Saturday Sage: 12 Quiet Quitting Remedies

Thanks to TikTok everyone is talking about ‘quiet quitting’.

Definitions of quiet quitting:

  1. “People who are not going above and beyond at work and just meeting their job description.”
  2. “Clocking in and doing the bare minimum at work.”
  3. “You are still performing your duties, but you are no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentally, that work has to be our life.”
  4. “Doing the bare minimum required to avoid being fired.”

Quiet quitting doesn’t mean that an employee has quit, but they are setting boundaries at work and refusing to go above and beyond in completing their duties. 

Quiet quitting: Going above and beyond is beyond me. Image of a person resting their head on the desk.

5 quiet quitting misfortunes:

  1. You focus on self-serving and neglect other-serving.
  2. Being underutilized feels ok.
  3. Feeling entitled is a way of life.
  4. Lack luster commitment makes work a drudgery.
  5. A quiet quitting attitude is not attractive to your next employer.

Quiet quitting culture:

Quiet quitting got traction during the pandemic.  Remote work set the stage because people found it difficult to set boundaries.

Workplace expert, Lynn Taylor, says, “Younger generations have watched their overachieving parents allow work stress to consume them. They don’t understand the notion that working endlessly for them has been a badge of honor.  They have noticed their parents and grandparents to have been so involved with their careers that they suffer emotionally and have simply sacrificed too much to work that hard for that many years”.

5 clues of a quiet quitting culture:

  1. Negative attitudes about work affect team members.
  2. People shy away from new projects.
  3. Team members wait to be asked before contributing.
  4. Employees withdraw and seem to fly solo.
  5. Joy is low. Boredom and frustration are high.

Corporate panic over “quiet quitting” is real.

Gallup finds quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — probably more.

Gallup says it’s being “psychologically unattached” to employers because their “engagement needs are not being met”.  A passive aggressive attitude is not new. But younger generations are turning it into a movement that causes a great divide between the high commitment people and low commitment people.

Kristin Hancock, an Indianapolis-based communications professional, said that for her quiet quitting is a futile pursuit.  There have been times in her career when she was dissatisfied with a job and wanted to coast, but she found herself unable to do so.  Doing less felt frustrating and made her work feel even less meaningful.  Some people will always be driven by ambition, enjoyment, perfectionism, or insecurity to do more than is asked of them, but if you expect everyone to do that, by definition, it isn’t ‘above and beyond’ anymore.

This is why I got up today. Image of a person carrying a bag.

12 quiet quitting remedies:

  1. Break barriers by focusing on the why of work.
  2. Celebrate things your company brings to society. Ask, “What are we most proud of?”
  3. Develop supportive relationships between management and staff.
  4. Equip leaders to regularly check in with people. Insist that people feel cared for and seen.
  5. Offer counseling services and benefits to support people.
  6. Re-visit core values when reflecting on improvement.
  7. Create a ‘quiet quitting’ team to identify and correct blind-spots.
  8. Praise others for specific accomplishments. Have coffee with co-workers to praise their contribution.
  9. Post pics and stories of team members having fun on the job.
  10. Replace negative comments with positive wins.
  11. Put up roadblocks when other team members whine.
  12. Be bold to tell others when you enjoy work.

Bonus Thought: Don’t review your job description every day.

We killed it. Image of kids celebrating.

Elise Freedman, senior client partner at Korn Ferry says, “People see ‘quiet’ and ‘quitting’ and they think it’s about quitting, but really what quiet quitting means is someone who has decided, I want to prioritize my well-being …”

How to set boundaries and excel at work:

Quiet quitting is about boundaries. Healthy boundaries set you free. Self-centered boundaries become dungeons.

  1. Reflect on values to determine boundaries.
  2. Make boundaries known as soon as you find clarity.
  3. Don’t make exceptions.

Fuzzy boundaries corrode credibility. Weak boundaries are the same as no boundaries. A boundary worth having is a boundary worth keeping.

“Clayton Christensen had made a pledge to God not to work on Sundays, and a pledge to his family not to work on Saturdays and to be home during the week early enough for dinner and to play ball with the kids while it was still light. Sometimes, in order to keep these commitments, he would go to work at three in the morning.” New Yorker

Warning: New boundaries are disruptive. Be prepared for tough conversations when you set boundaries.

Self-reflecting: “If I owned this company would I want the people who work for me to have the same attitude I have?”

A final word: DO GOOD!!!!

What are the pros and cons of quiet quitting?

How are you setting and/or keeping boundaries?

Still curious:

Why Self-Care isn’t a 4-Letter Word

3 Ways to Manage Your Calendar: Dear Dan, How Do You Practice an Open-Door Policy

This post is a collaboration between Dan Rockwell and Stan Endicott.

Note: I relax my 300-word limit on weekends.