Quiet Quitting: What’s the Real Story?

September 20, 2022

Ashley Meyer

Ashley Meyer

You Have the Right to Remain Silent but We’d Rather Connect 

Bored, burned-out, bereft of engagement. Quiet Quitting is the latest buzzword to describe a workforce who, it might be argued, aren’t working and who certainly aren’t a force.

freelance man having stressful depression sad time working on laptop at home. Depression man sad serios working from home.

There are some who are questioning whether Quiet Quitting is even real or if it is just a buzzword, a fresh term to describe an age-old and very familiar problem. Is it just “employee engagement” in a TikTok world? 

There are two sides to every story. 

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg strongly suggest that the term is current among managers too. It offers a convenient explanation for ostensibly lazy workers. Complex questions such as “Am I running my team effectively?” and “Is hybrid work actually working out for us?” can be reduced to the confident diagnosis that young people just don’t want to work. 

Whatever it is, there are lessons we can learn and insight we can gain that will strengthen our people, deepen their connection to their teams, goals, and vision, and put the force back into the workforce. 

Like anything in life, it starts with you, knowing where your people are and making some potentially challenging self-assessments. This could include:

  • How are you equipping your managers to lead? 
  • Are your people in the right seats? 
  • What is meaningful and valuable to them, and do they have access to it with you? 
  • What growth opportunities or intentional career paths are you offering your people? 
  • Are there established performance objectives and definition to what success looks like? 
  • How are your people feeling and are there regular touch points where critical conversations/courageous candor is taking place? 

One of our favorite questions to ask at Titus is: “What would it take for someone else to poach you/what would someone else need to offer you to consider leaving us?” 

Acquiring insight and understanding into what is really going on with your people is essential to seeing whether there is Quiet Quitting taking place, if there is an issue with training, or in fact there is a deeper issue. 

If there are Quiet Quitters in your team, or if that’s how managers are perceiving the plateauing of performance and attitude, then hope is not lost. Behaviors are typically symptoms of something going on beneath the surface. 

If you want to know where your employees stand then have no fear, we have an app for that (that’s what the cool kids who coined the term “Quiet Quitter” say, right?).

Every employee falls into one of these four categories:  

  • Committed Champions 
  • Lone Wolves 
  • Silent Killers 
  • Contaminators

In order to effectively coach your people to optimum levels of engagement and performance, you need clear visibility on where they stand. Dive into these four dynamics at play in your teams and the best practices for leading and managing each of them.

Chances are, when you hired the candidate both of you were excited and had expectations. Time, experience, events, and actions change things. With consistency in connection point and equipping managers to know and speak the language of the individuals on their team (and vice versa), you can refocus, reframe, and reestablish that spark. 

Quiet quitters, the people who manage them, and the organizations they work for don’t have to suffer in silence. Creating a culture of committed champions and top performers is more than possible, and no matter the size of your organization, with the right mindset, metrics, and follow-through you can coach the quietest of quitters into a committed champion. But wait there’s more. For a limited time offer of… oh, that right we’re not QVC…  

More than recruiters, Titus Talent Strategies is a team of Talent Optimizers who genuinely care about the work we do. We empower companies to put the right people in the right seats through informed, connected strategies that combine data with an empathetic understanding of what makes people tick.   


Refreshing perspectives and practical expertise from the Titus team.

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