An employee working at a desk

Quiet quitting: undeniable signs and how to reverse It

Quiet quitting. The trend that has taken managers across the country – and indeed, the world! – by storm. But what is “quiet quitting”?

The term refers to employees putting in minimal effort, only doing as much as is required to keep their job and showing a general apathy towards the workplace. It could also be withdrawing from office conversation, becoming less available – both in terms of work and for the general culture – and not offering to take on things that they might have previously been happy to do.  

At Synergy Recruitment, we’re here to help you build and maintain the best teams possible, and part of that is recognising what quiet quitting is, and how to ensure your teams aren’t doing it! Quiet quitting is a relatively new phenomenon where workers only do the bare minimum required (and sometimes even less), expending no extra effort than absolutely necessary.

So, how can you recognise it, and how can you reverse quiet quitting in your teams?

4 Signs of Quiet Quitting

If you’ve got a quiet quitter among your team, it can be difficult to recognise the signs. We list the four key factors to look out for here:

Team members with no “buy-in”

One of the first steps to recognising that there’s a problem is looking out for cynical or disengaged team members. This could include a general shift in attitude, or turning up to meetings and not talking (or worse, only highlighting issues with projects and providing no solutions). Essentially, you’re looking out for a lack of enthusiasm towards the workplace. If you notice an employee with no buy-in to the wider company and who seems not to match the company’s values – especially if they had before – then that is a sign they could be quiet quitting.

Finish projects late or not to the usual quality

If one of your team members suddenly has a dip in productivity, either finishing projects late or producing shoddy work, there could be a quiet quitter amongst your ranks! A sudden drop in productivity could indicate that the employee has decided to stop going above-and-beyond and that their head is already elsewhere. Keep an eye out for some of the signs, as this could be symptomatic of other issues that could be addressed with the proper support.

Isolation from the rest of the team

Team members that don’t engage with each other could be a sign of a host of issues, with one of them being quiet quitting. If you have one employee that won’t engage with their colleagues, it could be worth keeping an eye on them to ensure that the disengagement doesn’t lead to bad feelings amongst the team. Even though quiet quitting is a personal decision, it’s worth ensuring that you stay on top of the situation to make sure that the attitude doesn’t spread.

Other team members report an increase in their workload

One of the surest signs that you’ve got an issue with quiet quitting in your team is that other employees have a noticeable uptick in their workload. This could be due to one team member putting in less effort, leaving others to pick up the slack. This can be a subtle and hard-to-spot sign that someone on the team isn’t pulling their weight, so be sure to pay attention to concerns that your employees have about their workload.

How to reverse quiet quitting

Setting clear expectations and constant communication

Setting clear expectations and ensuring that you have open lines of communication between management and teams is a great way to stifle quiet quitting before it becomes an issue. Often, quiet quitting begins when someone becomes unsatisfied with their job and has no way to express their feelings. Make sure that you have a clear expectation of the tasks that need to be done, and then a channel for employees to be able to tell managers about their feelings, at all times.

Provide resources and support to individuals

Making sure that you have the resources and support available to deal with any issues that might occur for your employees is a great way to keep quiet quitting at bay. As with the point above, the phenomenon could come as a result of an employee not feeling fully supported, or perhaps there’s something else going on in their lives that could explain a lackadaisical attitude to work.   Having the proper resources to support your team could help you keep quiet quitting to a minimum.

Give your teams more autonomy

Something that might feel contradictory but could help reverse quiet quitting is giving your teams more control and autonomy. Micromanagement could make your team feel undervalued, and taking a step back to give them more autonomy over their own work could help you reign in the quiet quitters amongst your staff. This might seem like a hard step to take, but when it comes to empowering your employees to take on more responsibility and pride in their work, stopping the micromanagement is an excellent option.

Dealing with quiet quitters

Making sure that your team are all onboard and on-message can be harder than it first seems. One of the most important things to remember is that when it comes to quiet quitting, prevention is a lot easier than solving – although remedying quiet quitting is still an option! Building a solid work culture with employees that buy into your ethos and the projects they’re working on is the best way to ensure that quiet quitting doesn’t become a problem.

Get in touch with Synergy Recruitment to find out more about how we can help you develop your dream team and keep them engaged, happy, and productive once they’re in the role.