Quiet Quitting. It’s the term you’ve seen floating around the online sphere of workplace dialogue. Whether it’s about doing the bare minimum at work, or simply not doing extra work without extra compensation, the concept of Quiet Quitting has received a diverse heap of responses and has unearthed more terms like Quiet Managing and Quiet Firing.

According to Insight Global, Quiet Quitting refers to:

“the act of completing the tasks outlined in a job description during expected working hours and drawing a hard line of pushing those boundaries.”

For some, the fact that the term defining this concept even contains the word « quitting » is outrageous, as it simply describes doing one’s job; meeting deadlines and completing the agreed upon work one is compensated for. For them, the term is a rebuttal to the hustle culture that has crept up on workers everywhere.

Others describe Quiet Quitters as an entitled group of employees who will eventually be left behind as their colleagues continue to go above and beyond.

In light of the movement, we decided to poll our LinkedIn community to see if business leaders felt concerned about the phenomenon. TEC Canada member and COO of TLC Solutions, Mike Nunn, voted on the poll and provided a unique opinion on what Quiet Quitting means to him:

Quote from Mike Nunn that says:

Naturally, we were eager to dig further, so we asked Mike a few questions to expand on his concept of Quiet Quitting being a symptom of something bigger.

Here’s our Q&A with Mike Nunn:


HOW CAN COMPANIES OFFER A BIG GOAL THAT EVERYONE CAN INFLUENCE? 

1. Choose a goal that is measurable and fully within the company’s control.

Client satisfaction is an example of a strategic goal that the company doesn’t fully own—at some point, you’re at the mercy of whether the customer fills out the feedback form (they do it usually 10-30% of the time), so they won’t receive a comprehensive picture.

If you’re a product company, try starting with speed to market or quality as a common goal. If you’re a service business, look to first response time or on-time delivery.

No matter what you pick, it needs to be measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.


2. Ensure your goal requires the company to change how it executes.

After all, if you continue to do the same work, you’ll continue to get the same results.

The goal must be something that everyone in the business can directly or indirectly impact and engage the team to find new ways of completing their work.

Pick a goal that not only makes you the best in your industry but puts you in a category your clients will notice.


3. Check your ego at the door.

As a leader, you need to fairly consider all ideas supporting the goal. If an idea is implemented, be sure to give credit where it is due.

Once this goal is achieved, move on to the next one.

HOW CAN LEADERS ENGAGE AUTHENTICALLY AND COMPASSIONATELY WITH THEIR TEAMS?

I’ve long been a believer in Ian Percy’s concept “whatever you want, give it away” (11 Commandments of Enthusiastic Teams). If you want passion and authenticity, then give it away to others.

two coworkers

Ask yourself: Is this how I would engage my mom, brother, best friend, uncle? Oftentimes, leaders talk to their team members like boss/subordinate.

You want impact? Talk to them like a family member.

Get out from behind your desk and go see people. Sincerely ask them questions, listen empathically, and if possible, act on the feedback you get. If you receive feedback you don’t agree with, refrain from defending or justifying and simply thank them.

Leaders aren’t supposed to be some perfect corporate specimen who don’t have challenges and excitement of their own. Show your humanity by connecting with and caring about your team.

HOW CAN LEADERS AND COMPANIES BUILD AN ATTRACTIVE CULTURE THAT ATTRACTS GENUINE INTEREST? 

This is a big question.

I personally believe that culture is not something you can directly affect or change. Culture is the product of consistently doing a series of other things exceptionally well. Things like creating a higher purpose for the business, strategy, leadership, aligning to values/mission/vision, expressing empathy, embodying diversity, and most importantly, creating a psychologically safe environment for everyone.

It’s the quality of the culture that drive results. Great cultures deliver great results. Period.

left image: man sitting at laptop in the dark l

IS QUIET QUITTING SIMPLY A FANCY TERM FOR EMPLOYEES CREATING HEALTHY BOUNDARIES BETWEN WORK AND LIFE?

In my opinion, yes, it’s a fancy term. It’s always been there, but now has a name attached to it and is garnering all of the focus. It’s not new.

No matter what, even at the best companies, there will be some form of the innovation adoption curve as a representation of the team. Some people will be early adopters, highly engaged, and want to get ahead. Others will be late adopters and/or want to create healthy boundaries. Both are good and both should be embraced.

Remember, the main goal is to have everyone pulling together. If they’re doing their job well then give them a home, engage them, and keep them in the family. There will always be a mix.


HAVE YOU NOTICED THE QUIET QUITTING PHENOMENON IN YOUR WORKPLACE?

Maybe, but I don’t look for it or focus on it. Instead, I focus on the things I know I can control and affect:

  • Ensuring I and my leadership team model our mission, vision, and values.
  • Setting good goals for our teams and business.
  • Rewarding and celebrate our team for going above and beyond.
  • Talking about and sharing the wins.
  • Learning from our mistakes.
  • Raising the bar across the business.
  • Showing appreciation towards each other.
  • Focusing on having the right people in the right seat with the right tools to do their job.

Thank you, Mike, for sharing your insightful opinion on Quiet Quitting.

Are you keen to learn how to create common goals, rich culture, and compassionate engagement with your team? Become a TEC member today and learn from accomplished businesspeople who have stood where you stand now. Fill out the form below to apply.

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