Is your Gen Z employee refusing to work (unpaid) overtime?
Ignoring work emails or requests while on vacay?
Logging off/signing out exactly when their shift ends (and not a minute longer), even if asked to stay back?
They might just be quiet quitting.
To be clear: quiet quitting doesn’t mean that an employee has actually quit their job, or doesn’t like their job.
What it means is they’ve set boundaries around their workload – like limiting their tasks to what’s strictly within their job description – to help alleviate stress and improve work/life balance.
“These employees are still fulfilling their job duties but not subscribing to ‘work is life’ culture to guide their career and stand out to their superiors,” wrote Amanda Hetler for WhatIs.
“They stick to what is in their job description and when they go home, they leave work behind them and focus on non-work duties and activities.”
Translation: see ya later, ‘going the extra mile’.
Statista recently revealed in The Generational Divide on ‘Quiet Quitting’ a “significant gulf in attitudes towards work between different generations”.
Their research found that while 82% of people aged 65 and older and 73% of people aged 45 to 64 (aka Gen Z’s parents) believe that employees should always go above and beyond at work, just 50% of those aged 18 to 29 (aka Gen Zs) agree with that sentiment.
Further, 65% of 18-to-29-year-olds think that employees should do exactly what they’re paid for – not more, not less – which is the core idea of “quiet quitting”. However, just 28% of those aged 65 and older and 40% of those aged 45 to 64 agree with the not-going-the-extra-mile approach.
But before we slap Gen Z with the entitled or lazy label (as is tradition), quiet quitting is actually a rejection of the toxic workplace culture they’ve observed their parents suffer from growing up – and don’t want a bar of.
Oh, and Gen Zs didn’t invent it either.
“Quiet quitting may be a popular term, but this practice isn’t new,” Hetler explained.
“Workers have quietly quit their jobs for years to look for something new, whether it was because of poor pay, unmanageable workload, burnout or lack of growth opportunities.”
Burnout is a particular concern, according to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work report.
A shocking seven out of ten employees said they experienced burnout in 2021, which resulted in lower engagement, lower morale, more mistakes, and employees leaving their jobs.
So what’s an employer to do?
“While the “quiet quitting” trend is probably not as big as the term’s internet hype suggests, employers are well-advised to take young workers seriously,” the report explained.
“The pandemic has shown that flexibility and results can go hand in hand and the next generation of workers seems adamant to strike a better balance between work and their personal lives.”