The term ‘quiet quitting’ has made the rounds online, from starting conversations and debate on all corners of the internet, to even being named one of Collins Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Collins has defined it as “the practice of doing no more work than one is contractually obligated to do.”  

RotaCloud, a staff management software company, has now identified a new workplace trend to succeed quiet quitting called “resenteeism.” They define it as staying in a job, despite being fundamentally unhappy and actively resenting it. Concerns over job security, cost of living, or a lack of alternative employment options are cited as reasons that employees stay. The main difference that resenteeism has from its predecessor is that the employee is more vocal about their dissatisfaction and may potentially influence the opinions and attitudes of others.  

However, a common denominator between the two is that it all boils down to employee engagement, or a lack thereof. Indeed’s Work Happiness Score revealed that more than one third of U.K. employees are unhappy in their current job roles. Employee engagement is nothing new in the HR industry, but recent events like the pandemic and cost of living crisis have brought it front and center. But the question remains – what can managers do to engage their employees and prevent dissatisfaction?  

Primarily, managers need to be engaged and present at work, so they can identify which employees are putting in less effort than before and seem disengaged from the wider workforce. In a hybrid or remote settings, being present could mean reaching out more to employees to be more visible and keep communication lines open. Being engaged as a remote manager could also mean giving your employees the autonomy and flexibility to do the work on their own time but ensuring that performance standards and deadlines are clearly communicated.  

Some signs managers should look out for in employees: 

  • Disengagement. This could look like a previously proactive employee no longer taking the initiative, or a once vocal employee turning silent, no longer willing to share constructive criticism with the team.  
     
  • Fall in productivity. Possibly one of the biggest signs of quiet quitting. An employee’s once stellar output drops, and they go from superstar to subpar, as they only strive to meet bare minimum performance standards.  
     
  • Withdrawal from the team. In remote or hybrid workplaces, this could look like missing meetings, responding to emails and direct messages much later or constantly having their status set to ‘unavailable’. The employee is no longer present to lend a helping hand, and other members must pick up the slack.  
     
  • Languishing. New York Times defines this as a sense of stagnation and emptiness. It’s not quite burnout (yet), but that ‘blah’ feeling of simply going through the motions. HRM Australia cites a reason for this being on the rise is the sense of uncertainty and unease brought about by the global health crisis and subsequent lockdowns.  

In our next article, we will explore how managers can reengage a disengaged employee to achieve better outputs and productivity.  

TalentPredix has the tools, resources, and skills to engage employees to help you build a thriving place to work so your people can reach their full potential. Contact us today to learn more

About the Author

James is a leadership and talent consultant, business psychologist, and executive coach. He has over 25 years’ experience working with leaders, teams, and organizations to optimize their talent, performance, and future success.

Before moving into consulting, James held corporate leadership roles in People and Talent Management in the UK and abroad with companies such as Yahoo! and Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals. Since moving into talent consulting and assessment design, he has supported leaders and teams globally across many sectors and geographies. Clients he has worked with include Allen & Overy, Commvault, Equinor, Graze, LVMH, Facebook, GSK, Hilton, John Lewis, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, NHS, Oracle, Sainsbury's, Swiss Re, Tesco, WSP and Yahoo! James has founded and run several ventures, including Strengthscope®, an international strengths assessment and development business, that he sold in 2018.

James has a Master’s in Organizational Psychology, an MBA, and an Advanced Diploma in Executive Coaching. He is a regular writer and speaker on talent assessment and development, leadership, and the future of work.