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Quiet quitting isn’t quite what it seems. Rather than “quitting your job silently” the term actually describes the phenomenon of doing just enough to get by at work, pulling away from going above and beyond, and rejecting the hustle culture that is used to get ahead. Quiet quitting is largely associated with disengagement at work and can be linked to the rejection of organisational citizenship behaviour.

Organisational citizenship behaviour is a term coined by Dennis Organ in the late 80’s which describes an employee’s voluntary behaviours and actions that are outside of their formal job description. While quiet quitting behaviours aren’t anything new, the growing exposure to it through TikTok and other social media platforms has brought it into the limelight and is normalising the behaviour. 

Gen-Z entered businesses during a time of changing mindsets around what work is and how it can be carried out sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. They also are regular users of social media. Both the covid-19 impact and the social media tie to quiet quitting mean that Gen-Z workers are the most likely to embrace the trend. Quiet quitting and the behaviours associated with it can also be an early indicator of resignation. To prevent any negative impacts on your business working to address this phenomenon amongst your early talent cohort is an important step. 

This article contains three ways you can do just that. 

Engage in Career Conversations 

Gen Z talent coming into organisations now are particularly focused on their development and desire quick progression, with around 75% of Gen Z professionals surveyed by Wiser aiming to be promoted in their first year. With the Gen-Z focus on development and quiet quitting often being associated with feeling your hard work won’t actually get you where you want to be in your career or having a lack of belief that the business will support you to get there, having career development conversations is key. 

Regular Praise 

Providing regular feedback to your early talent employees and making sure they are given plenty of praise as part of that feedback can also help you to tackle the quiet quitting phenomenon. Intrinsic motivation underpins engagement at work and research from Deci and Ryan found that feelings of competence increase intrinsic motivation. Providing positive feedback is a great way to enhance employees’ feelings of competence and with early talent seeking frequent feedback increasing the praise they receive is a useful tool for building their engagement at work. 

Connect Your Employees with Purpose 

Deci and Ryan also highlight the need for “a sense of meaning” at work meaning helping your employees to feel connected to the business purpose is also valuable in preventing quiet quitting. A study by McKinsey reinforced this showing that a sense of connection to the purpose of the business increased employee loyalty. Giving your early talent cohort access to senior leaders who can tell the story of the business and delivering workshops that focus on how their roles align with the wider purpose are useful tools for building these connections. 

    Charlotte is the Programmes Manager at Wiser, where she builds and develops Early Talent Development Programmes to ensure organisation's get the best from their Graduates, Apprentices and Early Talent cohorts. Her background is in Organisational Psychology and she uses her knowledge in this area to inform the design and delivery of her work.

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