Understanding “quiet quitting” and what to do about it

Employees are setting healthier professional boundaries. Learn more about this emerging workplace trend and what it means for your business.

Employees are setting healthier professional boundaries. Learn more about this emerging workplace trend and what it means for your business.

By Tim Dimoff

The pandemic brought us many workplace issues. First it was the “great resignation.” Now it’s “quiet quitting.” 

As a business owner, it’s important to understand this emerging workplace trend. Essentially, quiet quitting means employees will complete the tasks assigned to them during working hours, but nothing extra. They will not work beyond their normal working hours, so no more staying late or working after they get home. Basically, they will not go the extra mile anymore – and it doesn’t matter if they work in person or remotely.

Employees are now setting their own expectations for how they do their jobs. They often feel they aren’t respected, aren’t being heard, their time is not their own and they have little chance for advancement or achieving their career goals. 

Employees are setting their own boundaries when it comes to work and careers.

>> RELATED: Why employee motivation matters more in a small business

What this means to you, as an employer, is that you will most likely be dealing with many new employee issues. Understanding and know if your employees are quiet quitting is very important. 

In order to do this, you first have to be aware of their behaviors. Ask yourself the following questions about each employee:

• Are they engaged during meetings? 
• Are they eager to accept new projects or responsibilities? 
• Do they seem motivated? 

If the answer to these questions is no, they could be showing signs of quiet quitting. 

So, what should you do? Often times when an employee exhibits these behaviors, they don’t necessarily have any plan or intention to quit. It is more about establishing healthier work boundaries – which has become a focus as a result of COVID, and especially important to younger generations of workers.

>> RELATED: Understanding and building a positive company culture

You don’t want to lose good employees. Here are some tips to improving the situation:

• Review their responsibilities with them and address their workload and career goals.
• Make sure they understand and are aligned with your company vision and purposes.
• Make sure they know that they have your support.
• Respect their boundaries and personal time to ensure they have balance between their personal and work lives.
• Get to know them and find out what motivates them and what challenges they face in both the workplace and at home. Do they have kids to pick up, doctor appointment issues, etc. 
• Respect their mental health. Allow breaks if needed.
• Set clear expectations including a detailed job description. 
• Don’t forget positive reinforcement. A little praise goes a very long way.

Remember, it is way more expensive in time and money to find and retrain new employees than it is to make the effort to understand their issues and retain them. Happy employees translate into a happy workplace, which saves you time and money. 

President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Speaker, Trainer, Corporate Security ExpertTimothy A. Dimoff, CPP, president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., is a speaker, trainer and author and a leading authority in high-risk workplace and human resource security and crime issues. He is a Certified Protection Professional; a certified legal expert in corporate security procedures and training; a member of the Ohio and International Narcotic Associations; the Ohio and National Societies for Human Resource Managers; and the American Society for Industrial Security. He holds a B.S. in Sociology, with an emphasis in criminology, from Dennison University. Contact him at


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