What is quiet quitting?

By Matt Hayes | 19th October 2022

What is quiet quitting? Is it just a TikTok trend or is it seeping into your organisation?

Quiet quitting is a newly coined term that took TikTok by storm at the end of summer. Loosely, it refers to doing the basic job requirements and putting in no extra time or effort, other than what is required.

Some people might call that a job.

People are working but with an uncertain economy, two years of a deadly pandemic and many job losses, people are tired. As a result, they’re burnt out and are putting their foot down when it comes to working conditions that just don’t work for them.

Quiet quitting is not mutiny

The fact is that trends usually emerge when many people feel the same way over time. Therefore, voicing their shared concerns. In this case, across social media, where quiet quitting garnered a lot of media attention.

As a business owner myself, if I put my sensible hat on, quiet quitting is not a mutiny. ‘Just’ doing the work you’re paid for is the job. Therefore, asking people to take on more work than required, and them refusing that ‘kind’ offer, should not be viewed as an act of betrayal.

If employees have no vested interested in your company, why should they want to do more?

The underlying message of quiet quitting

There’s an unspoken undertone to the term quiet quitting that puts a negative spin on employees’ willingness to do their jobs.

The implication is that it is ‘typical’ for employees to take on extra duties or undesirable tasks, and actively participate in events outside of work, willingly and gratefully. But without the additional compensation for the effort.

If organisations are noticing a rise in ‘quiet quitting’, it stands to reason that they should reflect on what they are asking their employees to do. And, if it is within the job description.

Quick quitting

Has quiet quitting evolved to quick quitting? And what is this? Quick quitting means that employees are quicker to call it quits. If your new starters join and the ‘sell’ doesn’t match the reality, employees are no longer hanging around hoping for change.

The rate at which employees quit within a year of staring a new job, has been rising since August 2021, according to LinkedIn.

The employment market is strong, and it is candidate-driven. Therefore, employees will simply look elsewhere. They will look for an organisation, that is aligned to their values and does offer a culture, and environment, that supports their needs to deliver their best.

How to combat quiet quitting

The phenomenon of quiet quitting, quick quitting or whatever the next buzzword will be, is not new.

Businesses can continue to hire (and rehire), but this costs money and time. And that time may prevent your business from achieving the growth targets being set and ultimate profit.

Therefore, let’s stop assuming we know what employees want, and let’s ask them. People want to feel valued and rewarded for a job well done. That goes for all of us.

Therefore, businesses that develop positive, professional relationships with their employees by valuing their contribution and genuinely listening to their concerns, are less likely to have quietly quitting employees.

Chris, my business partner, recently released an article on ‘anti-perks’. It’s worth a read and highlights the gap between employers’ perception of what employees want, and the reality.

What next?

If you’re looking for your next IT role or on a hiring mission, talk to our IT recruiters today. We can help you formulate a plan to achieve career and hiring success.

Explore our latest IT jobs to get a feel for what’s out there.

Matthew Hayes

Co-founder – Devonshire Hayes