Did you know there are two types of quiet quitters?
People are still floundering since Covid, especially in the job market. We have moved on from the Great Resignation where employees just quit their jobs in the name of mental health with no other income or career opportunities to support them. Now, since that likely resulted in financial hardships, instead of actually quitting their jobs, people are “quiet quitting.”
What’s important to realize is that not all quiet quitters are the same. They’re not doing it for the same reasons and some may even be doing it unconsciously. It’s easy to just look at this as just another Millennial or Gen Z social media trend or sense of entitlement; but that would be wrong. If we don’t understand why this is happening, we can’t hope to address it adequately.
This is not something to brush off. With fear of another recession, employers are going to react accordingly. We’re already seeing layoffs happen and the quiet quitters will be the first on the chopping block. Obviously, if you’re thinking about quiet quitting, adding the stress of job instability or no income isn’t going to aid your mental health recovery. If you’re the boss, you could potentially lose great people because you didn’t act sooner.
What causes quiet quitting in the first place?
- Struggling to manage your workload over an extended period of time. This includes inability/availability to delegate, not sure how to handle competing priorities, or not having clear expectations.
- Not having adequate resources over an extended period of time. This could be personnel, technology, or processes needed to make the job more efficient.
- Poor communication and relationships. Not feeling heard or not even speaking up for oneself. Difficulty managing conflict with peers. Not a good relationship with their boss. Poor exchange of feedback all around.
- Difficulty managing negative emotions at work. Low confidence and high self doubt. Struggles to make decisions. A variety of fear based thoughts. Allows negative emotions of others to impact their behavior. Allows personal troubles to impact how they act at work and vice versa.
You can segment the quiet quitters into two groups. People are giving up due to burnout and those who give up out of spite. It’s important to identify which one you are, or which type is on your team. Again, it is possible in both cases someone may not even realize they’re doing it, which signifies a lack of self-awareness, among other things. Learn more about how you could be quitting unintentionally in my blog, Are You Quitting on Yourself?
It is also very true for both types of quiet quitters that this is just a response to a deeper issue. Your mental health at work is affected. You’re emotionally drained and your reaction is to allow yourself to burn out or to react with resentment. Which reaction you have depends on your personality, your mental blocks, and your level of emotional intelligence. It all comes from the same place though. For example, you weren’t recognized or rewarded the way you expected, so you either build resentment or work even harder to try and get it. You don’t have good convos with your boss about what you could be doing differently, what you should be prioritizing, or how you can best add value. You feel your boss is responsible for telling you how to manage your time or knowing that you’re “obviously” overwhelmed, and either resent that they do not or assume that it must mean you’re not working hard enough and try to do it all.
It’s time to be honest with ourselves as employees and as leaders.
Let’s learn how to manage our time. Let’s drop this crazy sense of urgency that compels us to do everything immediately. Lets ask the right questions to have the right expectations on what is reasonable to be achieved in a day. Let’s stop defining everything as a top priority.
Let’s make sure that we are asking for and providing the proper resources. Of course this takes time (acquisition, recruiting, onboarding, etc) so while we are working on that make sure we adjust our expectations while it’s being developed. Let’s have the right people in the right positions to be as effective as we can be, which means actually knowing our strengths and talents and demonstrating those.
Let’s have more effective development conversations between bosses and direct reports. Let’s not look at every conflict as toxic and learn how to handle difficult conversations. Let’s provide proper and useful feedback in a timely manner. Let’s give people the space and safety to speak up.
Let’s all focus on improving our own self-awareness and self management. Not allowing our deficiencies be the responsibility of someone else to work around. We can self-develop and grow so that we are being the best versions of ourselves. Letting go of fear based thoughts. Not allowing other people’s negativity impact our energy. Admitting our limits and taking care of ourselves accordingly.
If you want to combat quiet quitting and re-engage at work, here’s what you should do:
- Know your vision and how your role aligns with it – what do you want out of this?
- Know your motivating factors – what gives you the desire to push through challenges?
- Admit your strengths and weaknesses – are you in the right position?
- Ask for help – are you trying to do too much?
- Know what the value added tasks are – are you working on the wrong things?
- Learn how to speak up for yourself – are you holding yourself back?
- Learn how to set clear expectations – do you have proper measurements of productivity/results?
- Learn how to set boundaries – do you know how to say no properly?
- Understand time management and prioritization better – are you just busy or actually being productive?
- Know your limits – are you breaking your own boundaries?
- Find ways to re-engage relationships and build better rapport – are you able to be vulnerable about what you need?
As leaders, we have to know these answers about our employees as well. That starts with having effective conversations.
Here are some specific resources that can help!
- Learn how to have more effective development conversations with your boss.
- Join the 30-Day Positive Mindset Challenge to get back to being you.
- Start reducing emotional stress with the techniques shared in my workshop.
- Schedule a 30-minute discovery call so I can help you identify if re-engaging or finding a new job is right for you.