J. J. Keller® Compliance Network Logo
Start Experiencing Compliance Network for Free!
Update to Professional Trial!

Be Part of the Ultimate Safety & Compliance Community

Trending news, knowledge-building content, and more – all personalized to you!

Already have an account?
Thank you for investing in EnvironmentalHazmat related content. Click 'UPGRADE' to continue.
Enjoy your limited-time access to the Compliance Network Professional Trial!
A confirmation welcome email has been sent to your email address from ComplianceNetwork@t.jjkellercompliancenetwork.com. Please check your spam/junk folder if you can't find it in your inbox.
Thank you for your interest in EnvironmentalHazmat related content.
You've reached your limit of free access, if you'd like more info, please contact us at 800-327-6868.

The workplace has always had its share of employees who have been content to slide by, hoping their lack of enthusiasm would go unnoticed. Thanks to social media, however, workers with no desire to go above and beyond the bare minimum are attracting a great deal of attention.

Quiet quitting has quickly become a popular catchphrase to describe a lack of extra effort at work. Some see it as a backlash to the hustle culture; putting in additional effort and hours led to exhaustion and burnout rather than workplace rewards, so why bother to try? Others see it as an effort to reclaim work-life balance.

From an employee relations perspective, it’s troublesome when employees don’t seem to care about their work and are consciously pulling back.

A job doesn’t need to be, and shouldn’t be, all-consuming, but it’s beneficial for both the employee and employer when work is engaging and fulfilling.

To pull your quiet quitters back from the brink, and into a more productive and enjoyable workplace mindset, enhance your workplace culture:

Check in. Workplace malaise is often the product of a lack of communication between supervisors and employees. Regular conversations strengthen relationships and make employees feel valued. Have supervisors schedule regular check-ins with employees.

Offer praise. Encouragement and praise make a significant impact on employee morale and don’t cost a dime, yet they’re often used sparingly. Make sure employees know they are valued and their work is appreciated. When you can thank or congratulate an employee for a specific achievement, the compliment is even more meaningful.

Listen. Supervisors should give employees an opportunity to express concerns and let them offer solutions. This lays the groundwork for addressing issues.

Set boundaries. One oft-cited reason for quiet quitting is a desire to establish boundaries between work and home. There is validity to this, as being constantly on call takes a toll on mental health. Establish policies that limit after-hours emails and phone calls. Make it clear that workers are not expected to respond to emails received after the workday ends. If after-hours phone coverage is needed, use on-call policies to rotate off-hours responsibilities between workers.

Establish clear goals. Make sure employees know what’s expected of them and what they are striving for. Allow them to have input into how these goals are met. This provides them with a sense of control that can reduce stress and increase productivity.

Hold employees accountable. If a quiet quitter is causing others to have to pick up more work, everyone’s morale is going to suffer. Hold employees accountable for meeting goals and establish a performance improvement plan for those whose habits cause others to dread coming to work.

Turn negativity into action. Quiet quitters may be rebelling against an unwieldy workload. If impossible deadlines make workers wonder why they should even try, have supervisors work with employees to identify barriers and break them down. They can look to past challenges and successes to create a plan for moving forward at an acceptable pace.

Encourage real vacations. When employees are on vacation, let them truly disconnect from the office. Come up with a plan for coverage. Do not expect, or perhaps do not allow, emails to be monitored or answered.

Talk about nothing. Nothing work-related that is. Encourage workers to decompress and bond with their teammates by scheduling optional online or in-person coffee chats that revolve around travel, families, or favorite sports teams — anything but work. This builds connections and strengthens ties between coworkers.

Support wellness. Workplace stress makes an impact on mental and physical health and can lead to burnout. Show workers that their health is a priority by providing wellness information and emphasizing nutrition, activity, proper rest, and stress relief.

Key to remember: While the term quiet quitting is trending on social media, what it means is that employees are no longer engaged in their work. Look for ways to help employees care about their jobs again, whether that means more frequent check-ins or encouraging some real time off.