October 5, 2023

The Silent Resignation Phenomenon: Why 60% of Employees Are Secretly Quitting

Discover the alarming trend of "Quiet Quitting" as we unravel the mysteries behind why 6 in 10 employees are silently slipping away from their jobs, causing seismic shifts in the workplace landscape.

Discover the alarming trend of "Quiet Quitting" as we unravel the mysteries behind why 6 in 10 employees are silently slipping away from their jobs, causing seismic shifts in the workplace landscape. This silent resignation trend is causing concern among employers and HR professionals as it threatens workplace productivity, morale, and employee retention.

Employee engagement skyrocketed in 2022, but there’s an unsettling underbelly to this good news story. Picture this: Hartmut, a 63-year-old IT Security Manager, who once found purpose in his work, now finds himself subtly disconnecting from it. Michelle, a 27-year-old Individual Contributor, who’s stuck in a professional limbo, unable to find growth or connection. It’s a global phenomenon known as “Quiet Quitting”.

Quiet quitting is essentially a situation where employees emotionally and mentally distance themselves from their roles and responsibilities despite being physically present at work. They no longer feel connected to their work, organisation, or colleagues, resulting in decreased enthusiasm, reduced productivity, and a decline in overall job satisfaction.

And the price? Brace yourself. It’s a staggering $8.8 trillion dent in the global GDP – all thanks to low engagement. Stressed? Well, it’s the unwelcome guest that won’t leave, with 44% of workers worldwide feeling it every day.  

Here’s a plot twist: job opportunities are on rampage! Except, it’s a double-edged sword. While the world is open for business, employers are juggling knives trying to keep their star performers from walking away.

Now, here’s a nugget of wisdom: it’s not where you work; it’s how you feel about your job. Remote or in-office, the real deal-breaker is your relationship with your team and manager. Engagement has 3.8 times more influence on stress than your work location.

And here’s the grand revelation: “Quiet Quitters” have a secret wish list. They’re not silent about what they’d change at work. It’s all about engagement, culture, better recognition, and improved wellbeing.  

Let’s uncover the reasons, the consequences, and what we can do to bring those disengaged employees back into the light.  

Several factors contribute to this trend:

  1. Burnout: The demand of modern work often leads to burnout, with employees feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This can cause them to withdraw emotionally from their jobs.
  1. Lack of Recognition: When employees feel their efforts go unnoticed or unrewarded, they may lose motivation and engagement.
  1. Toxic Work Environment: Hostile or unhealthy work environments, including workplace bullying or harassment, can drive employees to disengage as a means of self-preservation.
  1. Limited Career Growth: A lack of opportunities for career advancement can lead to a sense of stagnation and disinterest in one's current role.
  1. Inadequate Work-Life Balance: When work overtakes personal life, employees can become disenchanted, leading to quiet quitting.
  1. Poor Management: Ineffective leadership and management practices can erode employee trust and commitment.
  1. Remote Work Challenges: The shift to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic brought its own set of challenges, including feelings of isolation and disconnection, which may contribute to quiet quitting.

It is no surprise that if you read the Managing Psychosocial Hazards Code of Practice that was implemented in April 2023, you will see a direct correlation to an Employers obligation to manage these now labelled ‘hazards’ in the workplace.

Addressing the issue of quiet quitting is essential for businesses aiming to maintain a motivated and productive workforce. Strategies such as improving communication, recognising, and rewarding employee contributions, adopting a positive workplace culture, and offering opportunities for skill development and career progression can help lessen this trend and keep you star performers where you want them!

Andie- HR Dynamics

Article by Andie Smidmore, Human Resource Consultant Intern at HR Dynamics

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