Speak Up: There Are Ways to Address ‘Quiet Quitting’

Quiet quitting may be a rising trend, but there are effective engagement strategies HR professionals can utilize to boost employee retention.

Man in a blue suit carrying a leather briefcase

While most of us have put Covid concerns in our rearview mirror (at least cautiously), the pandemic’s impact on the workplace has gone viral in ways unrelated to our health. First came the Great Resignation. Almost 50 million Americans punched the clock on their pre-Covid jobs for the last time. Meanwhile, many other workers emerged from the virus into a hybrid workplace. Almost six in 10 Americans whose jobs are feasible to do while working remotely are doing so, up from one in four before the pandemic.

What is Quiet Quitting?

Now along comes this less transparent phenomena called “quiet quitting,” a largely Gen Z-driven mindset that basically advocates doing just enough at work to get by – no extra effort, no working late, no going above and beyond for the larger good. After all, they reason, how can you maintain a proper work-life balance if career demands are overtaking your other interests?  Better to “quiet quit” than suffer undue stress and burnout.

The concept appears to be catching on. On TikTok, the platform that this past summer began propelling the concept to prominence, the hashtag #QuietQuitting has not so quietly racked up 310 million views, putting it within shouting distance of #RingoStarr (someone most quiet quitters may have never heard of).

How prevalent is “quiet quitting” in practical terms?  According to a survey conducted by ResumeBuilder.com, one in four employees confess to having a “quiet quitting” mindsetGallup puts the number closer to 50 percent.  How do you recognize it?  Look for employees whose productivity is down, who lack initiative or avoid teamwork.

Tips for HR managers to Keep Employees from Quiet Quitting

The impact of quiet quitting on the workplace has far-reaching implications, and companies have begun to focus on strategies designed to strike a balance between maximizing employee performance and creating a work environment that engenders employee commitment. Increasing communication and engagement with workers should lie at the heart of a company’s approach.  Here are some tips to help stave off the growing trend:

Pulse checks

It’s always a good idea to have regular meetings with employees to check on how they’re doing, and in the current climate, you should increase the frequency of these sessions. Give staff a chance to share what’s on their minds and get their pulse check when it comes to their day-to-day work as well as aspirations for the future.

Mix it up

Regular check-ins are fine, but look for other ways to give employees a chance to share feedback as well.  Consider staff surveys or create ad hoc committees on various workplace issues where folks can let you know what they’re thinking and provide an outlet for new ideas.

Get personal

In the spirit of work-life balance, get to know what’s going on with employees’ personal lives and anticipate their needs. Respect and value their interests and help them celebrate their achievements and milestones outside of work.

The door is open

Create a culture that promotes open communication at every level. Set an example. Don’t always wait for employees to seek out a higher-up for a conversation. Initiate dialogue with staff up and down the ranks.

Reassess your benefits

Take a look at your benefits and assess whether or not they are rewarding and valuing the kind of employee you want. Evaluate your incentives for good work, including nonmonetary or nontraditional awards.  Make sure that employees understand a path forward for them.


The reaction to “quiet quitting” among many managers has been an approach called “quiet firing,” a strategy that basically avoids the employee in the hope that they will leave on their own. But don’t give up on employees who are struggling with burnout. Dialing up engagement strategies with them may be all they need to get back on track.

Employee engagement is one of the most effective ways to prevent quiet quitting. Getting staff off on the right foot following a relocation is key to this. Need help ensuring a seamless relocation and onboarding for your new team members? We’d love to help!