Quiet Quitting and How to Keep Employees Motivated

Quiet quitting refers to the phenomenon when overwhelmed and overworked employees stop going above and beyond and only does the bare minimum to get by at work. 

The term gained popularity in 2022 when the hashtag #QuietQuitting on Tik Tok went viral, raking up more than 17 million views on TikTok. 

What is quiet quitting? 

Quiet quitting is a form of employee disengagement. It describes employees who hold a job but are not emotionally or intellectually engaged at work. 

Employees who quiet quit do the minimum at the job for a fixed salary and resist new responsibilities. For example, they do not volunteer for tasks, claim to be too busy to help colleagues or employ methods to avoid any extra effort.

quiet quitting

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management Research Institute showed that 51% of HR professionals are concerned about quiet quitting. Of those who are seeing quiet quitting in their companies, 72% say millennials, in particular, exhibit this behaviour. A Microsoft-initiated survey of 30,000 workers showed that 54% of Gen Z are considering quitting their job.  

What causes quiet quitting? 

Post-pandemic exhaustion and the increase in remote work may have increased the phenomenon of quiet quitting. 

A sharper focus on work-life balance in the corporate world may be an indication of a deeper problem, such as dealing with burnout especially for the younger generations who are more vocal (especially on social media).  

How to prevent the quiet quitting crisis

You can spot if your staff is heading towards quiet quitting when they exhibit warning signs, like absenteeism, low mood and morale, and changes in work performance. 

quiet quitting

If you are a business owner, team leader or a human resource professional keen to know how to prevent or deal with quiet quitting in your company, here are some tips we can learn to get started:

1. Allow your workers to have autonomy

Give employees the freedom to make decisions and avoid micromanaging them. Let them know that they have a sense of empowerment and that they are trusted. 

2. Create a sense of purpose

Instil a sense of purpose through one-on-one meetings, online chats and town halls, or have at least one meaningful conversation each with your direct reports and share how their work contributes to the company’s vision and mission.   

3. Foster employee engagement

Minimise the occurence of employees leaving the company by creating a social connection and engaging them through a variety of methods such as customised engagement surveys, employee satisfaction and pulse surveys. 

4. Listen, learn and implement

Engage employees by listening and addressing their concerns and develop a corporate culture of support, flexibility and being “heard”.

Ways to keep employees engaged and motivated

When employees are engaged and motivated at work, they are more satisfied with their roles, and are more likely to achieve company goals and be more productive. 

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Here are a few ways to keep employees engaged: 

1. Supply the Right Tools

Provide employees with the resources they need to stay engaged in their work. These could be the right training related to their roles, along with materials and tools to meet their goals. 

2. Invest in career development

This helps employees feel that they have a future with the company. Motivate your employees with coaching, training and mentoring programmes to help them achieve their career objectives

At Babilou Family Singapore, our employees enjoy various opportunities to grow and develop in their role during their time with us. This often involves regular training, especially so for our educators and centre leaders, as this helps to keep their skills and teaching methods updated.

As they grow in their role, our employees will then have opportunities to take on a mentoring role to guide other team members under their care.

3. Provide regular employee feedback

Use engagement tools such as the yearly performance appraisal or mid-year pulse checks to measure their progress and goals. 

Take this opportunity to engage with employees, identify strengths and improve weakness, as well as to align interests to optimise skills and increase productivity. 

4. Recognise employee accomplishments & promote within

Motivate your employees by showing appreciation and demonstrating opportunities for professional advancement. 

5. Encourage teamwork, autonomy and creativity

Employees are motivated when they work in an environment that encourages sharing of ideas, where their thoughts are heard and valued, and where they are invested in their outcomes.

6. Support employee wellbeing

Recently, there have been various discussions on prioritising employees’ mental, physical, and emotional health. Encourage regular breaks and sustainable growth by empowering your staff to take time to recharge and regroup.

For us here at Babilou Family Singapore, our centres are equipped with a staff lounge for our educators and centre staff to rest and recharge during the day. This helps them to take that quick breather so as to carry on with the lessons and activities planned for the children.

Quiet quitting and work-life balance

There is a difference between work-life balance and quiet quitting. The former is engaging while the latter disengages the employer and employees. It is the responsibility of leadership to nurture these conditions and fix workplace dysfunctions so that employees can strike a healthy work-life balance without checking out. 

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We hope this article gave you some ideas to engage and motivate your employees.


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