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What “Quiet Quitting” Is Trying To Teach Us


Quiet Quitting. Kinda the loudest thing on the socials right now. Amiright? Feels like it’s everywhere, sparking countless debates!


It’s a good thing – we’re finally setting boundaries!

It’s a bad thing – people are getting lazy.


The employee is to blame.

The manager is to blame.


It’s an old concept – disengagement rebranded.

It’s a new concept – our collective pandemic response.


The adorably alliterative phrase has polarized the working world!


But also. Wherever you stand. I think this Two-Q trend is trying to tell us something. Something we need to step back and really hear.


But first, a quick story. I promise I’m going somewhere with this…


As a kid, I’d complain to my mother about a friend who often told stories of awful things her parents were saying or doing. Some of these stories I knew to be true. Others I knew were false. But most left me scratching my head. And I hated not knowing the truth. My mother’s wise take was that the truth wasn’t the point. Real or imagined, these stories were a cry for something – for comfort or warmth or sympathy. Her childhood experience wasn’t meeting her needs. These stories were how she was asking for help. See where I’m going? Quiet quitting, real or imagined, is a collective cry for help. Because something in our employee experience isn’t meeting our needs. Quiet quitting has been coming up in our Pulse Checks. Like, a lot. So…what’s driving it? The answer is it’s a lot of things. But there are trends.

  • Some are exhausted and overwhelmed. Too many meetings, not enough context or clarity. And they’re actively QQ-ing to protect themselves, their free time, their boundaries.

  • Some are lonely, feeling isolated and disconnected. And they’re passively QQ-ing because nothing compelling is pulling them in.

  • Some are bored; not feeling challenged or invested in. So, they’re QQ-ing because they’re busy learning or networking outside of their day jobs just for stimulation!

  • Some are feeling angry mistrusted or resentful, being compelled to return to an office when productivity was fine at home. And they’re QQ-ing in a quiet rebellion.

And on and on and on. The point is this. There is a grain of truth in the quiet quitting trend. But it’s not a singular problem with a singular solution. It’s a menagerie of opportunities with myriad opportunities to reconnect and reaffirm and reengage your talent. To shape an employee experience that drives the choice to stay, to lean in. So what then is our call-to-action here? It’s to have meaningful dialog with your teams. To ask how they’re doing and what they need in order to better Deliver, Develop, Connect and Thrive. I recently published this piece highlighting some of the asks I've heard in recent pulse checks. Perhaps there's an insight within it for you We would love to be your partner – to come in and run a Pulse Check, providing you with insight, clear direction, and some quick wins! If that’s something you’d like to explore, reach on out – we’d love to have a quick Discovery call with you! Happy hunting.


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