Ross Laycock

Employee turnover is a concern for employers, but the subtle phenomenon of quiet quitting can be equally detrimental to the workplace.

Quiet quitting refers to when employees disengage from their work and discontinue their discretionary efforts without openly expressing their intentions to leave the organisation.

This phenomenon can be challenging for employers to detect and address, as employees are physically at work but may not be fully engaged or committed to their work.

In this article, we will explore the concept of quiet quitting and provide strategies for employers to effectively manage this challenge in the workplace.


Quiet quitting can manifest in various ways, and it’s essential for employers to be able to recognise the signs.

Quiet quitting is a term used to describe an employee that has become disengaged from their work. An employee who is quietly quitting is likely to be categorised as a detractor with regard to the workplace.

Employees who are quietly quitting may exhibit a decline in productivity. They may not be putting the same effort or enthusiasm into their work as before, resulting in missed deadlines, incomplete tasks, or subpar performance. In a nutshell, they essentially check out mentally, while still physically showing up to work.

Employees who are disengaging may withdraw from team discussions, avoid volunteering for tasks or projects, and generally demonstrate a lack of interest in participating in workplace activities.

Normally, quiet quitting is a sign your employee is no longer engaged with your brand, their role or overall purpose. It can be a reaction to things like being passed over for promotion, feeling like they aren’t valued or not receiving enough recognition.

It could also be a sign they are ‘over’ their role – not feeling challenged enough (their learning curve has flattened). They may not have enough clarity to know how they can be successful in their role, or be overwhelmed.


Managing quiet quitting can be complex, as employers must proactively identify and address the signs before they escalate into a more severe issue.

The best way to prevent quiet quitting starts at the talent acquisition stage of recruitment.This includes identifying individuals who show a connection to your business purpose, brand, and value/mission.

Next is to have a strong bond with their manager and being able to have honest and transparent conversations which will mean the manager will be able to identify reasons behind potential disengagement, and how to prevent them – setting clear expectations, growing the employee (so they are challenged but not overwhelmed) and reinforce the value an employee brings to the business.

Quiet quitting can also be short-lived – it could also be a defence mechanism against burnout or something a well-timed holiday can fix.

It is really important to understand what the triggers are for quiet quitting so that the core reasons can be addressed, such as treating the root cause rather than the symptoms.

The most important thing is not to assume. No one wakes up in the morning and goes to work intending to do a bad job. You never know what is happening in your employee’s life and what could be impacting them.