Here’s Why Your Employees Are ‘Quiet Quitting’

So-called quitting in place is not a people problem. It’s a failure of traditional HR methods, according to one CEO.

September 02, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Quiet quitting is a trend that’s beginning to shake human resource leaders, reports Fast Company. The term quiet quitting means to stop going above and beyond your responsibilities at work—not taking on added responsibilities outside of a role’s job description and not working extra hours.

“Many leaders see ghost quitting, also known as quiet quitting, as a people problem, but that’s not the case. It’s a failure of traditional HR methods that don’t work anymore,” writes Ben Reuveni, CEO of Gloat, an AI Talent Marketplace.

Workers are demanding more flexibility in their jobs than ever before, and many feel trapped and unfulfilled in their current jobs. A survey by Gloat finds over half of employees feel they don’t use their current skills in their position, while another report by Randstad RiseSmart showed 43% say they don’t have enough opportunities for internal mobility.

If businesses don’t change with their people “a downward spiral of reduced productivity and deteriorating company culture,” according to McGregor Boyall, a global recruitment consultancy.

Additionally, McKinsey and Co. found that the top reason that people quit their jobs last year was due to a lack of career development and advancement.

According to Reuveni, businesses need to give their employees more flexibility, more growth opportunities and the ability to purse those possibilities.

Forty-seven percent of businesses are considering laying off workers soon but haven’t start yet, according to a PwC survey, and less engaged employees, or quiet quitters, could be some of the first to go, according to management consulting firm Korn Ferry.

“I don’t believe this will solve quiet quitting. The quiet quitter’s mindset is a symptom of a work environment where people feel cornered or stuck,” writes Reuveni. “Organizations must fundamentally change the way they think about work, proving their people come first.”

Reuveni writes that companies can start by giving employees more development and access to internal job opportunities. Companies that develop their employees are 11% more profitable and are twice as likely to retain their employees, according to Gallup.

Additionally, Reuveni recommends companies offer employees the opportunities for gigs and mentorships. Gigs can be roles in other departments and locations, giving employee exposure to new leaders and coworkers, and employees can gain new skills or sharpen current ones, leading to an internal career move. Mentorships allow employees and leaders to work with each other outside of a manager and direct report relationship.

Job sharing is another method some companies are using to relieve employees of work overload, according to Reuveni.

“Job sharing can help to beat quiet quitting by providing relief to employees who feel overworked, and connecting them to a complementary and engaging partner,” he writes.

These methods can lead to stronger and deeper relationships for employees and managers. Employee satisfaction rises 50% when a worker develops a close relationship on the job, according to the National Business Research Institute.

“Since the advent of org charts, companies have been slow to respond to the changing needs of their employees. Today’s employees demand more opportunities to learn, grow, and find fulfillment in their work,” writes Reuveni.

“Quiet quitting is a wake-up call to every people leader: It’s time to rethink our old ways of working and to create an environment in which our people can truly be at their best,” he concludes.

NACS has partnered with The Good Jobs Institute on how c-store operators can provide “good jobs,” which meet people’s basic needs and offer conditions for engagement and motivation. The Good Jobs Calculator, designed exclusively for NACS members and the convenience industry, allows retailers to use their own data and customized assumptions about the amount of improvement or uplift achievable, so executives can run scenarios on the bottom-line impact of a Good Jobs system.

Additionally, in the NACS Magazine article “Understanding Your Local Labor Landscape,” NACS provides tips on building an effective employee value proposition.

Two education sessions at the 2022 NACS Show in Las Vegas explore timely HR issues: Make Your Employer Brand Stand Out and Winning the War for Talent. Both are set for the morning of October 3. Register now to attend the NACS Show, October 1-4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.