29 Aug Is Quiet Quitting Bad?
As we get ready to celebrate Labor Day in America, there is a new buzz term circling the workforce: “Quiet Quitting.” Quiet Quitting is when an employee decides to only do the job they were hired to do, and nothing more. They simply do their job and then go home. Is quiet quitting bad?
The term is new, but the concept of quiet quitting has been around for decades. In fact, what quiet quitters are doing used to be the norm. What changed? I would argue the invention of the personalized computer, the smart phone, inflation, and expectations in the workforce.
I was born in the late 1970s, so I am what some experts call a Xennial, which is a micro-generation of people born toward the end of Generation X and before the Millennial Generation. What makes my micro-generation unique is that we grew up in an analog world but started working in a digital world. We remember life before there was the Internet and personal computer. Yet when we got our first office job, there were computers and dial-up internet. When we started our families, we all had smartphones.
Go back to the year 2007, when Apple released the original iPhone. I am not saying there is a direct connection, but the last recession we had in America started in December of 2007, when unemployment reached 10%.
You were either unemployed or doing the work of two or three people. To survive and keep your job, the worker felt the pressure to take on more responsibilities for the same pay.
What I observed was a major shift in how the workforce viewed employees. You were either unemployed or doing the work of two or three people. To survive and keep your job, the worker felt the pressure to take on more responsibilities for the same pay. Emails and text messages coming in after-hours also meant you were always on the clock. Companies were pleased because they got the same output for less money.
What happened when the economy recovered? The new norm never reverted; employees kept feeling the pressure to do more for less, to answer emails and text messages in the evenings and weekends.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was already a push for more work-life balance. Post-pandemic you read stories of employees demanding to keep their remote office. You also hear about people leaving their jobs as part of the Great Resignation. And now you hear of the Quiet Quitters.
What your employees really want is what most of us want. Autonomy of our schedule. We want to work to live, not live to work. If you are a business owner, you started your business to get freedom and work on something you are passionate about. You don’t want to make money to have money, you want to make money to be able to provide a nice home for your family and take great family vacations. Your staff wants the same!
So Quiet Quitters are not bad employees, they are good humans who love their families and want to spend time with them. The question is, what can we do to give them what they desire and keep our companies moving forward? Figure that out and you’ll never have to worry about people leaving your company. Invest in your team and they will invest in your company.
Scott Miller is the CEO of Centerpost Media, host of the Create. Build. Manage. show (seen on BizTV, heard on BizTalkRadio, and available wherever you listen to podcasts,) and a member of the Forbes Agency Council, Entrepreneur Leadership Network, and Dallas Business Journal Leadership Trust. You can find Scott on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via “@scottmillerceo” or on LinkedIn via “@scottmillermedia.” Centerpost Media is a content marketing agency with a vision to help every business they encounter with their media needs by providing outstanding quality, service and value. Centerpost Media is the parent company to BizTV, BizTalkRadio, BizTalkPodcasts and Bizvod.