaction and flexibility, write business professors Anthony Klotz and Mark Bolino. “[L]eaders must prioritize creating an environment in which workers feel safe speaking up, in which they believe that the organization cares about them, and in which they can have confidence that leadership will hear and address their concerns,” they write.

 

Insight

While much has been written about the Great Resignation, a new term has emerged to describe an increasingly common alternative to resigning: “quiet quitting.”

Driven by many of the same underlying factors as actual resignations, quiet quitting refers to opting out of tasks beyond one’s assigned duties and/or becoming less psychologically invested in work.Quiet quitters continue to fulfill their primary responsibilities, but they’re less willing to engage in activities known as citizenship behaviors: no more staying late, showing up early, or attending non-mandatory meetings.

At first glance, this may not seem problematic. After all, these employees aren’t disengaging from their core tasks — they’re just refusing to go beyond them.

But for many companies, a workforce that is willing to go beyond the call of duty is a critical competitive advantage. The reality is that most jobs can’t be fully defined in a formal job description or contract, so organizations rely on employees to step up to meet extra demands as needed.

As such, it’s hardly surprising that many leaders have reacted quite negatively to the quiet quitting trend. Indeed, many leaders we’ve spoken with have argued that losing employees who want to leave is difficult, but having them not quit is even worse, as their unwillingness to go the extra mile often increases the burden on their colleagues to take on extra work instead.

 

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