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Quiet quitting and what it means for your business

HR headlines worldwide see terms like quiet quitting, the great resignation, and bare minimum Mondays gaining momentum. 

Since only 9% of employees in the UK are engaged or enthusiastic about their work, quiet quitting can have a detrimental impact on your business. 

This new employee engagement epidemic sees workers putting their needs and priorities ahead of external pressures and expectations, such as work life. 

What’s more, quiet quitting is gaining more interest from people wanting support and advice. LinkedIn has seen a growing interest in the hashtag #quietquitting, with more followers than ever.

So what can organisations do to reverse the trend of quiet quitting?

This article will explain what quiet quitting means for your business, why your people need to be aware, and give you the heads up on what to look for. 

What is quiet quitting?

Despite what the name says, quiet quitting is not about people leaving their job. By contrast, quiet quitting is a phrase describing someone still very much employed.  

Quiet quitting comes with much controversy. While many think quiet quitting is nothing more than setting healthy work/life boundaries, others see it as a sign of poor work standards by conscious disengagement.

In the US alone, according to Team Building, an estimated 67% of people are quiet quitting their jobs. Even worse, that figure increases to 85% globally.

Quiet quitters put in the bare minimum and don’t go above and beyond what is expected. Their behaviours and attitudes can be challenging to manage–making achieving business goals more difficult than usual.

Employees who are quietly quitting have emotionally detached themselves from their work. Work is deemed meaningless with different levels of engagement across routine tasks, learning and development, and communication.

Put simply, quiet quitters only do what they’re paid to do. And while this theory sounds reasonable, it can do more harm than good–for them and your business.  


Because although employees carry out their primary responsibilities, they lack using their initiative, problem-solving skills, and flexibility–critical skills for any thriving business. As employees don’t fully use their skills and knowledge, work feels meaningless, dull, and tedious. 

Let’s say you want to find out the views of your employees. You have asked them to share their opinions about choosing new HR software to help streamline workflows and automate routine tasks. Quiet quitters will be disinterested and more unwilling to offer their views than their engaged counterparts.

Bare minimum Mondays is another growing workplace trend hitting the workforce. Originated by TikTok content creator Marisa Jo Mayes to help her reduce the pressure of returning to work on Mondays, the phrase refers to only completing immediate and pressing tasks on the day after the weekend–preserving energy to get through the day.  

There’s little doubt that happy, engaged employees are more productive. Look out for telltale signs of quiet quitting in your organisation and reduce the risk of employees disengaging. Create a culture where people enjoy their work, regardless of the day of the week.

The quiet quitting signs to look out for in your organisation 

Successful businesses have a workplace where organisations and employees are aligned equally. Since quiet quitters can be part of any business, look for these signs to reverse the trend. Proactively engage employees with honest and meaningful discussions and increase their self-satisfaction at work.

1. Arriving to work late or leaving early

Five or ten minutes late here or there might seem insignificant. But multiply that amount by a couple of times each week, and it equates to 1040 hours of lost productivity each year. 

That said, no employee is perfect. It’s normal to be late now and then. But when lateness becomes the norm, it’s crucial to discover the reasons behind the change. Frequently turning up at work 15 minutes late can be a telltale sign of quietly quitting. 

Time and attendance tracking software gives you complete visibility of everyone’s working hours. Monitor arrival and leaving times easily, allowing you to tackle the reasons for poor timekeeping while managing output.

Find out patterns of punctuality to help people improve their timekeeping. Use rewards or incentives, like verbal praise or gift cards, for employees with positive attitudes toward work and improving their timekeeping.

2. Responding late to emails or Slack messages

It’s impossible (and unrealistic) to reply to every email within minutes of receiving it. But when employees are consistently late to respond, and you have them given ample time, it could mark the start of quiet quitting.

Support quiet quitters with tools that simplify their routine tasks. As Appogee HR Success is designed to integrate with a range of platforms like Google Workspace and Slack, employees can automate everyday tasks, such as replying to messages seamlessly. Create customisable checklists to assign to employees–allowing you both to keep track of outstanding tasks and monitor quiet quitters.

3. Blase approach to work tasks

Poor effort and negative attitudes make disengaged employees damaging to your business.

“I’m not really bothered” and “I don’t want to do that?” are two phrases you may overhear a quiet quitter say at work. And when boredom creates negative attitudes, it can increase the likelihood of mistakes and decrease productivity–leading to additional costs for organisations. 

Considering boreout at work is gaining momentum, employers who identify it quickly and take steps to tackle it can reverse the signs of quiet quitting. 

Find out which projects are taking longer than expected by tracking employee project roles. Ensure employees have the right time to complete their tasks and address blase attitudes with ongoing support.

4. Increased conflict between team members

According to Pollack Peacebuilding, some 85% of people experience some kind of conflict at work. A workplace conflict can happen when there is a personality clash or disagreement between co-workers or management.

