Quiet quitting doesn’t just affect one person. Here’s why.

Data shows that there are trends out there, and proper communication can help combat them.

Quiet quitting doesn't just impact one person

In the world of workplace trends, quiet quitting has been all over the headlines recently. The quiet quitting phenomenon refers to employees who only do the bare minimum to get their jobs done. However, data shows that quiet quitters are impacting more than just their own success—they’re — also affecting the people they work closest with. New research by LLC revealed that the habits of quiet quitters have far-reaching impacts.

The effect of quiet quitters on others

When quiet quitters decide to do the bare minimum in their roles, they’re often pushing some of their responsibilities off on others, whether they realize it or not. Naturally, that isn’t going to go over well with some of the quiet quitter’s colleagues. In the LLC report, 62% of employees surveyed said they are annoyed by the trend of quiet quitting, with 57% stating that they had to take on extra work because a colleague had quiet quit.

Additionally, the report goes on to state that some managers are taking advantage of quiet quitting and turning to quiet firing. Quiet firing happens when managers withhold responsibilities, promotions, or other motivational aspects of a job from an employee, demotivating them in the process. When asked how they’d respond to being quiet fired, 32% of those surveyed said they would either quiet quit or look for a new job in response. While this data is obviously concerning, there are steps that organizations can take to root out quiet quitting in a compassionate fashion.

It’s all about actively listening for the right signs

When looking at trends of quiet quitting in your industry or perhaps even within your own ranks, it’s on you to understand the reason why employees might be compelled to only do the bare minimum within their roles—and communicate those signs to your leaders and HR colleagues.

Do they not feel challenged? Is there not a path of upward mobility? Do they feel their skills are being misused? Any of the aforementioned issues are potential reasons an employee might quiet quit. And active listening can be just what’s needed to help stem the tide of this concerning trend.

By partnering with HR to give employees an avenue to express their thoughts, you will gain greater insight into how the workplace can be improved across business functions. The most common example of this partnership sees comms composing short pulse surveys, overseen by HR, that ask quick questions about work experience within their organization can be improved.  Upon reviewing the results with HR, you can point to the data and identify trends that might be leading employees to feel that they aren’t able to excel and help rectify them. These numbers can serve as a catalyst for hard conversations about executive communication or company policies that aren’t always easy to kick off. You can support any conclusions by offering to help roll out resources to help managers better support employees and combat telling signs of quiet quitting. Offer to source and compile employee success stories of employees to recognize a job well done. If an employee feels seen and acknowledged, they’re much less likely to quiet quit.

Helping hands

The LLC report also states that 57% of respondents reported knowing a coworker that was quiet quitting. Noticing this trend in a report may be especially concerning for managers, but it’s also an opportunity for outreach and growth. If you’re noticing a coworker or a report is a bit less engaged than usual, it could be a good chance to ask them why they’re feeling the way they are. By listening to the needs of your employees, you’ll be able to find out what they need to become their best selves and can help provide it.

In a healthy company everyone is in it together, and employees won’t feel the need to quiet quit because they’re engaged and needed. If you treat the quiet quitting trend with compassion, understanding and a listening ear, you’re much more likely to find out the underpinning reason behind the trend and access the tools you need to ensure that employees are their best selves.

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports, a good pint and ’90s trivia night. Follow him on LinkedIn.


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