One in three UK workers label themselves as quiet quitters, showing up to work with the purpose of doing no more than what’s required to stay employed. That is according to new research from BetterUp, who analysed data from nearly 3,000 UK workers.[i]
Comparatively, 14% of respondents are ‘thrivers’: those who have found the sweet spot between work and life, able to maintain high levels of wellbeing and engagement at work.
Thrivers are more resilient (14%), have higher purpose and meaning in their work (26%), and have a greater sense of agency and ability to achieve goals (27%). These workers also fare slightly better at emotional and physical wellbeing and stress management.
The survey shows that quiet quitters make a trade-off between engagement and wellbeing. This group are 26% better at stress management, 29% better rested and 24% less likely to suffer burnout, especially in comparison to “workaholics” – those who are engaged but have low work-life balance.
However, what quiet quitters make up for in wellbeing, they lack in their relationship to work, job performance and sense of belonging. The research found that this group feel less sense of purpose at work (16%), have less motivation to continue to learn and grow within their roles (13%) and show less organisational commitment than workaholics (13%). This is less than ideal for employers as the struggle to retain top talent and boost productivity continues in UK businesses.
Dr. Erin Eatough, Director of Behavioural Science at BetterUp says “As economic headwinds continue to impact UK workers and businesses alike, productivity, engagement and wellbeing become paramount to business leaders as they try to stay afloat.”
Significantly, however, the survey reveals that poor leadership and workplace culture were found to be the two leading factors which influence quiet quitting, highlighting a need for business leaders to consider their role in engaging the workforce.
Thrivers, on the other hand, have 24% more sense of belonging, and are 17% more likely to come from a culture of psychological safety and coaching in their organisations.
However, with one in three thrivers at risk of becoming a quiet quitter within the course of several months due to low wellbeing, meaning and purpose, it is important to also ensure that preventative measures are consistently being taken to maintain engagement.
Dr. Erin Eatough continues, “Organisations are now more than ever paying attention to how their workforces are engaging, thriving, and belonging in the workplace.”
“By supporting managers and employees – providing opportunities for growth development, training and creating the space to share their most authentic selves – businesses can help reignite engagement amongst their employees so that they can thrive at work-life balance, but also value the work that they do.”