Quiet Quitting; TikTok Tantrum or Cultural Revolution?
Everything-old-is-new is again surrounding the motivations inspiring Quiet Quitting, the latest TikTok phenomena making waves in larger corporate ponds. A recent LinkedIn article by Nino Padova highlights this cultural phenomenon and predicts what it is and its staying power. Select highlights are featured below.
Isn’t quiet quitting simply another term for slacking off? Not so fast! According to the article, “The term itself is fraught with imprecision. Quiet quitting doesn’t actually involve quitting. Instead, it describes what some call “acting your wage,” that is, doing precisely what your job requires of you. Full stop. “All jobs have core elements, which we call in-role performance . . . quiet quitting is quitting everything beyond that,” says Anthony Klotz, a management professor at University College London and the person who coined the term “great resignation.”
Anthony doesn’t see quiet quitting as inherently good or bad. He thinks that workers who go above or beyond the call of duty — those who exhibit what he calls “citizenship behaviors” — tend to do so when they think the organization has rightly invested in them. The ones who feel that they’ve been left out to dry, he says, are bound to do the bare minimum.”
Although it’s convenient to blame GenZ, every coin has an obverse. “Bonnie Dilber, a recruiting manager with Zapier, goes a step further. In a recent LinkedIn post, she admonished companies for what she terms “quiet firing.” “This happens ALL THE TIME,” she wrote, listing some common symptoms: ‘You don’t receive feedback or praise’; ‘You get raises of 3% or less while others are getting much more’; and ‘You’re not kept up to date on information that is relevant or critical to your work’…When this happens, Bonnie says employees are made to feel underappreciated and will eventually leave to find another job. Or worse, their performance will dip so badly that they’ll be terminated.”
Although some from the lean-in tradition see quiet quitting as another definition of laziness, others see it as simple math. Padova adds, “Embedded in that notion is the basic concept of fairness: Workers should be compensated accordingly for the job they do, extra mile and all. Robert Lloyd-Charles, a senior learning and performance support analyst/officer at U.S. Bank, offered to rebrand the trend as “100 Percenting.” “Quiet quitters are giving 100%,” he wrote. “They are doing their jobs. . . . [T]hey are demanding to be paid 150% percent of their wages when they’re asked to do 150% of the work. That’s not laziness. That’s math.”
The article concludes, “We’re desperate to try to find some unique rationale for these very normal employee sentiments and actions,” says Tricia Mansfield, the chief talent officer at Porter Novelli. “It will always be as simple as ‘take care of your employees’ (however you may define it), and they will take care of your clients.” Andrew Gadomski, the founder of Aspen Analytics, adds: “We have bigger problems to handle in HR beyond current employees that meet performance, claim decent personal boundaries, and stay.”
In a culture that has always encouraged workers to lean in to get ahead, pandemic experiences highlighting how precious time is have many changing their minds. At some point, getting exactly what you pay for wasn’t enough for employers, so they purchased extra effort with the promise of later rewards. Does this make quiet quitting a passing phenomenon? Or is it working America telling employers they’ve reached their credit limit and it’s time to pay up?
Trent Lyons is a Technical Recruitment Lead at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Trent, who specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career, contact us today.