There’s an emerging mindset in the ever-changing American workforce. Move over Great Resignation. “Quiet quitting” is the latest workforce trend and phenomenon.  No, it’s not about resigning but rather about a worker’s personal decision to quit putting in too much effort at work. They are rejecting the notion of going above and beyond. Many are just putting in the bare minimum of time and effort.

Yes, it’s another byproduct of the pandemic. Staffing shortages and remote work have empowered employees to demand more from their employers especially when it comes to a work/life balance. Plus, some people were just plain burned out by their jobs. The long working hours didn’t yield anything except concerns about their mental health and well-being.

Early in the pandemic, we need to remember that many workers were pushed to their limits as they had to fill-in for millions of colleagues who were laid off due to shutdowns. Millions more decided to stay at home to care for relatives or to avoid contracting COVID-19. Now, as we are coming out the other side of the pandemic, workers are saying they’re exhausted.

In addition, for many remote workers, the lines between work and personal life got blurred. Due to technology, they felt connected 24/7. They’re now tired of responding to messages in the evening or on weekends.  For that reason, many are doing just enough to get by and want to establish clear boundaries.

How is quiet quitting affecting your business

  • Change in mentality of workers. With a labor shortage and 10.7 million job openings, workers are thinking that they won’t be fired because a warm body is better than nobody at all.
  • Decreased employee engagement. Right now, people don’t feel a strong connection to their organizations. This is especially true with remote workers. Nearly four out of five companies said they’re experiencing employee “engagement issues,” according to a March 2022 survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm.
  • Decreased productivity. With less workers engaged, the less productivity. About a third of the companies surveyed by Challenger said employee disengagement is causing a drop in productivity.

Can quiet quitting be fixed?

  • Employers must address burnout. It’s time to set new rules. Employers need to address the situation and assign as well as prioritize tasks so as not to overwhelm team members. In addition, discuss work schedules. Be flexible.
  • Employers need to reenergize employees. Tell your staff about your plans for the organization and what role they will play. Share any new projects coming down the pike that they could be involved in. Reignite interest.
  • Employers should plan work socials. Give your team something to look forward to. Plan a social event where they can connect and engage with their coworkers just like old times.

It’s in the best interest of every organization to address quiet quitting. Many of your workers want clear work-life boundaries in order to reduce stress and maintain their mental and physical health. It’s time to have that conversation with them and be open to suggestions.

Julie Rupenski is the founder and CEO of MedBest Recruiting, an executive recruitment firm for senior living and care. After opening its doors in 2001, Rupenski has grown MedBest into an award-winning, multimillion-dollar national firm, garnering impressive awards including INC 5000 2021 and Tampa Bay Fast 50 2021. Rupenski was also named as on honoree for the “Top 100 Women Leaders in Tampa 2022″ by Women We Admire.