An old phenomena where disengaged workers choose to perform as little as they can get away with is now known as "quiet quitting."
Since Covid-19, many employees (up to 50%, according to Gallup.com) have allegedly become "silent quitters" as they hunt for alternate employment opportunities or a better work-life balance.
According to Michael Gullan, CEO of G&G Advocacy, an e-Learning consultancy that offers turn-key online training solutions to corporations, "silent resigning is not really quitting your work; rather, it's renouncing the notion of putting in extra effort or going above and beyond your tasks."
Although "silent resigning" is not prohibited in South Africa, according to Gullan, employees must always behave in the employer's best interests, as stated in their employment contracts.
Reasons for quiet quitting:
- Overworked burnout
- Re-evaluating work and personal boundaries
- Placing mental health first
- Poor management
- Boredom or dead-end career paths and
- Plain laziness
Effects of quiet quitting on both employers and workers are:
- Decreased production
- Decreased output
- Low employee morale and disconnected workers
- A bad work environment
Pressure placed on top-performing co-workers has negative effects on the reputation of the employer and the employee.
Prevention strategies for silent quitting
According to Gullan, there is a record-high rate of unemployment in South Africa, with 34% of adults unemployed and 64% of young people seeking jobs.
"Those who are fortunate enough to have employment should take every possible step to maintain and excel in their positions."
HR experts advise employees to "loudly persist" in their efforts to perform at their highest levels in their positions, keep their jobs, develop a sense of belonging, and have a stake in the direction their organisation is taking.
Here are a few suggestions:
If you are having problems with your mental health or personal issues, talk to your bosses.
Most bosses don't anticipate you to always be in perfect physical and mental condition. Nothing is more motivating than feeling cared for, and this will enable leaders to offer support.
Explain the expectations for your attitude, behaviour, and responsibilities. Recognise the expectations so you can meet them.
Look for chances to improve and learn. Most businesses offer training (online or in-person). Accept the challenge and approach it with a growing mindset. When you have finished your responsibilities or at lunch, do your learning.
Acknowledge and support the objective or purpose of your organisation.
Be proactive and let your superiors and co-workers know what you're worried about. They can't help if they don't know.
Remember that sometimes the grass isn't greener on the other side, so avoid jeopardising your current position by resigning covertly in order to go for a better one. The very last thing you want is to be jobless.
Gullan advised CEOs to take charge of developing a culture that lessens quiet resigning. "Organisations that offer incentives — not always financial ones — to workers who go above and beyond will see a change in behaviour.
“Additionally, it is essential for leaders to continually develop in order to keep them up to date on business and industry advancements, enhance communications, and lower burnout and disengagement in the fast-paced workplace.”
Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.