Unless you’ve been on a complete social media blackout, you’ll have encountered the phrases “quiet quitting” and “act your wage” at some point this year. Whilst the labels are new, the meaning and behaviours behind them certainly aren’t. Here’s our advice on handling quiet quitting and whether it’s something you need to worry about.
Firstly, what is quiet quitting?
Quiet quitting is when an employee does the minimum or required amount of workload each day and nothing more. This person clocks in and out exactly on the hour. And if they’re asked to do anything extra, they’ll refuse because it’s not their job. Like quiet quitting, acting your wage implies that an employee only does what’s required of them according to their job spec or what they deem to be within their pay grade.
Why is it trending?
As energy prices and cost of living increases, companies are really feeling the pinch. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for companies to match the soaring cost of living to pay rises within their teams. Employees are feeling underappreciated and undervalued having worked tirelessly over the last couple of years to help their employers to ride the pandemic storm. In a lot of cases, holidays have been minimal and pay increases have been scarce. There’s a general feeling of being underpaid and many are fed up with the ‘working to live’ mentality. As is the way today, those who’re dissatisfied have turned to social media to air their gripes and found their content resonated with people across the globe.
What does quiet quitting mean for employers?
It’s not necessarily something to worry about. If an employee is completing their daily tasks, meets deadlines and turns up to work every day, technically they’re doing what’s required. Not every single person on your team will want to progress and advance through the ranks. Some will be happy with the same amount of responsibility, so they’ll get the same amount of pay.
Others want to advance and will actively go above and beyond. As a good employer you’ll recognise this, pay them more and promote them. You can’t expect extra effort and great work ethic from your team if you don’t provide the opportunity to progress in terms or rising through the ranks as well as the obvious pay increases.
Pay your team for overtime, check in on their wellbeing and show appreciation to everyone. It’s important to remember that your team should feel appreciated and valued, regardless of their plans for their career. Whether they want to stay at their current level or get promoted.
If an employee is underperforming, has a noticeably bad attitude and work ethic that negatively impacts your culture and the workload of your other team members, that’s a different issue altogether. It could be time for a performance review plan, or if they’re behaving in a disruptive and disrespectful way, it could be time for disciplinary procedures.
If you suddenly notice a change in the way your full team acts and it’s negatively impacting the way your business performs, then this is an indicator that something may be wrong. Spend some time evaluating the workload across the team, whether people are overwhelmed and if you’re providing enough wellbeing support, recognition and opportunities. Ask for feedback and communicate to sort it out.
What does it mean for employees?
As an employee, you’re paid to do a job and if you’re happy to do exactly what’s asked of you and nothing more, why should an employer have an issue with that? You’re doing your job, so there shouldn’t be any issues.
Except, you do have to take into consideration that there will be other employees who are willing to go above and beyond. And they will be the ones who will advance their careers. Work doesn’t have to be your life, and you don’t have to hustle, but if you’re the ‘minimum pay, minimum effort’ type then you have to be prepared to be over-taken by someone else who goes the extra mile and who really wants to stand out.
Need extra advice?
Quiet quitting really isn’t anything new, most workplaces will have seen their fair share of quiet quitters over the years, the behaviour simply wasn’t labelled until it blew up on social media earlier this year.
Want to chat about quiet quitting or enhancing your workplace culture? Need help finding a job you’re passionate about? We’re here to help you. Get in touch for a chat.