Log In

Quiet Quitting Explained: What You Need to Know

Quiet Quitting has been making a buzz online, with Gen Zs sharing their work experiences through social media. Although their posts are often funny, they still make on-point examples on various organizational issues. These include having the proper work-life balance, getting recognition at work, receiving a salary increase, and more.

However, although this young workforce has been exceptionally communicating their issues through social media, most business leaders still do not understand what Quiet Quitting means and how it can affect their organizations.

Here’s everything you need to know about “Quiet Quitters.”

What is Quiet Quitting?

When people first heard of the term “quiet quitting,” they thought it meant people were just doing the bare minimum at their jobs. However, Kathy Caprino, a Connecticut-based women’s career, and leadership coach and author of “The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss” argued that this is unequivocally false.

She explained that it means people stop doing work that they think is beyond their job roles. But, it doesn’t mean those who display this behavior will no longer excel at their jobs. But, one thing’s for sure, they will no longer go the extra mile for their organizations if their efforts aren’t reciprocated—financially or emotionally.

So, in short, quiet quitting means setting boundaries at work and knowing when to say no to the managers. 

When did the Quiet Quitting culture start?

The term might be new, but this behavior was around long ago, and Gen Zs just named it quiet quitting.

Allyn Bailey, executive director of hiring success for San Francisco-based SmartRecruiters, said there have always been individuals who don’t perform to their full potential.

“That’s a performance issue—a behavior issue—and it’s always kind of existed,” she noted.

Bailey also highlighted that HR executives need to assess the psychological contract between their organization and their people. This is important because the younger generations are no longer fans of hustle culture and are not always available when managers tap them for tasks that do not belong to their job roles.

Meanwhile, Wanda Jackson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources of the National Urban League based in New York City, said the problem parallels the Great Resignation. This is when team members start reflecting on their workplaces, how they want to spend their time, what’s most important to them, and where they will be treated fairly. Moreover, Jackson explained it has little to do with money or position. “It’s about the need for time and the other things going on in life like being a parent or acting. 

Many social media users also share how their company added responsibilities to their table due to the pandemic. But they won’t get anything in return. In addition, people are expressing frustration with their managers who insist on creating new rules to ensure their staff are still productive when working at home. While the intention might be good, some managers are stepping out of their line. They also often forget that their people still have a life to live outside work.

Some users also shared how they witnessed their company lay off most of their colleagues, whether they were tenured or doing exceptionally well at their jobs.

In fact, only 24% of Americans thought their managers had their best interests at heart, according to a Gallup poll released in March 2022. With all the workplace stories we’ve heard, here’s one from someone closer to our team. Let’s call her Jennie.


Jennie, 26, is a tenured Content & QA Analyst at her company. In her rookie year with the Australian digital marketing firm, she was named the employee of the year due to her effectiveness, work ethic, and quality of work.

Amid the pandemic, she saw how her organization kicked out more than half of its team. Of course, this puts down their team morale, but for her, it was a business decision to keep their company running. Months later, her manager left the company until she was the only content team member.

She was under the impression that, soon, she would be promoted to handle their team. For months, she managed to deliver all content deliverables and ensure that all client requirements were top-notch through her quality assurance process.

There were no promotions. Instead, Jennie found herself in a meeting with their HR manager, telling her she was made redundant. The company vowed to give her two months’ worth of salary, a recommendation letter for job hunting, and a month’s notice to find a new job.

Two weeks after the meeting, the management met with her to deliver “good news.” They told her role was no longer redundant, and they still needed her to handle content requirements for the company.

Being too loyal to her company and afraid of not finding a new job, Jennie accepted the decision.

It’s been over a year since the situation happened, and Jennie never took it personally. Like before, she’s always doing her job and at her best performance. Not until when she was in a meeting with her boss, and the latter accidentally flashed the new hires’ income—which is way way way higher than hers.

Jennie realized her company didn’t really recognize her hard work and output. So, from that moment, she decided to just perform according to what she’s paid for. 

Signs of Quiet Quitting

Now, you might be wondering if your team has a quiet quitter. Here are the signs you should look out for:

  • Disengagement
  • Performing only to the minimum performance standards
  • Isolating themselves from other team members
  • Not interested in building connections with team members
  • Withdrawal from any non-necessary activities/tasks
  • Only attending meetings but not sharing insights/feedback
  • Unwillingness to shoulder team mate’s shortcomings

Should I fire Quiet Quitters within my team?

Before making a decision driven by emotions (like frustration), ensure that you have already evaluated your organization’s current culture and environment.

A recent survey found that one in three managers admit to quiet firing. In addition, 75% of managers believed it is justifiable to fire someone only doing the bare minimum, while 64% of managers say quiet quitters are unlikely to have a successful career. For us, this is unfair if a manager does not try to work things out for both parties.

While we understand that having to lead a team full of people unwilling to exceed expectations from them, it’s ideal if a manager will also find ways to help their team get out of the slump.

How to address Quiet Quitting at your organization

There are ways to re-engage quiet quitters in your team, especially if they used to be your high performers.

  • Get a business solution that gives accurate data on your team’s performance.

The tasks of managers are overwhelming sometimes, so delegation comes in. Unfortunately, some managers forget that their team members need to take a rest or pause. In a Gallup survey, 76% of employees admitted to job burnout symptoms. If not resolved, they may become quiet quitters.

To stay on top of your team’s performance, well-being, and unique situations, it’s better to have a business solution that provides you with accurate data about their overall activity. This allows managers to solve arising problems before it becomes unmanageable.

  • Use gamification to bring back the fun

Currently, 70% of global 2,000 companies use gamification to drive higher employee engagement, boost productivity, encourage healthy habits, and even reach their KPIs. So, if you notice that most of your team members are disengaged, bring back the fun to your organization through gamification.

With gamification, you can drive their performance and boost business results because they enjoy what they do. It’s a win-win situation for your business.

  • Recognize your best performers through rewards

To inspire your team to perform at their best, ensure that you give rewards to individuals who exceed expectations. This way, your team members will be encouraged to always strive for excellence.

  • Express your appreciation and care for your team through a skills and development training  program

In the latest McKinsey report, another 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in May—while 40% of people in the workforce are still very unhappy with their jobs and looking for new opportunities. The most common reason they are leaving is a lack of career development opportunities.

With this, it is vital to make your people feel valued by investing in them. If they see that you offer them great opportunities to boost their career growth, they will also appreciate your organization.


The Sales Machine is an all-in-one business success platform that will help you address quiet quitting. It provides managers with a safe place to observe their people’s performance. And at the same time, it is a business solution that drives sales through complete features, like gamification, rewards, and its own training hub.

Learn more about The Sales Machine at www.thesalesmachine.com. You can also schedule a FREE discovery session here to discover how we can help improve retention in your team.

Meanwhile, if you want weekly updates from us, subscribe to our newsletter here. Sign up now to stay on top of your industry’s latest trends.