The concept of “quiet resigning” has recently taken throughout the internet. Why is it popular now, and what does it signify for managers and workers?
The concept of a “quiet resignation” is confusing since it has nothing to do with really leaving one’s employment for better opportunities elsewhere. Some people say there is no such thing as “silent leaving,” as employees who continue to conduct their regular duties are not really resigning. What they’re not doing is taking on any additional jobs, or indulging in extracurriculars at work. It’s about refusing to let your job define you.
And although the trendy word has been replaced by rapid leaving (at least for the time being), we must not lose sight of the original inspiration for these expressions.
In my experience as a leadership consultant and executive coach, many of my clients have trouble knowing when to say “enough is enough” when it comes to work. As a result, they are unable to properly disconnect from work-related contact after they leave the office. They’re exhausted from working too hard, and they’re sick of the culture of working yourself to death. While many of them may seem to be going towards the silent resigning trend, what they are actually doing is saying no to burnout. In my role as advisor and mentor, I wholeheartedly support their efforts in this regard.
Addressing the root cause of so-called “quiet quitting”
Perhaps rather than racing to keep up with the current social media-driven workplace fads, leaders should take a step back and consider the root causes of these movements. How come it’s frowned upon when workers say no to unneeded, low-quality duties that aren’t part of their job description? Do we put too much stock in people working long, stressful hours till they’re exhausted and then calling it quits?
Or are we choosing to ignore the rising number of individuals who are becoming disconnected from their job and finding little to no satisfaction in it as a result of burnout? Gallup predicts that the percentage of engaged workers will have declined from 36% in 2020 to 32% in early 2022.
Why are workers done with working themselves to exhaustion?
Since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, research shows that burnout and stress levels have grown dramatically. “Burnout and stress are at an all-time high across professions,” the American Psychological Association (APA) said in January 2022.
The APA noted that the spread of COVID-19 has altered people’s lives in several ways. “As the globe enters its third year of the epidemic, these stresses have become continuous and indefinite, increasing the danger of burnout for those involved.”
It’s understandable that many people would want to avoid the monotony of their regular employment by performing simply the bare minimum, if the epidemic has really driven many people into a condition of burnout. They have stopped seeing work a place of growth and are instead disengaged and uninspired.
This trend may have something to do with the rise of the remote work culture, which has resulted in many workers putting in far longer hours, finding it impossible to turn off their work brains, and generally feeling that there is no separation between their professional and personal lives. Many workers spend more than 8 hours a day at their desks, with just a 15-minute break to prepare and eat lunch (often while still at their desks). It’s clear that they’ve been running on empty.
It’s interesting to note that the younger generations are more affected by this rise in burnout. Despite the fact that 53% of millennials reported feeling burned out before the pandemic, that number increased to 59% in 2021, according to study conducted by Indeed. Similar growth was seen among Gen Z.
When it comes to creating a brighter future, these generations are always willing to toss aside the playbook from their parents’ and grandparents’ eras. They have been advocating for measures to save our planet, advance social justice, and enhance the quality of life in the workplace. As a group, they tend to disagree that a life of only work and no recreation is a successful one. This generation values work that matters, but they also value having a good time outside of work.
Burnout is a condition caused by stress in the job that has “not been adequately handled,” according to the World Health Organization. They claim it might be characterised by a decrease in motivation, emotional investment, and confidence in one’s ability to do one’s work well.
Leaders need to alter the atmosphere at their workplaces so that workers feel appreciated, involved, and invested in what they do. Employees who aren’t invested in the success of the team or who are burned out will have a detrimental effect on the group as a whole. It is immediately noticeable and disruptive to team relations when one member is slacking off while the rest of the team is working nonstop. For this reason, it’s crucial to put resources towards fostering a better environment for everyone.
How to begin
There are three main components that you can work on to improve that will ultimately benefit your company and team: value, well-being and communication.
1. Ensure your Staff Feels Valued
Make it clear to your staff that you depend on them and appreciate what they bring to the table. It helps a great deal if you acknowledge their existence. A recent Gallup-Workhuman poll indicated that employees are 56% less likely to hunt for a new job at companies that make employee appreciation a priority. It might be as easy as remembering their birthdays and work anniversaries and throwing parties to mark the end of projects or the completion of objectives.
It might be a weekly recap at the end of the week celebrating the week’s successes and the team members who made them possible, or it could be a discussion about career advancement and promotion chances for team members.
Or, if funds permit, maybe a planned gathering: Once a month, the office will have a get-together to celebrate everyone’s birthdays and enjoy a late lunch or supper together.
2. Invest in the well-being of your Employees
Health and motivation go hand in hand, which is no secret in the workplace. According to Gallup, “each determines the future status of the other.” This means that involvement and well-being are interdependent.
How can you demonstrate that the firm cares about its workers and is working to improve their quality of life?
Realistic solutions exist. If you or a coworker are having difficulty, you may be able to turn to your company’s employee assistance programme for help. Health advantages might also be included:
The luxury of a massage every week.
Lunchtime meditation sessions in the workplace.
Possibility of altering regular work hours
Long-term, having designated wellbeing leaders is a great way to keep track of what is being done in the workplace to enhance people’s mental health; they could even deliver a monthly report on the improvements. Quite simply, you should push your staff to clock out on time and take breaks as needed.
3. Focus on Connecting People to Their Work
Employees are more likely to take pride in their job when they feel their opinions and suggestions have been heard and valued. Make sure your employees have a place to talk freely about the challenges they’re facing at work, the exciting new ideas they have for the future, and even the ways in which they can think outside the box to solve problems they’re encountering.
Pay attention to what your workers have to say and consider their suggestions. If they know they are appreciated, they will feel more invested in their task. It’s important to facilitate as much engagement as possible.
Employee engagement and positive work environments result when leaders foster an atmosphere conducive to development rather than one that demands constant overtime from their staff.