Quiet quitting is when someone gives up on something without telling anyone. They just silently stop coming to work or meeting their responsibilities, and no one knows why. As a result, everyone thinks they’re still fully engaged with their responsibilities until they don’t show up again the next day.
Quiet quitting can happen in any business but is often more common in smaller businesses where it might be harder to track people’s actions and activities. It also tends to happen more in small businesses because there is less red tape for employees before leaving the company. The reasons for quiet quitting are different for each person, but some universal things make people more prone to giving up without saying anything. Read on to know the common reasons for “quiet quitting” and how to avoid it in your business.
Reasons Why People Are Quietly Quitting Your Business
🚩 You don’t know your why.
Your why is the core reason why your business exists in the first place. It’s why your employees signed up for your team and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. If you’re not regularly communicating your why — or worse yet, if your employees don’t know your why — people will feel a lack of purpose. They’re likely to feel unengaged, uninspired, and like their work doesn’t matter. And the fact that you don’t know your why clearly shows that you don’t care about your employees. If you were to ask your team why they show up for work every day, would they be able to tell you? If not, you need to work on communicating your why.
🚩 Communication is a problem.
Communication is a two-way street. Your business isn’t just getting information out. You also need to be on the lookout for feedback, questions, and concerns. You need to be asking your team what they need, what their challenges are, and what they can do better. If you’re not doing any of that, your communication problem is probably a big sign to your team that they’re not valued. After all, the only way to grow as a business is by getting feedback and improving your practices based on what people say. If you don’t care enough to hear what people are saying — or worse yet, if you don’t have a way for people to speak up — then your team members will feel like you don’t care about them. If your communication problem isn’t addressed, people will keep their heads down and quietly leave your team.
🚩 Your employees don’t have room to grow.
To be truly engaged, people need to feel like their work has a purpose and that they have room to grow and improve. They need to feel like they have the opportunity to learn, get better, and advance in their careers. If your employees feel like they’re just spinning their wheels and don’t have any room to grow, then they will feel unengaged. They will feel like their work doesn’t matter and that their contributions aren’t valued. When this happens, people will start looking for a new job. If your employees don’t have room to grow in their current roles, then you must clarify how you will allow them to grow.
🚩 People feel like they’re wasting their time.
Time is a non-renewable resource. When someone feels like they’re wasting their time at work, it’s a vital sign that they’re unhappy and disengaged. They’re not focused on the work they need to do or the outcomes they need to achieve. They’re just looking at the clock and wondering when they can go home. When people feel like they’re wasting their time, it’s a sign that they don’t have a strong sense of purpose or significance. If you see time-wasting patterns — or if your employees say they feel like they’re wasting their time — then you need to take action to address it. Otherwise, you’re likely to see people quietly quitting your team.
🚩 You don’t care about your employees enough to listen to them.
If you’re not actively listening to your employees and trying to understand how they’re feeling, then you don’t care about them. You don’t care about their challenges and the work they do every day. And when you don’t care about your employees, it’s a clear sign that you don’t care about their happiness or success. When you don’t care enough to listen to your employees and try to understand their feelings, they’ll start to feel disengaged and quietly quit your team. They’ll start looking for a new job where they’ll feel like they’re valued and appreciated. You need to actively listen to your team, care about what they have to say, and make sure you’re addressing their concerns. And there you have it. These are the reasons why people are quietly quitting your business. Now, what will you do about it?
Ways to Avoid “Quiet Quitting” mentality In Your Business
🎯 Encourage open communication
Quiet quitters often try to avoid confrontation or being seen as a “problem employee.” In a smaller business, it’s easy for employees to feel like they don’t have the right to speak up if they’re unhappy about something. Resolve to make your team feel safe to speak out about any issues, so they don’t feel like they have to quit without any warning. This can be as simple as setting aside time each week for team members to ask questions and offer suggestions for improvement. You can also host regular one-on-one meetings with each employee to ensure they feel supported and challenged in the right ways.
🎯 Create opportunities for growth
Quiet quitters often feel trapped in their current tasks and responsibilities. If you’ve hired people who are more interested in stability than growth, they might not feel challenged enough by the work they’re doing. This makes them feel like they aren’t making enough progress in their career, making them feel unfulfilled and like they have no other option but to leave. Create opportunities for your team members to expand their skills or take on bigger projects. This will help them feel challenged and like they’re growing as people and employees. It also gives them a tangible way to see their career progression on their resume when they look for new jobs in the future.
🎯 Avoid overworking your team.
Quiet quitting often happens when employees feel like they’re being overworked without the compensation or recognition they deserve. They may feel physically and emotionally exhausted from their workload, leading them to want to walk away without telling anyone why. Avoid overworking your team members by enforcing work-life balance rules and setting clear expectations for workloads. If you have employees putting in too many hours, recognize them for their hard work without encouraging them to keep working at unsustainable levels.
🎯 Promote a healthy work-life balance
Quiet quitting often happens because employees feel like they have no time for themselves or their families. This can result from a stressful, hectic work environment, or it can occur because someone is taking on too many responsibilities. Make sure everyone on your team has enough work, but not too much. If someone is overextending themselves, they might feel like they don’t have enough time to complete everything and leave without saying why. Make sure your team has enough time for themselves and their families to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and they’ll be less likely to quit without notice.
🎯 Make sure employees feel valued.
Quiet quitters often feel underappreciated and unvalued by their employers. If you have employees who are feeling undervalued, they might be more likely to quit without telling anyone why. Make sure everyone on your team knows they’re valued and appreciated for their work. Set up regular one-on-one meetings, sit down over coffee with employees, or use other one-on-one meetings to let people know they’re valued and appreciated. This is especially important if you’re growing your business and have new team members who haven’t been around long enough to feel valued.
🎯 Don’t buy into the hustle culture mentality.
Quiet quitting is common in businesses that preach “the hustle” or emphasize employees putting in as many hours as possible. This can lead people to feel stressed and overworked without proper support, leading them to feel like they have no other choice but to quit without telling anyone why. Instead of preaching the hustle and encouraging employees to work as many hours as possible, focus on results. Hold your team members accountable for hitting specific milestone goals that are important for the business, and don’t expect them to work longer hours just because they’re in the office.
🎯 Listen to your team
Quiet quitters often don’t tell anyone they’re unhappy because they think their manager will force them to stay at the company. If they have a performance review coming up and they’re worried they’ll get fired if they speak up, they might just quit instead. Make it clear to your team that they are free to speak up if they feel unhappy or need more support or resources. You can even make it an expectation for team members to suggest improvements or make suggestions for how to improve the business. This will show your team that you’re open to hearing their ideas and concerns, making it less likely for them to quit without telling anyone why.
🎯 Be flexible
Quiet quitters often feel like they have no flexibility in their work schedule. If they have to work certain days and hours, they might feel like they don’t have any options when they have an important family event to attend. Create a flexible work environment where employees can control their hours and make their own arrangements for family events and other important milestones. This will make it less likely for people to quit secretly because they feel like they have no options for rearranging their work schedule.
Quitting your job without telling anyone is never a good idea. But it’s also not something that your boss can prevent. Research shows that most people who quit their job do it because they’re unhappy. So while creating a healthy workplace, it’s also important to encourage open communication so people don’t feel like they must quit secretly. If you recognize any of these circumstances in your life, read on for seven ways to avoid quiet quitting in your business.