Insights From Our Editors

Do This to Proactively Manage “Quiet Quitting”

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Sept. 14, 2022

Quiet quitting” is a new name for an old challenge–disengaged, unproductive employees. Do you have any of those in your practice? Here is how to identify your quiet quitters, and manage the situation before your patient care and profitability are adversely affected.

Government data shows a drop in productivity over the last two quarters associated with an increase in hours worked.i How can we explain that people are working more hours and producing less?  Zaid Khan, 24, an engineer from New York, introduced the trend of Quiet Quitting with his viral Tiktok video in July. “You are still performing your duties, but you are no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentally that work has to be our life,” Khan says. “The reality is, it’s not, and your worth as a person is not defined by your labor.”

This trend is catching on in the workplace – especially among Gen Zers (under age 30), but can occur at any age.

Quiet Quitting manifests itself by employees choosing to not go above and beyond their jobs in ways that include refusing to answer e-mails during off times such as evenings or weekends and skipping extra assignments that are not in their job description.

Last year, the Great Resignation dominated the economic news cycle. This year Quiet Quitting is dominating. Is this really something new or is it a rebranding of the work done by Gallup around engagement? According to Gallup, around 50 percent of the American workforce is not engaged. Interestingly, the drop in engagement in the workplace began in the second half of 2021 and worsened in 2022.

The overall decline in engagement seems to be related to problems in the following areas:

  • clarity of expectations
  • opportunities to learn and grow
  • feeling cared about
  • a connection to the organization’s mission or purpose

Let’s be clear here. According to Gallup, Quiet Quitting is a symptom of poor management. Here’s Gallup’s proposed solution:ii

  • “First, address manager engagement. Only one-in-three managers are engaged at work. Senior leadership needs to reskill managers to win in the new hybrid environment.
  • Managers must learn how to have conversations to help employees reduce disengagement and burnout.Only managers are in a position to know employees as individuals — their life situation, strengths and goals.
  • Gallup finds the best requirement and habit to develop for successful managers is having one meaningful conversation per week with each team member — 15-30 minutes.
  • Managers need to create accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and customer value — and employees must see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose. Decisions about where people work — on-site, remote or a hybrid schedule — should keep these factors in mind. Importantly, every organization needs a culture in which people are engaged and feel they belong.”

References
i. Productivity and Costs, Second Quarter 2022, Revised – 2022 Q02 Results (bls.gov)

ii. Is Quiet Quitting Real? (gallup.com)

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