‘Quiet quitting’: the new trend killing staff productivity…

  • Employee Conduct
Alan Price - Peninsula's Chief Operations Officer and CEO of BrightHR

Alan Price, Chief Operations Officer

(Last updated )

A rising viral trend on social media sees workers engage in ‘quiet quitting’ – a phenomenon linked to increasing levels of staff burnout.

Workers are said to be ‘quiet quitting’ when they disconnect from work. Essentially, this means they show up – but do the bare minimum required.

If you notice your worker’s productivity dipping, they’re leaving work early, or they’re no longer contributing to projects, they might be quiet quitting.

To prevent your workers from joining in the trend and keep staff productivity high, here’s what you need to do.

1. Provide regular feedback

Never underestimate the value of feedback.

According to a study, 85% of employees take more initiative if they’re getting regular feedback. And lack of feedback is a big factor in why staff leave their jobs.

If your worker doesn’t feel like you care about them and their development, they’re likely to disconnect and start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Positive feedback is a motivational tool. When your worker does a good job, tell them. Likewise, if there are ways they can improve, tell them.

When you provide feedback, you show you’re invested in helping your staff progress. You can also make them feel more enthusiastic about the job when you recognise their achievements and skills.

The bottom line: give your worker the advice and tools they need to succeed, and you’ll help keep them engaged and loyal.

2. Manage their workloads

Sometimes, staff might disengage because they’re overwhelmed by their workload.

If staff are constantly under pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines, or permanently have an outstanding number of tasks to complete, they might experience burnout. Staff burnout leads to lower productivity, mistakes, and health risks – so it’s important to avoid this at all costs.

Make sure you arrange regular one-to-ones with your staff. And if you start to notice anyone is disengaging or dipping in productivity, pull them aside for a chat.

Sometimes, it might be a minor issue you can nip in the bud. And if it isn’t, communication is the first step to solving the issue.

3. Make staff wellbeing a priority

An EAP can reduce mental health-related absence levels by as much as 45% and improve productivity by as much as 8%. And more importantly, it helps protect your staff.

Life can be challenging for everyone at times. Your workers might have a lot going on outside of work that’s causing them stress.

If your staff are struggling with their mental and/or physical health, they might not feel able to push themselves at work. And if they feel under pressure and unsupported by you, this might lead to burnout and resignations down the line.

So, it’s important to encourage your workers to ask for help if they need it and outline the support systems you have in place. That way, they won’t feel the need to sit and struggle in silence (which is likely to affect their work and relationships with other staff).

Having an employee assistance programme (EAP) means staff can access professional:

  • face-to-face counselling
  • 24/7 advice
  • online support

Instead of taking this on internally, you can focus on growing your business. So, you enjoy peace of mind knowing your staff have the support tools they need.

4. Invest in the employee experience

If you want to keep staff invested, you have to invest.

Provide a great staff experience and your workers will be more likely to stay loyal. Think outside the box – what makes your company so great to work for?

Do you offer bonus schemes? Good family leave policies? Generous holiday allowance? Flexible working?

But it’s not just about expenses. It’s about trust and respect. It’s about having your worker’s best interests at heart.

Ultimately, you’ll create a good employee experience by following best practices, like:

  • providing a good work-life balance – setting up a flexible working policy can help staff better manage their work and personal life, leading to higher employee satisfaction and productivity
  • following correct procedures – in cases of bullying or harassment, taking the right steps to tackle issues may lead to speedier resolutions and shows you take staff allegations seriously
  • being honest and open – having an ‘open-door’ policy and keeping staff in the loop helps them feel seen and valued

Because ultimately, when you show staff you value them, you create loyal workers who want to return the favour.

What can I do if my worker is quiet quitting?

If your worker is still meeting their contractual obligations, then you don’t have grounds for disciplinary action. This applies even if they are doing the bare minimum and seeming disconnected…

But this attitude makes for a toxic and miserable workplace.

Happy workers are more successful workers. That’s why you need to stay connected to your staff – and check in on them.

Support them if they need support. Give them opportunities to grow. And if they still underperform, get to the bottom of it and find ways to move forward together.

It sounds easier said than done – which is why you might want to find out more about EAP.

Whatever you need, get in touch to see how EAP support can help prevent burnout in your workplace.

Related articles

  • a male and female colleague working at a desk together


    UK gender pay gap falls at fastest pace since 2017

    The overall UK gender pay gap has fallen at the fastest rate in six years with a 12.2% differential between men and women

    Peninsula GroupHR and Health & Safety Experts
    • Equality & Diversity
Back to resource hub

Try Peninsula for free today

See for yourself why Peninsula is the UK’s favourite HR and health & safety provider. Tap below to unlock free advice, policies, e-learning, and more.

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.

International sites

© 2023 Peninsula Business Services Limited. Registered Office: The Peninsula, Victoria Place, Manchester, M4 4FB. Registered in England and Wales No: 1702759. Peninsula Business Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the sale of non-investment insurance contracts.

ISO 27001 and 9001 accredited company.
The Sunday Times - Top Track 250.
Glassdoor 2018 Best Places To Work.