Trends come and go; some revolutionize the workplace, while others make you genuinely wonder what the globe’s economic future holds. As the world enters another recession, a 17-second TikTok video with millions of views has turned on a new lightbulb for the younger generation, sparking a millennial and Gen-Z fire that’s ignited across social media and corporate America.
As the world enters another recession, a 17-second TikTok video with millions of views has turned on a new lightbulb for the younger generation, sparking a millennial and Gen-Z fire that’s ignited across social media and corporate America.
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Quiet Quitting: Fad or Cry for Help
Dubbed quiet quitting, this new concept doesn’t actually refer to anyone quitting their job; instead, only doing what’s part of the job description within business hours—and nothing more. Employees are realizing that ‘hustle culture’ is no longer beneficial to their mental or physical health, and going above and beyond is now going to cost extra—as it should.
The so-called ‘startup grind’ glamorized by people like Gary Vaynerchuk has met its match. However, one may also see this trend as a cry for help; inflation and the cost of living are on the rise, and workers are done with being asked to do more without proper compensation.
In 2022, a Gallup study found that ‘quiet quitters’ comprise at least 50% of the workforce, with the proportion of engaged employees remaining at 32% while the percentage of actively disengaged increased to 18%. The overall decline in engagement is related to a variety of factors, including:
- Insufficient pay for job expectations
- No opportunity for personal or career development
- Disconnect to company mission or purpose
- Lack of feeling cared about
- Poor manager-employee relationship
The topic is highly debated; is this a quasi-trend born out of millennial laziness? Has quiet quitting always been around but just received a new slogan? Or is the labor force simply tired of going above and beyond just to be laid off in the end?
The Zeitgeist of America’s Past
This generation prioritizes their physical and mental wellness unlike any other generation, and rightfully so. Quiet quitting is their public declaration that they will do whatever it takes to achieve the ultimate goal: work-life balance.
Generation X and Baby Boomers fell into the ‘work is life’ culture, willfully spending their nights and weekends mentally or physically clocked into work. Millennials and Generation Z look back at this lifestyle and shakes their head. Wall Street’s Gordon Gekko is no longer something to look up to; their inspiration comes from the latest revelations on Twitter and Instagram.
The younger generation is all about their freedom. Associations can no longer expect employees to jump at the opportunity for long and intense hours. Benefits must be fair and targeted toward what this workforce expects: debt relief, a clear path to career advancement, flexibility to WFH, and top-notch technology.
Read more here about the top workplace benefits millennials are seeking in 2022.
Prevent Quiet Quitters
The Great Resignation was a post-pandemic wake-up call, causing Americans to finally switch careers, quit unhealthy jobs, and refocus their priorities on what matters most. Quiet-quitting is a mere step down from the 2021 mass exodus. Here are some things someone in a management position can do to decrease or eliminate quiet quitting:
- Ensure every job description is transparent and mutually understood
- Compensate your employees accordingly
- Establish a communication channel between leadership and team members
- Create a healthy rapport with your team
- Do not place expectations on any members to “step up” or take on additional workloads
- Emphasize work-life balance
No matter how you may view this new concept, quiet quitting is here and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. Regardless of the world’s economic turmoil, this generation of employees is choosing to focus on what matters most to them.
Read more here for our guide on Retaining Your Top Talent.