Quiet Quitting Is Never Quiet

Over winter break, I attended a beautiful holiday brunch that included professional women from various industries, educational backgrounds, and occupations. Imagine the happy voices in that room as folks were reacquainted with old friends and delighted to meet new ones. One guest was an amazing instructor that I have known and admired for years. As the conversation moved from past experiences to current employment, she told us that she was “Quiet Quitting.” You could have heard a pin drop in the room because every person stopped to listen in amazement. Of course, I’ve heard this phrase before, but never from someone like this energetic instructor, mentor, and model employee whose work ethics are so incredibly strong that I couldn’t imagine her not giving 110% to her employer. In this case, “Quiet Quitting” was not quiet at all!

Blame it on the pandemic, working remotely, social disconnection, or lack of engagement, but the basic truth is that employees across the United States are adopting the “Quiet Quitting” mentality because they have decided to rebel against a hustle-bustle culture and a life that has no work-life balance. Good people, like my friend, feel like their employer is expecting more than they are paying for the position. This woman has options. She can easily find a job position at another university, but since she is close to retirement age, she has decided to stay where she is, keep her head down, fly beneath the radar, and do only what is necessary to retain her position. “Quiet Quitting” is my friend’s way to combat workaholism. She provides all services listed on her job description, but she has chosen to quit going above and beyond.  Clearly my friend is not lazy, nor is she suffering from burnout. In fact, I’m quite certain the words, lazy or burnout, are not in her vocabulary. But she has made the conscious decision to quit sacrificing her personal life to work endless hours each day for no additional pay. Her actions are intentional, and “Quiet Quitting” is her way of setting boundaries.

Truthfully, people have been “Quiet Quitting” for years and long before this phrase was a buzzword. Employees often make the good choice toward creating a healthy distance between themselves and people, employers, and jobs that are toxic to their mental health. Setting boundaries is healthy; however, a conscientious employee should minimize negative impacts that may accompany the trend of “Quiet Quitting”. My friend suggested that we do this by strategically aligning personal needs with the needs of the employer. Ask for help by encouraging managers to budget for adequate staffing and encourage more effective communication to foster trust. Help build a culture within your organization that paints an attainable future and includes a comfortable work-life balance. “Quiet Quitting” is never quiet, but it does involve drawing a line between your work life and personal life. Since each person has different needs to fit their family’s lifestyle, then it is up to each person to determine the work-life formula that works best.

Would you like to know more about “Quiet Quitting” and what businesses can do to train their managers to be more effective leaders in this shifting environment?  How can you build relationships within your business that will prioritize employee development in such a way that a healthier work-life balance can be achieved? Plan to join Georgia Continuing Education Association (GCEA) and attend my session during the 2023 GCEA Conference in April. Let’s start a conversation that is not quiet. We need All Hands On Deck to meet challenges that come with the “Quiet Quitting” trend. Our employees and businesses will benefit as we value the needs, perspectives, and contributions of ALL stakeholders.

Tips like these are the kind of things we share at our monthly Georgia Continuing Education Association meetings and at our yearly conference.  We would love for you to join GAEC and allow us to be your anchor in the storm as you navigate the murky waters of trends like “Quiet Quitting.” For more information, contact us through our website https://gacea.org/  or call President Cher Brister at 678-226-6756.

See you in Savannah as we bring All Hands On Deck to provide the resources you need for success!

Dr. Penny Joyner Waddell
Training and Development Instructor

2023 Georgia Continuing Education Association (GCEA) CONFERENCE
Theme: All Hands On Deck
Dates: April 20 & 21, 2023
Theme: All Hands On Deck
Dates: April 20 & 21, 2023 
Location: Savannah, Georgia
Key-note Speaker: Nick ‘Sunshine’ Tokman from the Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award Winning Show “Deadliest Catch”