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Published: 10 month

The age of the silent quitter has come

Nearly six out of ten employees say they have no real attachment to the organisation where they work.

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Silent quitting went viral last year, but now it seems to have been caught out by inflation and rising living costs. But that's all just an illusion, says Portfolio.

Features of a quiet resignation:

  • Colleagues who make more and more mistakes, lose enthusiasm and only do the minimum required,
  • deteriorating social relations with colleagues,

  • deferring new and additional responsibilities,

  • passivity in brainstorming.

In general, this leads to a corporate culture that does not really pay attention to employees, to exploitative management methods, to the shortcomings of motivation and career development systems. Quiet quitting is not necessarily a conscious behaviour, but it is reversible. The signs are usually obvious, because the attitude of the employee concerned changes fundamentally, with a drastic reduction in activity. Unfortunately, according to experts, silent quitting usually ends in separation, so it is always worthwhile to develop an (emergency) scenario for replacing the employee when this phenomenon is detected.

The term "silent resignation" or "silent exit" went viral in 2022, making headlines and dominating hashtags. It soon became a matter of honour, fashion and trendy resistance.

Katie Bailey, a professor of labour and employment studies at Kings College London, says the popularity of the silent quit was driven by people reassessing their experiences of work, their relationship with their employer and their lives in general during the pandemic.

A demand-driven labour market, where companies were struggling to attract job seekers and retain employees, rather than the other way around, gave silent quitters the courage they needed to make their voices heard on social media. Without fear of being fired.

Despite this, he said the silent resignation was a fad. The term and the hype generated around it died down within a few weeks. The number of Google searches for the term peaked in August 2022 and has been falling ever since.

Gallup data, however, shows that the majority of workers are still reinforcing the silent quit camp. According to the State of the Global Workplace: 2023 report, nearly six in 10 workers say they are not really attached to the organisation where they work.

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