Is Quiet Quitting a Global or US Issue?

Global mobility professionals have something new to contend with — quiet quitting.

Add this to the plethora of new terminologies and phrases popularized over the pandemic period. So if one is hiring from abroad, foreign assignees may look at this recent phenomenon and wonder if it applies to them. 

So far, this has largely been an issue in the United States and some parts of the world. For those who don’t know, quiet quitting pertains to the refusal of employees to go above and beyond for the company they are working for. 

According to a Resume Builder survey, 26% of 1000 US workers admittedly reported they were doing only the bare minimum at work or even less and 80% of them are actually burned out. Instead, they choose to settle for the bare minimum and focus on areas in their life whether it is a side hustle or their family.

The survey further explains that 46% of employees aren’t putting their best foot forward because they don’t want to do more work than they are compensated for doing. 

Some new and old terminologies have popped up. Remote work has been accentuated in the COVID-19 pandemic. Hybrid workforces have also recently become buzzwords in organizations that deemed onsite work to be a necessity despite the capability of executing an entirely remote workforce.

The term Zoom fatigue has been thrown around a lot among workforces that heavily rely on the platform as their video conference tool for communicating and collaborating regardless of the location where they work. 

Plus, how could HR and global mobility leaders forget the Great Resignation? It evolved into the Great Reshuffle or the Great Reassessment as business leaders began to understand the context of why employees decide to leave their current positions.

More recently, quiet quitting has become popular among the workforces and is prominent even on TikTok with thousands of users expressing their support for this new terminology. Others explained that the hustling culture isn’t worthwhile because it would compromise their mental health (45%) or their work-life balance (40%)

The stark reality should signal employers to reevaluate how they engage with their employees. HR Morning enumerates 5 proactive steps on how to stop quiet quitting:

Observe early warning signs of quiet quitting

The telltale signs of a quiet quitter are typically the manifestations of low productivity, disengagement, or dissatisfaction. However, if business leaders take a look at recent research on the topic, some employees are more likely to become quiet quitters.

For instance, a Gallup study discovered that almost 55% of its respondents who are born after 1989 are disengaged. Moreover, a Talkspace/The Harris Poll Employee Stress Check 2022 Report found that employees who are 18-34 are more susceptible to feeling burned out than those outside the age bracket.

HR and global mobility leaders need to come up with a strategic method of utilizing existing studies to identify not only the behavioral signs but also the demographics that have a higher susceptibility of quiet quitting in the workplace.

Focus on recognition

Leaving employees in the dark concerning their work performance makes it difficult for them to understand their importance in the company. It interferes with their ability to work efficiently and their desire to become more proactive within the company.

Recognition can help maintain high levels of employee retention. Ed O’Boyle, Global Practice Leader at Gallup, exclaims that good recognition staves off burnout while the lack of recognition builds it.

It’s a no-brainer for HR and global mobility professionals to hypothesize that there is a direct relationship between employee engagement and recognition. The challenge here is to develop a better recognition system by setting up concrete measures as bases for it.

Meet employee needs

Employee needs have remarkably evolved during the pandemic period. That’s why business leaders need to actively study the demands of the evolved workforce.

One of the more popular demands for workers is the ability to work from anywhere – not to mention the flexibility in working hours. Moreover, as the issue of mental health has been magnified by an ongoing pandemic, employers noticed a surge in employees reporting their desire to have mental health coverage in their health insurance plans.

However, this is only the groundwork. Workforces differ from organization to organization. So people organizers bear the responsibility of actively communicating with the workforce to better understand their needs and finding ways to satisfy them in the most cost-efficient way.

Connect more often

People often quit because of their direct bosses, not because of their employers. With this knowledge, companies need to train front-line managers with the necessary skills to connect with their team members more often, most especially with remote workforces.

The regular communication of career and personal developments helps employees discover their role’s importance in the team and thus, resulting in better engagement. This ultimately helps reduce the likelihood of quiet quitting in the workplace.

Offer more career management

The underlying cause of quiet quitting is basically that employees just don’t feel that the current position that they have in the company is valuable. Supporting employees on how to manage their careers better with the organization can help mitigate risks of quiet quitting.

Some companies do this by openly sharing their job vacancies across internal channels and specifying key competencies required for those vacancies. This allows employees to see the opportunity to advance in their careers within the company and lessens the risk of employee attrition.

Employers should understand that the labor market has drastically shifted in today’s time. To remain competitive, they need to investigate the clear signs of quiet quitting right off the bat and identify practices within the organization that contribute to the risk of quiet quitting.