Quiet Quitting & Burnout: How You Can Take the First Step to Help Your Employees
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What Is Quiet Quitting?
Quiet quitting is a discussion point that is continuing to trend on TikTok and LinkedIn and creating a general stir online. Because of the large number of people involved in the conversation, the term “quiet quitting” has been used in different ways, all related in some way, to burnout.
Some people use the term to mean that they’ve mentally quit their job, due to extreme burnout, and are simply waiting for the right time to actually put in their two weeks notice. These employees are simply doing the work required to avoid getting fired and no more.
However, other people use quiet quitting to refer to creating a healthy work/life balance in which people “quit” the aspects of their work that contributes to stress and burnout, like working late every day or continually checking their work phone while at home. In this situation, supporting these employees in becoming happier and less stressed could result in greater productivity and efficiency in their jobs.
Is Quiet Quitting New?
Part of the reason quiet quitting is resonating with people is that it’s a way to describe something they are already experiencing or have experienced in the past.
Many people talk about the pressure to work long hours, how unacceptable it is to say no to company/manager demands, and constantly being at over-capacity – oftentimes doing their job and the job of another employee who already left the company due to burnout.
The reason quiet quitting is an important conversation is because a light is being shone on burnout. Large numbers of people feel that they should be investing less in their job, and more people may be inspired by the idea of quiet quitting and by the positive testimonials on TikTok to make a conscious decision to commit less to their work.
Is Quiet Quitting Bad?
While the idea of quitting generally carries negative connotations, quiet quitting can potentially be either good or bad for your company. This largely depends on whether the motivation for quiet quitting comes from a place of hopefulness or hopelessness.
Hopeful quiet quitting
With hopeful quiet quitting, the employee is addressing burnout that their own decisions have been contributing to. The hopeful quiet quitter recognizes that something needs to change for them to manage their feelings of burnout and believes things can improve. For example, someone may “quit” a fifty-hour workweek schedule in favor of a forty-hour one.
However, this does not necessarily mean that this person is doing less work. In order to meet their deadlines with less available time, they may find ways to be more focused and do tasks more efficiently.
The employee who sets healthy boundaries around their work-life balance may spend less time in the office but may also have more to offer their company than ever before. Support from their supervisor and organization can help employees find the balance they need, and reduce the existential feelings of burnout.
Hopeless quiet quitting
This kind of quiet quitting indicates that employees don’t believe there is anything they can do to improve their situation at work.
Their experience of burnout comes primarily from external factors such as lack of support from coworkers or the organization as a whole, communication issues, or an experience of low psychological safety. This employee may not want to quiet quit, but they feel that their job is no longer worth the mental and emotional burden.
How to Address Quiet Quitting
Quiet quitting itself has varying effects for the employees and their companies, and is caused primarily by employee burnout. You need to understand your employees in order to take steps to reduce their burnout and address quiet quitting. The best first step is to ask employees about their experiences.
At Inturvey, we offer a validated burnout survey, which can help you understand your employees and determine next steps to make their experience with your company better, reducing the negative effects of quiet quitting. For more information, visit https://www.inturvey.com/