Recently, the term “quiet quitting” has emerged as a buzz term across social media and news outlets. However, what actually is quiet quitting- and is it as big of a deal as it is being portrayed as? The phrase quiet quitting relates to a shift in working practice and a reorientation in workforce ethic from “hustle culture”. Quiet quitting is quite the opposite of hustle culture. Instead of working late hours, organising work events, and going the extra mile, quiet quitters do the bare minimum of their prescribed work, finish on time and mute apps like Slack outside of working hours. This avoidance of additional responsibility, which psychologists refer to as “occupational citizenship behaviours”, is partially attributed to the plummeting of job satisfaction across the UK. The UK now currently sits at 33rd out of 38 for job satisfaction across Europe, according to the latest Gallup 2022 report.
The phrase “quiet quitting” does not quite fit with its description. The diminution of ambition to do the bare minimum in the workplace is not a mechanism for quitting a job, rather from quitting associated “occupational citizenship behaviours” that the role brings. The coverage of quiet quitting by the media and news highlights its prevalence with Gen Z workers. Whilst general disillusionment associated with the costs of living crisis cannot be stopped by HR, there are certain tools that HR can use to improve employee engagement.
One mechanism for increasing employee engagement is the establishment and development of CSR committees. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committees integrate broader societal and environmental considerations into a company’s ethos. For example, the development of committees such as an LGBTQ+ network within a company helps develop strong bonds across a company and increases employee engagement for those workers. With HR establishing and investing in these committees, it is then clear to workers that the company cares about their beliefs and identity and makes them feel more valued. It is not new news that Gen Z believe it is increasingly important a company’s values align with their own. Establishing CSR committees is a clear and effective way to demonstrate this.
Additionally, engaging in environmental and social outreach communities, a scheme HR can establish signals that the company cares about instigating positive social change in the spheres it operates in – from local, to more international scales depending on the project. In addition to finding a company with similar values to their own, Gen Z as a generation are passionate about driving positive change in both the workplace and the world around.
To conclude, quiet quitting is largely connected to the low job satisfaction workers in the UK are currently experiencing. A way to prevent it developing issues within your organisation may be to increase employee engagement. HR can do this through investment and developing CSR committees and opportunities.
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