Quiet Quitting – Who Are You Really Hurting?
Quiet Quitting refers to doing the minimum requirements of the job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. No more staying late, showing up early, or attending non-mandatory meetings.
We hear a lot about quiet quitting; doing the least, the less is more attitude that is emerging in the workplace. Perhaps in 2024 it is time to re-evaluate and re-motivate ourselves at work and examine the root cause of our feelings. Doing the minimum is not necessarily a positive thing for our minds and bodies both professionally and personally. Do we unconsciously hurt ourselves when we stop striving? A new year can be a good time to identify dissatisfaction as it relates to the workplace.
Examples of reasons you may feel unsatisfied at work are: I feel my work is unrecognized, I feel undervalued, I don’t feel respected, my job is inflexible, I haven’t received the training I need. Why it hurts us to say nothing: it reduces our motivation and ideal performance, may lower our future potential, may cause a poor employment reference, personal depression and anxiety.
The first step is to be in touch with your situation and identify how you are feeling when it comes to your job. So often it comes down to communication. Many of us say nothing and quietly seethe when our hard work goes unnoticed or someone else takes credit for it. Learning how to communicate effectively with your manager is an important first step.
How do you approach this in a constructive and effective manner? It is important to first really evaluate how you are feeling and take the time over a few weeks to journal/take notes on how you feel during the work day. You want to be prepared and not just reactive on a “bad day”. Approach your manager and ask to schedule a time to talk. Timing is everything; try to arrange this at a strategic time, not month end or the busiest time of day. Be prepared for a discussion using the notes you have made and refer to specific examples rather than broad sweeping statements. You want to be open for a fair exchange dialogue that may also include “constructive criticism” on both sides. In order to grow, learn and improve it helps to not revert immediately to a defense position but to openly listen to what is being said. Rather than just presenting the problems you see in your job, present ideas for solutions such as “I feel more valued when...”, “I don’t feel respected when...”, “I enjoy my job more when...” As a manager, a question to ask yourself is, is this problem with my staff or is the problem with me and my leadership abilities. Not all relationships are “fixable” however knowing you have taken the steps to address the issues can be an empowering experience. If you find that it is not possible to change “the culture” that is affecting your performance; it may be time to update your resume and look for a new job rather than sabotaging your attitude and performance.