Why Quiet Quitting is about bad bosses and not bad employees

Vikrant Shetty

April 3, 2023

3:38 pm

Many of those who opt to quite silently disagree with the notion that their lives should revolve around their employment. They are outraged when they are expected to work overtime without extra pay or are forced to do tasks outside of what their job entails. They decline demands that they go beyond what they believe is reasonable for someone in their position.

Quiet quitting is just a new name for an old practice. For years, researchers have asked participants in 360-degree leadership assessments to judge whether their workplace “is a place where individuals desire to go the additional mile”, to better understand the current silent quitting issue.

Research shows: Quiet Quitting is about bad bosses and not bad employees

According to research published by the Harvard Business Review, the capacity of a manager to forge relationships with workers is more important than an employee’s willingness to work more.

Many people have experienced working for a manager who compelled them to quietly resign. The cause of this is a sense of being undervalued and underappreciated. The bosses might have biases or act inappropriately. The management was the cause of the lack of motivation. According to the HBR study, however, the majority of mid-career workers have also worked for a manager for whom they desired to do well, including staying late or starting early, since the manager was encouraging. You can read more about Quiet quitting statistics here.

Causes of Quiet Quitting

1. A lot of work

“ Having to perform the tasks of two to three workers” is a frequent gripe of low-key quitters. Quiet quitters frequently used to be passionate workers who burned out from being overwhelmed and overworked. This increased burden frequently results from employee turnover. Instead of the manager reducing the task when an employee leaves, the surviving team members pick up the slack until a replacement employee is hired. Employees may become exhausted and quit if there is a long wait for a replacement team member or other factors.

2. Insufficient payment

“Only doing the work you are paid for” is one justification for quitting quietly. Many people who quietly quit feel they work too hard for too little income.

The root of the problem is that employees believe their efforts were not rewarded. Employees reduce that effort in response. These team members frequently request higher pay but are turned down or mistreated, or they have cause to fear that their employer would not be accommodating.

Putting money aside, it’s a respect issue. Employees believe their employer undervalues their commitment and effort when they are not compensated for putting in the extra time. As a result, employees feel exploited.

3. A lack of leadership support

When they feel their employer is on their side, workers are frequently ready to put up with challenging working conditions. A thoughtful manager may do a lot to keep staff members motivated. Team members are more prone to disengage when they believe their bosses are not looking out for their interests or are powerless to act on their behalf. When workers believe their leaders are unable or unwilling to assist them, they take care of themselves by erecting obstacles.

Tips to handle Quiet Quitting

Sometimes signs of quiet quitting go unnoticed by management until the individual has already mentally checked out. Here are some ideas for dealing with this kind of disengagement.

1.   Speak candidly and openly with the employee

The best way to deal with quiet resignations is to have an open and sincere dialogue with your staff. By discussing the problems openly, you can take the “quiet” out of “quiet quitting.” You should make it clear that this talk is not intended to punish the employee for them to feel secure enough, to be honest.

Instead of criticizing the worker for lower output, you could say, “I noticed a change in your performance recently.” Even though I realize that everyone needs a break now and again, I want to be sure that I am not missing anything since I am worried that you might not be happy with all of your work.

2. Make a great gesture or a compromise suggestion

There are occasions when a leader cannot fully meet an employee’s demands because of external factors. For instance, you might be unable to provide a balanced workload if a labor shortage results in understaffing. Offer a compromise as an alternative to doing nothing. Even if every job has its drawbacks and you might not be able to fulfill every item on the employee’s wish list for the ideal position, you can probably take some steps to make the team member’s time at work more pleasant. Instead of saying “there is nothing I can do” and throwing up your hands, provide alternatives or at least partially accept your team member’s demands.

3. Keep your commitments

When talking about silent resignation, follow-through is essential. Just talking won’t fix your problems with disengagement. Promises to improve and assist your employees are not enough; you still must act in good faith and make tangible progress in resolving the issues. Taking action can demonstrate to staff members your seriousness, sincerity, and support. Employees’ faith and work ethic can often be restored by the straightforward act of attempting.


Quiet quitting can be hard to detect because some warning signs, such as absenteeism, low mood and morale, and changes in work performance, may be unintentional or indicators of other conflicts. Regardless of the cause, it is usually a good idea to address changes in mood or performance, as well as concerning employee behaviors.

Workers deserve reasonable working conditions and demands, positive cultures, and the opportunity to be passionate about their jobs, learn, and grow while maintaining a life outside the office. Leaders must foster these conditions and correct workplace disorders so that employees can maintain a healthy work-life balance without becoming burned out.

Vikrant Shetty

April 3, 2023

3:38 pm

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