What is Quiet Quitting? [& How You Can Prevent It]

tired and stressed employee

Quiet quitting: you've likely heard the term, but can't entirely describe it or wrap your head around it. 

This popular phrase refers to employees losing the motivation to work, resulting in accomplishing the bare minimum at their jobs. 

So, as an employer or manager - how can you prevent it?

In this post, Drive Research shares strategies companies should implement in 2023 to put passion and engagement back into the workplace.

What is Quiet Quitting?

In movies, we often see an exasperated employee screaming "I quit!" and stomping out of their workplace. 

That's the opposite of quiet quitting

As we mentioned earlier, signs of quiet quitting are a lack of passion or motivation for one's work.

This often includes doing the bare minimum, not putting extra time into tasks, and other related actions. 

While it is a buzzword, it is undoubtfully a phenomenon sweeping the country. In fact, recent research shows up to 50% of today's employees are quietly quitting. 

quietly quitting statistic

When employees aren't putting in enough effort, there's always a reason behind this. 

For instance, is there a psychological component in play? Should employers then start to focus on mental health in the workplace?

Or, are employees overly stressed at work or home, and that bleeds into their motivation and performance? 

Whatever the reason, it's often preventable. 

In our next section, we'll show you how that's done.

💡 The Key Takeaway: When employees begin to "quiet quit," they lose motivation to work. To get to the bottom of the issue, the reasons behind this behavior must be uncovered. 

Strategies to Prevent Quiet Quitting

1. Combat quiet quitting with employee surveys

The best way to prevent quiet quitting is to eliminate the quiet. Give employees the space to voice their concerns and areas of dissatisfaction. 

The best way to handle this is by sending out employee surveys to your staff.

And don’t just take our word for it. Only, 29% of people think employee surveys are pointless.

Meaning, the large majority of employees agree staff engagement surveys are useful. A quiet quitting research project is only pointless if leadership teams take no action with the results. 

Employee survey statistic

You'll be able to craft questions specific to your goals such as understanding drivers to poor work performance and disengaged employees.

Additionally, it's a good idea to include questions about work/life balance.

Companies that don't prioritize this often have stressed employees, which can lead to quiet quitting

Feedback obtained from these surveys will be able to tell you what could be causing your employees' ho-hum attitudes. 

For instance, say you find out that your staff is highly stressed because of their managers.

With the survey data, you'll be able to take steps that can change this. 

In this scenario, a good next step might be to conduct a follow-up upward feedback survey.

When you get to the core of why your staff isn't motivated, you'll correct the problem for good

To get the best data, it's key to use a third party for employee surveys

This assures your staff knows their answers are 100% confidential as an outsourced team is administering the study. It also allows you to focus on the results without getting caught up in the research process. 

For more, watch our quick explainer video on the benefits of employee surveys.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Quiet quitting is a symptom of a larger workplace issue. Staff surveys will help employers understand why their team isn't going above and beyond. 

Recommended Reading: The Cost of Outsourcing an Employee Survey

2. Pay Employees Fairly 

This is the big one, and it's pretty basic. 

Ensuring your employees are paid properly is a huge factor in improving job satisfaction.

If you're noticing signs of quiet quitting in your workplace, take a step back and consider what your staff makes. 

When employees are making less than what they should, their production drops.

They may have resentment about not making enough money, or could simply be stressed because of it. More often than not, it's a mixture of these two. 

And that's a perfect recipe for quiet quitting to begin. 

Because of this, employees may not offer and/or be interested in picking up extra duties or projects. And in turn, the business will suffer! 

This is why it's critical to pay employees fairly. If you think this could be causing issues with quiet quitting, set time aside to carefully review your budget. 

In fact, at least 63% of Americans have left their jobs partially because the pay was too low.

stat on employees quitting because of pay

And compensation isn't just about money. Consider the benefits your employees receive, too. 

Here are some non-monetary benefits that promote a positive workforce: 

  • Unlimited/generous time off policies
  • Remote/hybrid work opportunities 
  • Employee training/growth sessions
  • Company events

When it comes to compensation, there are many ways you can treat employees fairly. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Often, quiet quitting stems from employees not being paid well. In turn, they lose motivation. Employers can combat this by improving payment policies and benefits. 

Recommended Reading: Organizational Strategies for Promoting Work-Life Balance

3. Promote Employee Growth

It's important to be transparent about staff growth opportunities. 

If you have a company that doesn't offer much in the way of advancement, employees will look for a new job.

When there's no room to grow, they're more likely to do the bare minimum. And thus, quiet quitting begins. 

However, when staff members know they can rise in a company, that sets a fire under them to do well and go the extra mile.

Ensure you're communicating this with them regularly. 

Aside from simply knowing they can grow in a business, there are other ways employees can advance. 

For instance, attending conferences and gaining relevant certifications are simple and effective ways to inspire employees. 

The more skills they learn, the more employees will strive to aim higher at work. Additionally, these are also fun ways to break up workloads. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: If quiet quitting is an issue in the workplace, there may not be enough space for employee advancement. 

4. Build Meaningful Relationships

Good companies don't just revolve around strategy – they depend heavily on healthy relationships with co-workers and managers. 

Employees enjoy working in a friendly environment. It's that simple. 

Since stress is often the source of quiet quitting, maintaining healthy relationships in the workplace is a huge step to preventing it. 

For context, recent studies have shown, relationships with management are the top factor in employees' job satisfaction

stat on importance of good relationships with managers

Image Source: McKinsey and Company

Implementing weekly meetings between managers and staff is a great way to foster this.

Not only is it a good way for them to connect, but it also helps staff stay on top of their workload. 

On top of that, hosting weekly meetings with your entire team is important. This gives them all the chance to connect and discuss key goals. 

And be sure to have some fun while doing it.

Think about ways your team can grow together: happy hours, holiday parties, different meetups, and so on! 

💡 The Key Takeaway: Team growth opportunities are huge when it comes to building solid relationships at work. When employees connect with each other, they have more motivation.

Contact Our Employee Satisfaction Company

Noticing a quiet quitting trend in the office? Crafting an employee survey will help you identify the reasons and help you resolve existing issues.

Based in New York, Drive Research is a market research company. Our team will work with you to create a high-quality employee survey, delivering key insights about your workforce. 

If you want to learn more about our market research services, chat with us today! 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Lark Allen

As a Content Marketing Specialist, Lark has a strong background and passion for creative, professional, and journalistic writing. She is also a self-proclaimed music freak and 90s enthusiast.

Learn more about Lark, here.

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