What Is “Quiet Quitting,” and How Does It Affect Production?
It’s a tumultuous time for labor in the United States. Not only does manufacturing face a dearth of workers and increasing demand for skilled labor, there’s also a rising labor movement to empower new unions and a repossession of workers’ rights. It’s the perfect storm of animosity that’s beginning to boil over — or, in some cases, manifest silently.
“Quiet quitting” is a new trend that’s taking shape in a major way, and it’s beginning to cause productivity problems for manufacturers.
What is “quiet quitting”?
Quiet quitting is the latest buzzword in the business world. An employee who “quietly quits” isn’t really quitting their job; rather, they’re hanging on by showing up and doing the bare minimum. While there’ve always been workers who never go above and beyond, a recent Gallup poll found at least half of American workers fit the definition of quiet quitting.
Quiet quitting affects the entire workplace, not just the individual worker who’s putting in minimal effort day in and day out.
A rising trend worth paying attention to
The practice of quiet quitting not only hurts the individual, stalling their own professional development, but it also has a ripple effect across a company, dragging down team morale and company goal attainment.
Why is quiet quitting such a rising trend? Gallup polls show U.S. employment engagement is historically low, with the proportion of engaged workers sitting at 32%. Even more worrying is the figure for actively disengaged workers, which has risen to 18%.
All industries are feeling the effects of a disengaged workforce, with manufacturing seeing its fair share of quiet quitters, from employees on the floor to management in the office — and that figure is growing.
How to combat quiet quitting
The key to keeping quiet quitting out of your factory? Keep workers happy and engaged. According to Gallup data, workers who feel engaged, fulfilled, and appreciated in their work environments are less inclined to quietly quit. In other words, investing in employees means investing in workers who are excited to show up and who take pride in their work.
Manufacturers must focus on developing relationships, even with the most disengaged employees. They also should connect with manufacturing pride, getting past the cynicism of workers of a certain era or belief system. By tapping in to a worker’s pride for what they do and the products they make — not to mention the paycheck they bring home to their family — manufacturers can foster a more engaging, inclusive atmosphere: one that makes every workday more fulfilling.