Has Quiet Quitting Sprung Out of The Great Resignation?

Is your organisation struggling to return to normalcy post the pandemic? Has the Great Resignation brought about the trend of Quiet Quitting at your workplace? Read our latest blog to know more about the Great Resignation and its impact on Quiet Quitting.

Has Quiet Quitting Sprung Out of The Great Resignation?

Let's talk about the Great Resignation. It had started towards the end of the pandemic and a year post the pandemic, we hear of quiet quitting. What is going wrong with the way employers are looking at employee strategy and what are employees seeking from the employers of today? Let’s take a detailed look.

What was the Great Resignation?

All of us know how the world was afflicted by the fatal pandemic of Covid 19 for almost two years. After struggling for days, as life was returning to normalcy, we witnessed the same eluding the job market in an unfortunate turn of events.
A large number of professionals were found resigning from their jobs even after the pandemic was gone. This turned out to be a new phenomenon named ‘Great Resignation’ as the employees have been re-evaluating their careers.
A post-Covid study revealed two trends – employees who are in the middle of their career and working in the technology and healthcare industries have resigned most.

Texas A&M University Professor Anthony Klotz first proposed the term ‘Great Resignation” in the wake of a large number of people leaving their jobs once the COVID pandemic is over and life returns to "normal".

Concerns that Led to the Great Resignation

Numerous studies were conducted to understand why people left their jobs post-pandemic, and also what can possibly be done to stop the phenomena of uncontrolled, collective resigning from jobs. What was revealed by the studies is listed as under:

The Pandemic experience caused some workers to re-evaluate their life priorities, reducing their working hours or leaving the job entirely.

Employers required employees to return to the office after being removed from work.

The pandemic caused some workers to exit the labor force contributing to competition for available labor. So, they moved to wherever they were paid more.

One of the major reasons behind Great Resignation is Employee Burnout. People were exhausted after the pandemic with long hours at work and multifold duties at home trying to balance them together.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the trend will shift from April 2020 to March 2022, when 3% of the workforce will leave their jobs (BLS).

Employees frequently quit their jobs after accepting a better one elsewhere, so the drop reflected, to a large extent, the decline in hiring for new positions. Others, no doubt, delayed a planned exit, whether to start their own business or for other reasons, in the midst of the turmoil.

What is Quiet Quitting?

"Quiet quitting" implies rejecting the notion that work should take over one's life and that employees should go above and beyond the scope of their job descriptions. According to Metro, this can manifest as declining projects based on interest, refusing to respond to work messages after hours, or simply feeling less invested in the role.

It entails doing the bare necessities of one's job and dedicating no extra time, effort, or enthusiasm that is absolutely necessary. As a result, it is somewhat deceptive, because the employee does not actually leave their position and is still paid.

Even though Quiet Quitting became a popular trend in the United States in 2022, thanks largely to social media, some observers are skeptical, questioning its commonality among the youth.

Did Great Resignation Lead to Quiet Quitting?

It is safe to say that Quiet Quitting is a kind of continuation of the Great Resignation, but more passive in nature. Here, the employee just stops going one extra mile post-work hours, rather than resigning outright. The phenomenon of Quiet Quitting has been more popular among Gen Z who are more aware of their well-being, physical or mental. So, it is their way of tactically dealing with the situation, without breaking any corporate code - Neither will they go to the extent of resigning from their jobs, nor they are ready to selflessly dedicate themselves to work not prioritizing their health.

The world is witnessing trends like such back-to-back and it’s almost like a chain now. In 2021 comes the phenomenon of the ‘Great Resignation’, in 2022 we witness the ‘Quiet Quitting’ trend which is a passive version of the former, and a cleverer approach by the employees. Followed by this, one more trend is gaining momentum, which has been named ‘Moonlighting’. This means taking up a second job after performing the duties of the first job.

Clearly, the chain continues, from one phenomenon to another but how? There has to be some underlying reason behind it. Are the employers going wrong? If yes, then where? Let’s find out.

Where are Employers Going Wrong?

While you may feel that you are doing your best to care for your employees, there still can be numerous loopholes present that may annoy your employees. Today’s employees are extremely aware of their well-being, and their interests. They are asking if I join you, 'What’s in it for me?’ So, take a deeper look to identify where exactly you are lacking or going wrong. The following can be some of the areas:

1) The Lack of Personal Connect

Develop a good bond with your employees. Give them your advice, and share your personal experiences with them. Maybe, share what challenged you the most when you began, to make them feel closer to you. Encourage and inspire them to do better. And, always extend your help to them, any kind of help, professional or personal. Make your employees feel trusted and valued in order to motivate them to contribute to your company's success. Establish a positive relationship with them. Make them trust you, not just the other way around. Take special care of your remote employees in this regard. Although research has backed up the fact that remote employees tend to be more productive than in-office ones, a lack of a good bond with the employer and colleagues may have a negative impact. Make sure you develop a relationship with your remote employees to make them more engaged in work. Even a simple ‘Hi, how was your day?’ before jumping into a work conversation is enough to make them smile.

2) Only Talking of Work

Do indulge in quick chats with your employees. Have a small conversation regarding how their family is doing, for instance, or ask them about their hobbies. Or, organize social hours, giving an opportunity to your employees to interact with each other, leaving aside work, and be a participant yourself. When one spends a considerable amount of time of their day in the office, just work-related talks get mundane and boring. And talking of remote employees, again you have to deal with care. Do indulge in informal conversations with them. You can ask them how they are, how their day went, or about their or their family members’ health first when you call them for some work. So, you have to keep your employees cheered up.

3) Dwindling Work-Life Balance

Allow your employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Pandemic opened the eyes of quite a many employees about the responsibilities of family. Working from home has allowed them to accept the need of both office and home. Being in the safe environment of their homes, employees have performed more than in an office environment. While people are back in office, as leaders one should allow them more opportunities to fulfill their responsibilities at home too. Some organization have started with voluntary family days where a person can take time off to finish their household tasks. ‘Bring your family to work’ is another way of allowing the families to experience their members days at work.

4) Less Attention to Emloyees’ Well-being

Show them you care. Take an extra step, go an extra mile, just to ensure your employees are doing well. Understand their need for well-being through pulse checks. Identify need for well-being and act on it. A lot of large companies during covid started giving well being vacations to their employees or having an on-call counseller that employees can anonymously seek support. Many a time, too much work stress may end up causing anxiety, depression, and burnout which eventually can affect their productivity, and in the long run, your company. So, it’s your duty to care for your employees’ well-being. If they share their problems, extend your assistance.

5) Paying Higher for a New Joinee Than an Employee

Many a times in the want of talent, employers end up paying what ever is asked by the candidate, little realising that the employee working for them would feel differentiated. If you are paying a higher amount to a new joinee than to someone who has been with you for years, it may end up severely hurting and annoying them. They may feel like they are less important. They may also stop going that extra mile to get the work done because they may feel they are not compensated properly.

What can Employers do to Prevent This?

The first and foremost thing that you can do for your employees is to be there for them.Understand their pulse and how would they wish to grow in their career. Take necessary steps through technology to plan actions and personalise the effort to make every singly employee feel valued in the system. Understand their perspective in business and what can be done better. Record the same, work on it and give them feedback of what has been changed basis their feedback. All employees get excited to be a part of their organizations growth, Leaders need to leverage their commitment by committing to listen and act for them. Do the best you can to keep them engaged.