Managing Quiet Quitting Among Employees

Organizational Commitment
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Tendekai Dzinamarira
Manager, Zimbabwe

Managing Quiet Quitting Among Employees


Definition of Quiet Quitting

"Quiet Quitting" (QQ) is an emerging term for a frequently occurring phenomenon in businesses and organizations which can have slightly different meanings, depending on who is using it:
  • Employees may define QQ as (moderately) engaged workers with a fairly reasonable amount of work-related activities and boundaries.
  • Employers may define it as willfully underperforming workers who are (always) demotivated and are (usually) doing menial tasks instead of the essential and critical duties that are required.
  • Scholars define it as the process of coming to work to achieve the minimum requirements of one's role in the time that the employee is at work. This is usually accompanied with the employee's unwillingness to do overtime and with no room or willingness for stepping outside one's designated work obligations or to "go the extra mile". In other words, QQ is the silent withdrawal of extra duties or labor to mitigate what is perceived as unreasonable work-related pressures.

What Quiet Quitting is not

  • It is important to note that QQ is not synonymous to actual quitting a job but rather to doing only what the job requires as per the job description and the contract of employment.
  • The QQ phenomenon is also dissimilar to work-related behaviour of "Acting your Wage", fulfilling your job description to the best of your ability, but doing so within the eight-hour working day, which implies that the amount of labour one puts in a job reflects the rewards one is getting for performing that particular job.

Similarities of Quiet Quitting Behavior

  • QQ versus Work-to-rule
    QQ is similar to "Work-to-Rule" (a work-related strike or slowdown) which is a job action in which employees do no more than the minimum required by the rules of their contract or job. The workers who use either QQ or the Work-to-Rule method usually aim for a more fulfilling work-life balance. In most cases these workers focus on reducing job burn-out and avoid to volunteer for unpaid duties.
  • QQ versus Truancy Behavior
    QQ behaviour is also similar to truancy behaviour where employees shirk from responsibilities and duties. Truancy behavior is often depicted by schoolchildren and young students and can also be termed: "Wagging School Behaviour".
  • QQ versus Quiet Firing
    QQ behaviour is tantamount to quiet firing which happens when the employer, bosses or supervisors try to get the employee to leave the job through not raising salaries, disregarding employees' ideas, avoiding or omitting the employee from the opportunity to attend meetings or by simply downgrading employee(s) from their roles. QQ is normally done by employees while quiet firing is commonly done by employers.

Causes of Quiet Quitting

There are various causes of QQ behaviour at workplace, including:

Signs of Quiet Quitting

Signs to show an employee is silently quitting include resistance to perform new tasks, unwillingness to volunteer for tasks, repeatedly producing low quality work or results, failure to meet work deadlines, a demotivated employee, searching for new job opportunities and even an employee pretending to be busy. These signs are obviously similar to Pre-Quitting Behaviours (PQBs) that indicate that an employee might actually quit his job and resign.

Managing and Dealing with Quiet Quitting

The productivity and growth of most organizations is hinged in employee performance. Hence it is important that organisations and managers quickly detect signs of QQ early and address the root causes well before the behavior spreads.
For this reason managers and organisations are advised to monitor QQ behavior among their employees on a regular basis. When left unattended, quiet quitters may end up becoming loud quitters who will be actively disengaged and spread their dissatisfaction to others within or outside the organisation. This affects the organisation's reputation and growth.
The manager should approach any QQ employee professionally and engage into an open and honest discussion with them in order to come up with a fruitful solution.
Note that a team in an organisation is only as productive as its least productive member. That's one more reason why there is the need to quickly identify the signs of this truancy-like behavior early and take action swiftly.

⇨ I look forward to any builds and ideas concerning managing QQ.

Joshua King (2022) "What is Quiet Quitting? Keep your Job, Change your Mindset", Vol 43 of great investments, Amazon digital services
Simon Kramer (2022), "Silent Quitting : A Guide to Quiet Quitting", Simon Kramer
Jim Harter et all (2022), "Wellbeing at Work: How to Build Resilient and Thriving Teams".


Norman Dragt

QQ is a Red Flag for an Employer

First I do not agree that the productivity of a team is necessarily equal to the least productive me... Sign up 25-1-2023

Hans Joergen Pedersen
Analyst, Denmark

QQ is Doing Less than Paid For

Just for starters, the definition is off. Not slightly off. Entirely off. The 'scholars' version is ... Sign up 25-1-2023

Michael Nwosu
Entrepreneur, United Kingdom

Manage Quiet Quitters by Addressing the Causes

I suggest to manage people showing signs of QQ by appreciating their positive contributions and by o... Sign up 26-1-2023

Monica F.Gil
Analyst, Spain

Force versus Motivation Skills

I find this topic interesting, because there are many companies that suffer from these kind of matte... Sign up 26-1-2023

S Chihos
Consultant, United States

QQ is not About Laziness, But About Poor Management

Your definition seems quite far off from the reality I've seen. In fact, QQ is closer to what those ... Sign up 26-1-2023

Paramathmuni srinivas Kumar

What to do in Order to Avoid QQ

QQ is the result of poor progress of the employee, I suppose. What is progress in a true sense that ... Sign up 27-1-2023

Monica F.Gil
Analyst, Spain

Someone Made a Correction, But...

@Monica F.Gil: "Motivational Skills" is not what I meant... That's just a part ot the "power".... Sign up 30-1-2023


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