Given that 38% of employees prefer to work with colleagues who go above and beyond their assigned duties, uneven workloads can affect working relationships with peers–making work life uncomfortable. And when the balance tips, it leads to frustration and added stress. 

Quiet quitters can increase conflict by not fulfilling their quota of work. Considering a third of all workplace conflict results from heavy workloads, employees who are quietly quitting can increase the workloads of their peers through disengagement. 

Observe employees who spark conflict between team members. Reduce the potential for workplace disagreements by sharing tasks fairly. Monitor individual progress and tackle conflict immediately with open and honest conversations with everyone involved.

5. Decreased productivity and output

We dedicate a significant portion of our waking hours to our jobs, so it's essential that our work feels fulfilling and rewarding. This sentiment has been supported by research conducted by Revise Sociology.

Also, according to Mental Health UK, 20% of workers feel lonely at work, putting quiet quitters at risk of further isolation. Employees stop working together and interacting with colleagues. They separate from conversations by turning off their camera during video meetings or refusing to socialize with peers. 

Plus, loneliness at work affects mental health.  Employees in the midst of quiet quitting are vulnerable to social exclusion. Help your people re-create a sense of community and belonging within the workplace. Tackle loneliness and exclusion by sharing the adverse effects of disengagement from work and setting personal goals to reverse the trend and increase output.

6. Lack of interest in out-of-work social events

Employees engaged at work are excited about out-of-work events, such as team night outs or departmental quizzes. Engaged employees develop new ideas and suggestions for future activities and often volunteer to organize them!

Quiet quitters, on the other hand, are disinterested in socialising with their peers outside of work. Employees give excuses for not attending fun events and are keen to keep work and social life completely separate. 

Encourage quiet quitters to participate in fun activities with regular communication that inspires and motivates employees to join in. A company newsfeed is perfect for sharing your next out-of-work social event or even shining the spotlight on individuals or teams for hard work.

7. Unable to cope with change

Change is a normal process for any successful organisation. Employees who cope with organisational change are resilient and thrive at work. 

A quietly quitting employee often works in isolation. Since resilience, flexibility, and adaptability are core skills employers seek from individuals, quiet quitters are set in their ways and dislike getting to grips with new ways of working.

Leaders value employees who can adapt to change and show resilience. Considering change is a normal part of working life, people who are flexible to meet the ever-changing demands of a business are favoured by employers over those who struggle with change.

Let’s put that in perspective. Because quiet quitters are disengaged from their work, asking for help with organisational change can feel uncomfortable. Quiet quitters often avoid conversations about new ways of working or management structures and are uninspired by new technology and meeting new people.

8. Lack of curiosity to learn new skills

Personal growth isn’t just about pursuing a meaningful career. It’s about growing in other areas of life and helping employees reach their full potential to live their happiest, most rewarding life.

As boredom from quiet quitting sets in, it can often impact other areas of life, for example, a lack of interest in personal hobbies or relationships. Quiet quitters need more opportunities to grow and develop their skills. Given that 32% of employees want training to have a social element, such as team-building activities or peer-to-peer learning, why not review your learning and development programme to ensure it supports quiet quitters with a fun approach? 

Celebrate personal development achievements with employee shout-outs. Show quiet quitters that you appreciate and recognise their hard work–helping to increase employee engagement.

Approach quiet quitters with better-understanding

Disengagement from quiet quitting is harmful to your organisation. The shift in attitude, beliefs, and work ethic from someone quietly quitting is noticeable–making your once top performers turn into stagnant employees who lack drive and ambition. 

Employees can quickly become typecast into people with negative attitudes.

Bear in mind these signs may be indicative of other difficulties. It’s essential not to assume your employees are quietly quitting and taking time to understand the reasons. Speak with individuals sensitively and use people analytics to identify problems before they escalate.

Britt Chavers, Office and Human Resources Manager at ASE Direct, implemented Appogee HR Success to grow their organisation and use first-class performance management tools to monitor employee engagement. Britt says, “[Implementing Appogee HR Success] has given both our employees and managers a specific place to speak their truth and organize everything in one spot. It has truly fostered a culture of learning and of growth because it allows everyone involved a safe space to vocalise their opinions and thoughts.

“It also has enabled opportunities to push employees forward in areas where they might have shortcomings.”

Invest time and effort in building genuine relationships with your workforce. Treat your employees as people, not workers, and keep on top of performance and productivity.

Tackle quiet quitting in your workplace

A stark contrast exists between establishing personal boundaries and building barriers at work. Whether you think quiet quitting suits employees or not, people are beginning to value their self-worth and take proactive steps to reduce stress.

The tell-tale signs we’ve listed here will help you notice employees who are quietly quitting. Put measures in place to support them to be the best version of themselves–while retaining their skills and knowledge. 

Create engaged teams that enjoy meaningful work, have flexibility, and feel a sense of belonging. 

Our friendly experts can guide you through our leading HR solutions to help tackle quiet quitting in your business. Book a tailored demonstration at a convenient time, or try Appogee HR for yourself for 14 days.

The value of employee engagement - Appogee HR