Bridge Insights

Is it Quiet Quitting or a Culture Problem?

Oct 19, 2022

The phrase quiet quitting is quite the attention grabber these days.  According to a recent Gallop poll, at least half of the US is quiet quitting. So what is quiet quitting and why is it happening? We have asked ourselves the same thing; and decided to take a deep dive into this topic.

What is it?

The term quiet quitting is not actually quitting your job but rather doing the bare minimum at work to get by and nothing else. Some refer to it as working my wage; meaning you’re only going to get as much effort out of me as I believe is warranted based on the wages, you’re paying me. Others define it as I’ll perform only duties outlined in my job description. And don’t even think about approaching me about that link on my job description that reads – perform other duties as directed – never going to happen…

So, what has sparked this new work mentality?

Mental burnout? Employers expecting too much out of their employees because they are short-staffed? Are people trying to find a healthier work-life balance? High inflation and people are frustrated their paychecks no longer allow them to cover the cost of life’s necessities. Whatever the reason, quiet quitting can be detrimental to your company culture and promotes a toxic work environment. However, as defined, employers need to take note and focus on ways to prevent it.

Did the rise of remote work kill company culture?

With the rise of remote work, there is no doubt that company culture has taken a hit and leaders are still learning to navigate this new norm. Remote work is still relatively new to Corporate America, but I think we can all agree, it is here to stay. When in the office, you most enjoyed greeting colleagues with a smile, having a spontaneous work conversation, having a team lunch, or even getting a shout over the cube walls by your manager for a job well done. Unfortunately, those days are gone with teams working remotely. Bottom line, leaders need to find ways to improve and retain a great company culture whether working remotely, hybrid, or in the office.

According to a Gallup poll, in the US, employee disengagement was on the rise and it was due to a lack of clarity in expectations, opportunities to learn and grow, feeling cared about, and a connection to the organization’s mission or purpose. Fostering a great team culture takes time and effort from everyone. We now work in a world where we don’t personally know our colleagues or would even recognize their faces in a crowded room. Out of sight, CANNOT mean out of mind.  Employees want to know leadership is present and understand how their efforts are impactful to the company mission. Allowing team members to feel included again allows us to recognize, respect, and value our teams.    

What we can conclude:

A positive culture is critical when choosing whether to join an organization, choosing to stay with an organization, or overall employee engagement. Whether in a remote, hybrid, or in-office position, leaders are responsible for helping to encourage and uphold the company culture. If we truly believe that employees are the most important aspect of our company, then it’s our job as leaders to promote inclusion, collaboration, and career path where our teams understand how important they are to our organization.