On quiet quitting – a disengagement crisis

Beate OeraResources for hiring managers, Talent retention and management

Quiet quitting

On quiet quitting – a disengagement crisis

Quiet quitting are the buzzwords of a discontented summer. In our recent poll, 71% of respondents had seen evidence of quiet quitting. A Gallup poll found that 50% of US workers are quiet quitters.
Quiet quitting
Quite quitting are the buzzwords of a discontented summer. In our recent poll, 71% of respondents had seen evidence of quiet quitting. A Gallup poll found that 50% of US workers are quiet quitters.

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting has been equated with staying employed whilst doing as little as possible without getting sacked. However, quiet quitting isn’t necessarily slacking the whole day, sneaking time off for Netflix, gardening and cake baking, or surfing the net aimlessly in the office. Quiet quitting can also be stripping the job back to core hours and the basic job description, whilst cutting back on overtime, checking emails at night, or taking on extra tasks.

Disengaged and unmotivated workers have always existed, and some people have always found ways to stay employed with minimum effort (and remote working has likely made this practice easier). A YouGov poll from 2015 found that 37% of workers thought their job meaningless, and 33% found it unfulfilling - hardly a good starting point for motivation and hard work. Only 50% thought it meaningful.

However, the recent focus on quiet quitting stems from the wave of disengagement, burnout and changing priorities caused by the pandemic. There has been an astounding wave of resignations, only now beginning to slow down, and alarming figures of disengagement from those who have stayed.

A growing disconnect

Recent research from Robert Walters found that 60% of white-collar employees felt disengaged from their workplace, with more than half saying their workplace has become unrecognisable in the last 12 months.

The pandemic has reframed the world of work and caused people to revaluate their jobs around mental health and work life balance. Remote working during the pandemic was a lonely experience for many, and firms struggled to keep team cohesion and staff engagement high. In addition, the workforce is also suffering a greater degree of burnout, and it is not surprising people are now prioritising health and wellbeing to a greater degree.

Want to receive future insights & research to your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter!

Stats from the US also point to the growing disconnect between workers and employers. Whilst firms received a fairly high approval from employees during the pandemic, when around 50% of staff felt their employers cared for their wellbeing, this number has now more than halved. Perhaps employers exited COVID safety measures with an expectation of staff returning to work with extra effort, underestimating the disconnect and burnout many felt.

Many firms are also still finding their way around flexible working policies and the new world of office dynamics. Hybrid working has brought many benefits, but is also more challenging to manage, and many are struggling to create structures that keep their workers connected and engaged.

Realistic expectations

Should an employer be entitled to expect staff to do more than what their job description and hours set out? Career progression often demands extra effort and dedication, but a fairly large part of the work force are looking for a job, rather than a career. Within this context, doing the job as set out, and no more, is simply fulfilling the contract, not slacking. Growth and talent management strategies need to take this into account and find ways to harness the potential of their staff without expecting all to go above and beyond.

However, it is clear that engagement is key. Firms cannot afford to disregard their staff’s welfare or team cohesion and must bake this into their talent retention and attraction strategies.

Quiet quitting

About Fram Search

Established in 2010 by Simon Roderick, a recruiter with 20 years City recruitment experience, Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment consultancy. We focus on permanent and interim recruitment in the UK & internationally.

We provide high quality contingent and retained recruitment to boutiques and global brands. We have long established relationships and access to deep talent pools. Fram takes a highly consultative approach, and we have a quality over quantity ethos. We are proud that our contingent fill rate is nearly three the industry average and we augment our retained search methodology with rigorous psychometric testing. Champions of diversity & inclusion, all staff have undertaken unconscious bias training.

Please contact us on 01525 864 372 / [email protected] to learn more.

Share this Post