What is “Quiet Quitting” and what does it mean for Employee Engagement?

You may have heard a new phrase, which has been getting a lot of attention lately – particularly on TikTok: Quiet Quitting. It’s a new trend among employees in the workforce, particularly Gen Z and younger Millennials. It’s the rejection of the idea that “going the extra mile”, “hustle culture”, or “doing whatever you have to do to get the job done” is necessary to live a fulfilled life. Essentially, this mindset stems from a lack of engagement with their jobs.


What does Quiet Quitting mean for employers and how do you keep your teams engaged and happy at work?


Prioritize Flexibility and Work/Life Balance

Now more than ever, employers need to be competitive with the benefits that they offer if they want to retain their top talent. Those benefits include work/life balance. Hybrid remote work schedules and flexible hours for employees to be able to do things like stay home to meet a plumber, take their kids to a doctor’s appointment, or drop off their car for an oil change, were proven to be possible during the pandemic. Employees will become less and less engaged as those privileges are taken away, but their efforts (whether self-perceived or factual) toward getting their work done, and done well, remain the same.


Performance Management

Giving employees regular feedback is key to keeping them engaged. Positive feedback and recognition for a job well done helps employees to feel valued. Re-directive feedback is just as important for employees to hear. It gives them the opportunity to learn and grow in their professional lives. Giving feedback on a more regular basis should be built into your performance management process so that employees know how they’re doing, if they’re meeting their goals, and that their employer recognizes their accomplishments.


Meaningful Work

A big reason why employees may want to shift their priorities away from work is the feeling that their work isn’t meaningful. Showing employees how the work they do makes a difference to the company can help employees understand WHY they are being asked to complete a particular task and understand it’s importance. Outside of what they do for work, employers should also make an effort to find out what is important to the people on their teams. Are there causes that they feel close to, or an opportunity to support their volunteer work? In the workplace, employers can educate their teams on what their mission, vision, and values are, so that employees are aware of the principles that the company stands for.


Launch an Engagement Survey

The best way to assess the levels of engagement in your workplace and find out what’s most important to your teams, is to launch an engagement survey. The PEAR PulseTM Morale & Culture Survey is our proprietary engagement survey which includes an anonymous questionnaire that measures the “pulse” of your organization and a full report that scores how engaged your team is, if they feel valued, if they feel trusted, and much more. The results of the survey help leadership to determine where the company may be lacking in the employee’s eyes, and gives you a roadmap for what initiatives to tackle first.


It's in the employer’s hands to combat “Quiet Quitting” and increase engagement.



Stephanie Quinn-Schulman, SHRM-CP