The trend of disengaged employees: Quiet quitting

The idea of “quiet quitting” spreading virally on social media sounds so unusual and different to many of us.  However, this is one of the most crucial topics of all studies on employee engagement.  Quiet quitting described as employees doing the works assigned to them without ever going above and beyond at work and just meeting their job description.  Trying to be invisible and, if possible, spending days, months or even years without making a difference.

The opposite of striving to be visible.

It is the opposite of trying to do better, promotion efforts, wanting to be appreciated, in short, the opposite of all natural reflexes seen in engaged employees.

Not a quiet effort to quit, just doing what is necessary to avoid being fired, unobtrusively preserving existing conditions.

The opposite of the behavioural patterns that come with the hustle culture.


Who is responsible?

Who do you think is responsible for the employees to develop such an attitude and to stay in their jobs by not doing more than their part? Contrary to popular belief, quiet quitting is not about laziness or other “negative” traits of employees, but rather cracks in the corporate culture. Employees only show a survival reflex against the incomplete, inadequate and unfavourable conditions presented to them.

The research and articles we reviewed draw attention to the following points:

The pandemic has disrupted people’s work and private life balance.

Employees have become unable to exercise their right to disconnect as technology has made communication easier. Many people perceive that staying silent in WhatsApp groups poses a risk.

Messages arrive around the clock; online meetings have allowed several meetings to fit into one day. 

Burnout syndrome rates are breaking records.

Female employees, in particular, have redoubled the hustle against the possible threats of being at home, because they fear that gender inequality will hit them “for being at home”.

Those who hustle and bustle, who are too busy and those who cannot lift their heads from work are very welcome, while the others are hardly seen.


It is healthy to put forward the concept of quiet quitting and to scrutinise the hustle culture with this negative opposite concept. Because, whether we are decision makers, managers or employees, we must be aware that the greatest harm is the deterioration of a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. 

If quiet quitters are knowingly or unknowingly protecting themselves, do we have the right to criticize them?


They are exercising their right to remain silent

When employee engagement statistics are analysed in depth, we come across three main groups: Engaged employees, disengaged employees and completely disengaged employees. In fact, the name of each group describes the group characteristics. Engaged employees show enthusiastic participation in every issue, do more than what is expected of them, are passionate for the better and spread these feelings around them. Those who are disengaged, as the name indicates; they are there until they find a job or are fired. They tend to gather supporters so as not to be alone at their attitude.  In other words, they become toxic to the people around them.

Our disengaged employees are the followers of quiet quitting trend.  They multiplied in numbers so much that they have become the centre of the agenda with the impact of the steps they take – or don’t take.

You have such valuable employees among them that you do not want to lose.

For some reason, they lost their enthusiasm and passion. It is your job as management teams to question the reasons for this in depth.

The only thing that distinguishes quiet quitters from the disengaged -as we described them so far-may be that they have chosen disengagement. They no longer answer after-hours phone calls, they don’t respond to messages in groups, they run away from weekend work.

They are right.

They probably weren’t asked enough for their opinions. They have not been recognised for their good work. The steps they expected in terms of their physical, emotional and mental well-being have not been taken. They have realised the futility of their efforts to be visible.

In short, they have given up, but still they need the financial earnings of their work.

They don’t want to poison people around them like the disengaged ones do, because that would also be an action.

They are the ones who choose inaction…

So what will your action be with this information?