Quiet Quitting


By Shontel Zamora

After surviving the trend of ‘ghosting’ employees, an immobilizing pandemic, and the great resignation, who would have thought the next hurdle to jump would be ‘quiet-quitters‘?

The new buzzword around the water cooler has sprung up, but it may not be what you think. When I first learned about quiet-quitting I thought it was just another part of the great resignation. Instead, quiet-quitting describes employees who stayed during the great resignation (due to lack of viable of options or familial commitment) transforming into overworked, unmotivated, and disgruntled employees. These quiet-quitters are the folks who still come into the office every day. They show up physically to work but have mentally checked out. The hustle culture for these employees has all but died.

Some employers have suggested this new trend of unmotivated employees is an effect of the great resignation. When you have a vast number of employees transitioning out at the same time, it can be challenging to replace so many at once. Even if you can bring on new employees quickly, most new staff members need some time to acclimate to the new position. This has led managers and supervisors to reorganize work assignments to veteran employees to ensure the work is done. The results? A group of once resourceful employees transformed into burn outs who no longer put in the extra effort and skate by with the bare minimum required. If this is the case, what can we do to help these quiet-quitters?

Some employers have opted for traditional motivating methods such as financial incentives to keep work production up, while staving off potential departures. Others have tried more flexible approaches including:

  • Offering alternating schedules.
  • Telecommuting/hybrid options.
  • Conducting stay interviews.
  • Sending employees to training and conferences.
  • Offering child-care services.
  • Paying for gym memberships.
  • Giving stocks in the company, and more.

Some companies have even gone so far as to provide cash benefits to their employees to take time off and not check work emails. This gives employees the ability to fully detach from work and take the breaks they need to come back fully charged and more motivated than before. These are just some of the few suggestions some companies have tried with success to help with retention and boost up morale and motivation.

If your company or agency is struggling with quiet-quitters hopefully this blog with help inspire some ideas to get your team back on track!  

Shontel Zamora is a budget analyst for the California State University at San Bernardino, and a member of the IPMI Education Development Committee. She can be reached at SZamora@csusb.edu