Quiet Quitting or Lack of Engagement? How to Successfully Re-engage Your Employees

In a workforce report, Gallup states at least 50 percent of the U.S. workforce are considered quiet quitters.

Quiet Quitting - Explore a Reskilling Solution

Despite the term “quiet quitting” gaining popularity over the summer of 2022, this issue is nothing new to workforce managers and company leaders. Quiet quitting refers to the practice of employees no longer going above and beyond in their roles, which is similar to another workforce issue leaders face often–lack of employee engagement.

Even a decade ago, only 44 percent of employees were considered engaged in their roles while up to 14 percent were actively disengaged. With recurring engagement issues in the workplace, how can company leaders improve employee experience and satisfaction to increase productivity and promote better culture?

Continue reading as we explore the impact of disengaged workers with the more-recent quiet quitting trend, the reasons behind the issue and highlight some of the solutions that engage the workforce while improving employee experience and satisfaction.

The Impact of Quiet Quitting 

The term “quiet quitting” was popularized in the summer of 2022 in a viral TikTok video by Zaid Khan where he defined the term as, “quitting the idea of going above and beyond.” Khan continued by saying, “you’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle-culture mentality that work has to be your life.”

Khan’s description of quiet quitting is the definition of an actively disengaged employee. Where this becomes an issue for organizations is the impact disengaged workers have on overall productivity where the losses can be alarmingly high.

Disengaged employees cost $7.8 trillion in productivity losses worldwide. With the number of quiet quitters or actively disengaged employees reaching at least 50 percent, this workforce issue is proving to be costly year after year.

Compare these losses to a company with an actively engaged workforce. Organizations report up to 22 percent higher productivity when the employees are actively engaged in their roles. To better understand this issue and to establish clear solutions, organizations must understand the reasons behind the quiet quitting trend.

The Reasons for Quiet Quitting    

There was a massive shift in workplace culture during the pandemic and shortly after, over  47 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs during what’s known as the Great Resignation. Pew Research Center stated the main reasons were low pay, lack of advancement opportunities and feeling disrespected at work.

Unfortunately, these issues continue. What has changed is how the workforce is reacting. Instead of outright quitting, employees are now quiet quitting.

According to Gallup, one reason employees quiet quit is because of misalignment between company culture and employer promises. After the pandemic, some companies promised more flexibility, a shift in focus to employee well-being and the implementation of employee assistance programs. When companies failed to deliver on these promises, their workforce disengaged.

Another reason employees quiet quit is to set and maintain boundaries that were blurred during the pandemic. In 2020, lockdowns forced workers around the world to bring their work home causing many to experience pandemic burnout.  While quiet quitting is an example of an employee engagement issue, it is also a form of boundary setting for employees to reclaim what they feel they lost during the pandemic.

Whether the reason is due to employees setting boundaries blurred by the pandemic or disengaging because of undelivered promises, organizations are faced with a widespread employee engagement issue and suffering significant losses in productivity because of it. Rather than accept these losses, employers can explore solutions to their employee engagement issues.

Learning and Development Solutions

Reskilling programs are a proven solution to increasing workforce retention and satisfaction. These programs re engage employees with skills-building programs designed to empower them with relevant technology skills and open career paths with advancement opportunities and potentially higher-paying roles.

Aside from companies growing a workforce capable of implementing new technology solutions, reskilling programs add value to the workforce and are vital for companies looking to engage their employees. According to IBM, employees are 42 percent more likely to stay with a company long-term if offered some form of training and skills development.

After seeing for herself the impact of reskilling, KeyBank CIO, Amy Brady stated, ”We’ve had a 100 percent retention of people who have gone through this [reskilling] program.”

Not only do reskilling programs positively impact retention, but they also increase productivity. A study by PwC reported that 93 percent of CEOs who introduced these programs saw an increase in productivity.

If your organization is looking to engage employees, invest in diversity initiatives or improve productivity, all while supporting your workforce’s desire for a healthy work-life balance in an increasingly remote workplace, reskilling might be the solution.

Explore how reskilling programs re-engage workforces. 

Quiet quitting is only one of the signs that a workforce is disengaged and potentially looking for more out of their careers. By evaluating your culture and workplace practices, you can empower, inspire and engage your workforce through learning and development opportunities such as reskilling programs.

Our team is comprised of experts in the space when it comes to implementing scalable reskilling solutions. With over 3,500 graduates and industry-leading outcomes, Tech Elevator is the solution that can help your company develop its workforce of the future.

Reach out to our team to learn more about how Tech Elevator’s Reskilling Program can partner with your organization.

Quiet quitting and employee engagement

Written by Meredith Hendershott, Tech Elevator’s Director of Enterprise Account Management and Delivery