What the Quiet Quit Trend Means for Your Team

BY Kathy Crosett
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U.S. employees are not happy. And they haven’t been for some time. Their general dissatisfaction led to the great resignation trend but for other employees it’s all about the quiet quit trend.

The Quiet Quit Trend

The quiet quit trend has been widely reported on. Instead of resigning their position, employees reduce their engagement at work. Fearing they may not be able to find another position that pays as well as the one they have, employees are pulling back.

General unhappiness at work can be traced to a feeling of unfairness around the topic of compensation. Or it may be linked to the actual work. BambooHR researched the topic and uncovered associations between specific verticals and employee gloominess.

The firm’s work was based on levels of employee Net Promoter Scores® (eNPS) tracked over a three-​year period. These scores measure “how likely employees are to recommend the organization as a place to work.” BambooHR analysts report that the highest eNPS of 42 appeared, ironically, in April 2020.

That high score may have been the result of adrenaline-​fueled energy at a critical time. Many employees committed to their jobs and companies. It was the one detail they could control in the uncertainty of pandemic-​related mandates.

Bamboo HR analysts also report that the eNPS subsequently dropped to 37 in June 2023. At that point, workers were mostly over the pandemic. They were adjusting to back-​to-​office mandates and the impact of inflation on their household budget.

Industry Verticals and the Happiness Factor

Some industry verticals are doing much better than others. Construction workers weigh in with an eNPS of 49. Health care workers, however, only rank their employers at 31.

These sentiments are mirrored by general turnover rates and possibly, rates of quiet quitting. LinkedIn reports that the construction industry has one of the lowest turnover rates at around 9.2%. However, in the health care vertical, turnover rates range from 11% to 36%.

As employee unhappiness at work grows, so does their tendency to join the quiet quit trend.

What Employees Want

With up to 50% of all employees holding back from full engagement at work, per Gallup, managers have a big problem to address.

Our research on sales professionals reveals what managers can do to increase the chances of employee retention. For 26% of reps, having opportunities for advancement within the company will convince them to stay with their current employer. 20% of reps would also like to undertake work responsibilities that take greater advantage of their skills and capabilities.

Managers who haven’t had one-​on-​one meetings to review career-​pathing options with employees shouldn’t wait. An employee who has an opportunity to work toward will be less like to engage in quiet quitting.

Boosting Employee Engagement

One key goal for many managers should be finding ways to boost employee engagement. Doing so will reduce the tendency to quiet quit and eke along doing the minimum.

To begin, managers need to learn about their employees. They often don’t understand what motivates employee behavior. And they may not realize the kind of interaction a specific team member needs from their manager.

This issue can be easily resolved by using psychometric assessments. A review of these assessments lets managers know if an employee would benefit from more feedback. Assessment results also reveal which employees would collaborate well on team projects and therefore be more engaged.

Managers also should consistently show team members concrete results linking their work to the bottom line of the organization. Praise, given fairly and regularly, can strengthen an employee’s commitment. If they believe they are making a difference, they’ll try harder in the future and their tendency to quiet quit will fade away.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.