TLDR; ‘Quiet Quitting’ is a new movement started on the popular social media app TikTok, which involves workers cutting out of work at 5pm, prioritizing family and friends over work, and getting by with the bare minimum. While on one-hand, this is a movement towards better work-life-balance, on another, it opens a deeper conversation around employee engagement, happiness, and productivity.
If you’re like us, your social media feeds have been cluttered with the new trend ‘Quiet Quitting’ which started on the social media app TikTok earlier this month. When @ZaidLeppelin posted a video on the app in July, the now trending hashtag #quietquitting has gained over 8 million views. Users across the globe have posted videos sharing their experiences and their prioritization of personal time over office time.
The trend, started among the Gen Z and young millennial worker population, doesn't actually involve quitting. It’s become a term used to combat hustle culture and burnout. Employees are using the term to ‘quit’ going above and beyond at work. According to a new study by Gallup, only 31% of workers born after 1989 say they’re “engaged” at work. It was also found that they're far less likely than their older counterparts to feel their work has a purpose.
Employee engagement is not a new topic, but over the years, it has become increasingly more important, especially given the ongoing ‘Great Resignation’. How can employers get ahead of the new ‘quiet quitting’ trend and keep employees engaged?
Perhaps this new trend is a moment in time where employers should listen to the needs of their staff, and push to support their wellbeing. By encouraging work-life balance, this signals to employees that they are valued in the organization, which only leads to greater loyalty, productivity, and engagement.
Currently, only 3.2% of employees with disabilities disclose their disabilities at work, leading to dissatisfaction, drops in engagement and retention, and a feeling of loneliness and isolation at work. One of our favorite research studies to point to by HBR found that employees who do disclose their disability at work are 30% more engaged — in terms of career satisfaction and aspirations, confidence, and a sense of belonging — than those who don’t. If we create work environments where employees feel comfortable asking for support, they’re more likely to be engaged in their jobs given that they have the accommodations needed to better perform in their roles.
We’ve created a ‘hustle culture’ over the last decade that has forced employees to prioritize work over family, friendships, personal time, and health. As managers, it’s important to recognize the ramifications of pushing employees to a point where they rebel, and start viral trends such as the new ‘quiet quitting’ era. If we create cultures where employees feel excited about showing up to work, because they don’t have to sacrifice their health and wellbeing, we will hopefully see upticks in employee happiness and engagement.
Managers: perhaps it’s time that we listen to the needs of our employees, and promote access to support. While for some, this may look like extra time off or lessened workloads, for over 1 billion people in the world, this looks like access – to reasonable accommodations, safe disclosure, and respect towards employee health and wellbeing.