Quiet quitting concept

When an employee becomes unhappy with their job, the two conventional paths are facing the issue head-on and trying to improve the situation, or leaving for a new opportunity. In reality, these options are far easier said-than-done. Whether it’s difficulty finding a similar position elsewhere or fear of changing a career path, unhappy employees can also go the ‘quiet-quitting’ route. Quiet quitting is a term used for employees who haven’t officially announced their resignation (for even intend to) but start acting differently and putting in the minimal amount of effort to get by. 

Depending on an employee’s role or personality type, it can be difficult to spot quiet quitters on staff — and even if they are identified, the next issue becomes whether their dissatisfaction is resolvable. To help provide some clarity on what managers should look for, deskbird outlined some tell-tale signs of quiet quitting in the professional workplace. 

Disengagement. This can come in all forms and varies for noticeability, but if an employee who is usually spearheading ideas or contributing frequently in meetings suddenly has little-or-nothing to say multiple times in a row, it can be a concerning sign. Other examples include refusing to attend any company events that aren’t mandatory, or minimizing interactions when they are required to be present. 

Increased Complaining. In any professional environment, employees giving feedback should certainly be encouraged. From how employee evaluations are done to finding new efficiencies in day-to-day processes, many great improvements can stem from an initial complaints. There’s a line in the sand, however, when employees start to complain about seemingly minuscule issues, or instances where the accountability falls on them for an issue and they deflect. If someone is voicing their displeasure more frequently compared to years or even months in the past, it could indicate quiet quitting — especially if those complaints aren’t paired with plausible solutions. 

Indifference in Results. There’s a direct link between engaged employee and celebrating the victories of not only their strong work, but from teammates and other departments as well. If someone who was once on the frontlines of giving out kudos and ideas to help other projects suddenly retracts that energy, it could be that what initially motivates them isn’t working anymore. They may start taking a tunnel vision approach in which they only care about getting their tasks completed — and at the bare minimum for acceptance at that. 

It’s not possible to stop all quiet quitting, or immediately notice signs of employee disengagement, but by keeping a steady line of communication with employees, managers can minimize the chance of these instances happening. For related content, check out how high morale can boost job referrals and dependability in the workplace.