How quiet quitting can be prevented with positive company culture


Though it is the latest buzzword in the workplace, “quiet quitting” is nothing new. It has been happening for years , maybe even decades. People make the conscious choice to do only what is required for the job with little to no motivation and refuse to put in any more time, effort, or energy into the organization they work for. Though this might first appear to be a problem of the employee, in truth it can be a reflection of a company’s culture and the organization as a whole..

The cost of quiet quitting

No one is safe from the effects of quiet quitting. It costs both organizations and their workforces alike when quiet quitting becomes the norm over high performance. 

A large percentage of people are already actively quiet quitting, affecting businesses in substantial ways including loss of innovation, high turnover rates, and as reported in a survey study done by Gallup, a $7.8 trillion loss in productivity equal to 11% of global GDP.

But for women, there can be an unforeseen loss of personal growth or career opportunities. Plus, there are the mental consequences of not performing at one’s best when self-esteem can take a hit. Also, there can be growing resentment among colleagues who feel they must take on extra work to compensate for their coworker’s quiet quitting.

How to know if your staff are quiet quitting

It may not always be easy to know if Jillian in accounting has made the decision to perform at the base level? Or “Robert” in logistics has decided enough is enough. The symptoms of quiet quitting look different with each person, but there are some indicators to look for:

Work is late or subpar 

The first sign that employees in your organization may be quiet quitting is how their work is completed. When products or projects are no longer error free or come in half completed, it indicates a problem. Also, when the need to have constant oversight of an employee to ensure work is completed can give rise to the issue.


Missing that “can do” attitude

Employees who were once on board with business changes or new ideas become hyper critical. Instead they may tend to highlight problems instead of proactively seeking solutions. They begin to complain more about the company and what the company is trying to do. They do not see the light at the end of the tunnel when times are hard and don’t even see the gains when times are good. These employees may also be less responsive to digital communications or decline virtual meetups intended to build stronger connections among co-workers in the new remote world of work.  

Lack of engagement

In another Gallup report, only 21% of employees are engaged at work globally, indicating a smaller percentage of employees are contributing during meetings, participating in company activities, or striving 100% to reach company goals. Meaningful employee engagement is such a critical element to employee productivity, so when you see employees who were once eager to start the day and excited about their work no longer expressing these emotions, they could be on the path of quiet quitting.

Why employees are quiet quitting

Many may feel quiet quitting is the act of putting up healthy boundaries at work. So, in a sense, it is not an intentional act to hurt the company, but more a means to protect themselves. They may feel they need to safeguard themselves from:

Being overworked one of the most stated complaints employees make about their jobs. Some feel that what is being asked of them on a daily basis doesn’t align with their expectations or originally outlined job responsibilities. 

In uncertain economic times a reduction of workforce can be an unfortunate necessity to help preserve the bottom line. Ultimately, this could translate to additional work for employees who remain at the company. Therefore, increasing the volume of work expected, but not outlined in their original roles and responsibilities. The effects of which may compound the belief and behaviors of someone in quiet quit mode. 

Burnout – a byproduct of being overworked is when employees feel they are no longer capable of doing their job. Data shows that women on average suffer more from burnout than men. Then, there’s the added guilt for taking vacations or time off and employees are suddenly physically or mentally drained. It’s no surprise that women bear the brunt of this.

Lack of appreciation – studies show how important job recognition is to the workforce. When individuals don’t feel valued by their managers, they begin to question their employment and then often consider becoming part of the Great Resignation.

Lack of opportunities – Since the pandemic, people have shifted their priorities and decided that they want more from their employers including learning opportunities and professional growth. Having opportunities to learn skills including soft skills has helped women to remain engaged

How quiet quitting can lead to quiet firing

One of the biggest mistakes managers and supervisors can make when they witness quiet quitting is to begin quiet firing. Because an employer is no longer seeing a member of the staff working at peak performance, they may want to remove that person from the organization.

But since the employee is doing what is required by them, standard termination is off the table. That’s where quiet firing comes in. The employee’s privileges can be revoked. Extra responsibilities can be removed. Growth opportunities can be bypassed. Employers may then go so far as make the work environment so uncomfortable for the employee that they are forced to quit. 

The problem that arises is that quiet firing can create a detrimental cycle. When other employees witness their colleagues being removed in this manner, it sets a company up for poor company culture, as it creates a ripple effect

How effective company culture prevents quiet quitting


Let’s face it: employees who are happier are more productive. By giving employees the support and resources they need to succeed such as professional development and a balance between work/life, companies can see improvements in employee retention, increases in employee engagement, and less employee burnout.

Company culture is not done once and forgotten about. It’ is daily work. Business leaders need resources to help build and sustain a positive culture. Women, who are leaving at 10.5% higher rates than men according to a McKinsey Study, are most susceptible. reacHIRE’s Aurora is a scaleable, high touch leadership development program that offers employers the opportunity to improve employee engagement, build positive company culture, and create growth opportunities for the women on their staff. 

Supported by a curriculum carefully designed by experts for women at different stages of their careers, the program offers easy access to mentorship via Aurora’s Executive Guides, curriculum delivered in bite-sized learning modules, and interactive workshops to help women and under-represented groups learn and grow personally and professionally. Contact us to learn more about how to build a more resilient, engaged female workforce and keep quiet quitting from the minds of your employees.