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Quiet Quitting

Definition: Quiet quitting is a term used to describe a situation where an employee disengages from their job and stops putting in the effort, even though they haven’t formally resigned.

These employees may still show up to work and perform the bare minimum required of their roles, but they’ve mentally checked out and lack motivation, commitment, and enthusiasm.

Key indicators of quiet quitting include:

  • Reduced Productivity: The employee’s output or quality of work may decrease noticeably.
  • Decreased Participation: The employee might stop contributing ideas, cease participating in team discussions, or avoid optional work-related activities.
  • Disengagement from Colleagues: The individual may become more isolated, avoiding social interactions with peers or team members.
  • Lack of Initiative: Where once they might have been proactive, they now wait for directions and avoid taking on additional responsibilities.
  • Decreased Enthusiasm: They no longer express excitement or passion about their projects or the company’s mission.

Root Causes of Quiet Quitting:

  • Lack of Recognition: Employees who feel their efforts and contributions go unnoticed or aren’t appreciated can become disheartened. Regular recognition and feedback are essential to keep employees engaged.
  • Mismatched Role: An employee might feel their skills and talents are not being utilized appropriately, leading to feelings of stagnation or underutilization.
  • Poor Management: Poor relationships with immediate superiors or a lack of support and guidance can lead to demotivation. An ineffective manager can unknowingly push employees towards quiet quitting.
  • Organizational Culture: A toxic work environment, office politics, or a company culture that doesn’t align with the employee’s values can result in disengagement.
  • Lack of Growth Opportunities: If employees see no clear path for career progression, they may begin to question their long-term future at the company.
  • Work Overload: Consistent overburdening of employees without relief or support can lead to burnout, a common precursor to quiet quitting.
  • Personal Issues: Challenges outside work, such as family or health concerns, can also play into an employee’s detachment from their job.

Consequences of Quiet Quitting:

  • Reduced Productivity: The disengaged employee’s output drops, affecting team and organizational goals.
  • Contagious Morale Drop: Other team members might pick up on the disengagement, which can influence their morale and enthusiasm negatively.
  • Increased Turnover: Over time, quietly quitting can lead to actual quitting, increasing recruitment and training costs.
  • Loss of Institutional Knowledge: Disengaged employees might not share their knowledge or mentor newer staff members, leading to a loss of expertise.

Addressing Quiet Quitting:

  • Regular Check-ins: Managers should have regular one-on-one meetings with team members to understand their challenges, goals, and feelings towards their role.
  • Employee Surveys: Anonymous surveys can help identify broader issues within teams or the organization as a whole.
  • Training for Managers: Equip managers with the skills to recognize signs of disengagement and address them proactively.
  • Promote Work-Life Balance: Encourage employees to take breaks, use their vacation time, and disconnect outside work hours.
  • Professional Development: Offer opportunities for employees to grow, learn, and advance in their careers.
  • Create a Culture of Recognition: Regularly celebrate and acknowledge achievements, both big and small.


How can you identify someone who is quietly quitting?

Common signs include reduced productivity, decreased participation in team activities, lack of enthusiasm, withdrawal from colleagues, and a decline in taking initiatives.

How can managers address quiet quitting?

By holding regular check-ins, promoting a culture of recognition, offering professional development opportunities, and fostering open communication channels where employees feel safe to voice concerns.

How can organizations proactively prevent quiet quitting?

Creating a positive organizational culture, training managers to recognize and address signs of disengagement, providing growth opportunities, and maintaining open communication are key preventative measures.

Is quiet quitting the same as burnout?

No, but they can be related. Burnout is often a result of prolonged stress and overwork, leading to physical and emotional exhaustion. Quiet quitting is a mental disengagement from work. However, burnout can be a precursor to quiet quitting.

Can quiet quitting be reversed?

Yes, with proactive management, understanding the root cause, and addressing the employee’s concerns, it’s possible to re-engage and motivate them.

Is quiet quitting a sign of an impending resignation?

It can be. While not every quietly quitting employee will resign, they might be considering other opportunities. Addressing their concerns early can prevent an eventual departure.

How does quiet quitting differ from regular job dissatisfaction?

While both relate to negative feelings towards one’s job, quiet quitting is a more profound and prolonged form of disengagement. Regular job dissatisfaction might be temporary and related to specific incidents, while quiet quitting indicates a deeper, more systemic issue.

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