Global socioeconomic events can significantly impact various aspects of life and how the world works. People can feel economic changes in their daily lives, which, in turn, can influence their behavior. 

Since the pandemic hit in 2019, workplaces have undergone drastic changes. Many companies have embraced remote and hybrid work environments, which gained positive responses from employees.

However, one observation that has arrived since is the term ‘quiet quitting,’ which has garnered massive debate from employers and employees alike. Let’s explore this phenomenon and discuss ways businesses and managers can improve employee engagement.

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting refers to employees’ practice of disengaging or becoming disinterested in their work without resigning or explicitly expressing their dissatisfaction. 

The name itself indicates this practice. The employee displays signs of quitting or disengaging with their work while staying quiet about it. They might only do the bare minimum to scrape by at work. Many quiet quitters don’t necessarily underperform. However, they don’t go above and beyond or actively participate.

Here are some common signs you might have a quiet quitter on your team:

  • Low engagement. Employees who have previously been active team members or volunteered for projects might be less enthusiastic about workplace activities.
  • Not speaking up during meetings. Employees may disengage when they don’t speak up as much during meetings.
  • Isolation. Employees might not have many positive relationships with the team and only limit their communication to the bare minimum of workplace conversations.

Why Employees’ Quiet Quit’

Quiet quitting doesn’t come out of nowhere. Many employees have valid reasons for quiet quitting. This phenomenon often occurs due to some shortcomings in workplace communication and management. Quiet quitting can also result from a toxic workplace environment or culture.

Here are some of the reasons why employees quiet quit.


One of the primary drivers towards quiet quitting is burnout. The relentless demands of the workplace, long hours, and high expectations can be too much for employees and impact their physical and mental well-being.

Employees who feel overwhelmed with their workload and unable to maintain a work-life balance can resort to quiet quitting as a coping mechanism.

Lack of recognition

Many great employees often start incredibly enthusiastic about their work. They might be highly participative and even volunteer their time towards working on special projects, going above and beyond their current scope of work.

However, if the company or their managers don’t appreciate their work, they can get discouraged and feel like their efforts go unnoticed. 

A lack of workplace recognition and appreciation can make employees feel undervalued. As a result, they can slowly disengage from their work and avoid taking on more responsibilities.

Poor work boundaries

Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life has become challenging in an era of remote work and constant connectivity. Some managers or employees might have the habit of contacting their colleagues outside of working hours, asking about deliverables or updates.

Some may even ask for too much overtime to complete urgent projects, taking away employees’ time off. Long hours at work and a lack of work-life balance can cause employees to feel overworked and burnt out, leading to disengagement.


People seek employment primarily for compensation. We need money to live and support ourselves and our families. Fair and competitive compensation is a fundamental aspect of employee satisfaction. 

Poor compensation for the amount of work that employees do might cause them to feel disinterested in their work. When they perceive that the company doesn’t adequately reward their efforts, it can lead to frustration and disillusionment, prompting them to disengage silently.

Job dissatisfaction

Employees dissatisfied with the nature of their work may resort to quiet quitting. Dissatisfaction can stem from various factors that can pop up early in their career or develop as time passes.

Common factors that might contribute to job dissatisfaction include the following:

  • Misalignment between skills and job responsibilities
  • Lack of interest in the tasks assigned
  • A mismatch between personal values or interests and workplace culture

Lack of career opportunities

Many people enter the workforce with the goal of expanding their skill sets and growing in their careers. They might want to climb the corporate ladder and gain promotions throughout their tenure.

Employees who don’t see these opportunities within their organization can lose motivation and disengage. Over time, they might want to seek growth opportunities elsewhere.

How To Boost Workplace Engagement

While employee disengagement and quiet quitting can be a significant problem for organizations, it is still possible to address and resolve this issue. Managers can take a proactive approach in addressing quiet quitting without antagonizing employees further.

Strategies for boosting workplace engagement can help minimize cases of quiet quitting. Below are some effective strategies to improve employee engagement and participation.

Employees All Over the World Are Still 'Quiet Quitting' How You Can Keep Your Workers Engaged (1).jpg

Establish healthy work boundaries

Burnout is one leading cause of employee disengagement and quiet quitting, with a lack of workplace boundaries as a significant cause.

Establish strong and healthy boundaries, especially around working hours. Encourage employees and managers to get things done within the workday and to avoid workplace communication outside of working hours.

This practice allows everyone to enjoy their time off appropriately, helping them relax and recharge for the next workday. A good work-life balance is vital to maintain employees’ physical and mental health.

Promote healthy engagement

Employee engagement comes with an excellent workplace culture. For this reason, managers need to embody a healthy mindset towards work. 

Modern conversations have constantly glorified hustle culture and packed schedules. However, this kind of culture, especially in the workplace, can easily lead to overwhelm and burnout. It is still possible to be productive without work occupying one’s free time.

Ask for feedback and act upon it 

Feedback is an essential tool that allows companies and managers to find strengths and weaknesses in employee engagement. It will enable you to better understand the needs and concerns of your employees.

Establish open communication channels with your employees. One way to collect feedback is by scheduling regular check-ins with them. Make these meetings a safe space for employees to express their concerns, opinions, and suggestions.

More importantly, act upon this feedback by implementing meaningful changes. This practice demonstrates your commitment to improvement and shows your employees that you value their input.

Create a sense of purpose

Employees become more engaged when they see a sense of purpose in their work. Ensure employees know the company’s mission, vision, and values and stick to them. 

Tell employees about the impact their efforts can have on the company’s overall achievements. This connection to a greater purpose instills a sense of pride and motivation, which can increase overall engagement.

Recognize and reward achievements

Recognizing and appreciating employees for their hard work and achievements is fundamental to boosting engagement. Establishing a robust rewards and recognition program can encourage workers to perform at their best and motivate them to engage.

Aside from verbal appreciation, you can offer tangible rewards through bonuses and professional development opportunities. Celebrating milestones creates a positive atmosphere and reinforces a culture of recognition and rewards within the organization.

Towards an Engaging Workplace

Quiet quitting and employee disengagement can present significant challenges in companies. However, this phenomenon is only a symptom of deeper problems rooted in a workplace’s culture or management style.

Building a highly engaged workforce requires a proactive and multi-faceted approach. Respecting your employees and valuing their effort and input are excellent ways to boost engagement, which can reflect in your company’s overall growth and longevity.