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Quiet quitting: how to break the silence

June 13, 2023

High on social networks in recent years, the phenomenon taking millions of people not going above and beyond at work and just meeting their job description does not seem to lose steam. According to Gallup, at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — probably more – are made of ‘quiet quitters’. Although quiet quitting reflects the search for balance between professional life and personal purpose, it also represents an obstacle to businesses that seek extra effort to collaborate with coworkers and meet customer needs.

Recently, Gallup’s Workplace Science writer Ryan Pendell wrote about the silence that hangs in the air, not only among employees but among employers, what he called “quiet firing” or even “quiet hiring”. In his view, the heart of quiet quitting seems to be the feeling that we can’t speak up at work. “Either we don’t feel safe enough to speak our minds, or we feel like, even if we did speak up, it wouldn’t make any difference.”, he says.

The figures compiled by Gallup further reveal that:

  • Most employees do not speak openly about unethical situations they have personally witnessed at work;
  • 9 out of 10 employees say they would report unethical behavior at work if they had first-hand knowledge, but only 4 out of 10 actually do so;
  • One of the main reasons they don’t report is that they don’t believe their employer would do the right thing;
  • When employees are confident that their employer would do the right thing, they are 24 percentage points more likely to report.

What the Gallup data shows is a potentially rich environment for positive change. Check it out:

  • “Most people want to do great work and build a fulfilling career. Career well-being has the strongest impact on overall well-being. And most U.S. workers say they would continue to work even if they had so much money they never had to work again. Meaningful work is an important part of a fulfilling life.”
  • “Most people want a better connection with their employer. Of those employees who could work fully remote, the majority prefer hybrid work over working exclusively remote. This suggests that even if they don’t have to, many employees want a deeper face-to-face connection with their organization.”
  • “Most people want a closer relationship with their manager. One remarkable finding Gallup discovered over the years is that employees who have had bad interactions with their manager still say they would prefer to have more frequent conversations with their manager. Rather than worrying about a manager who is too controlling or too involved, many employees wish they talked with their manager more often.”

Action is needed, thought.

“Although we may be using silence to avoid tough (or seemingly futile) conversations, the truth is that employers and employees want to make things work. Employees want their employers to be responsive to their input, to be fair to them and to allow them to be their authentic selves. And employers want to keep talented people on their team working productively over the long term.”, Ryan Pendell concluded.

Source: Gallup