It seems like there is always some new social media craze that results in people doing something that they would otherwise have better judgment. Generally, these activities result in people doing something to try to obtain public attention. There is, however, a new one that actually is different and significantly impacts the workplace.
The activity is referred to as “quiet quitting” and it results in a person doing the minimum in their job (just enough not to be fired), while continuing to collect their full paycheck. The person then usually goes on social media to speak poorly of their employer and brag about how they are putting one over on the company. “Quiet quitting” can be done while on employment notice, but more likely will done during your normal employment status.
If you have been a reader of this column for any length of time, then you will quickly draw the correct conclusion that doing this is probably not a good idea. People who decide to participate in this activity may claim a variety of different reasons that they are doing it. They may claim that it is personal, that it is all related to work life balance, or they are dealing with burn out. A personal Leave of Absence or some extended PTO is a better idea than checking out while in the job. The explanation may also be related to being dissatisfied with your current employer. If this is the case, then finding a new job ASAP is the way to go, especially since this fresh start will assist you with any feeling of burn out.
Let’s review just some (of the many) reasons that “quiet quitting” is not a good idea.
• Minimum Is Not Enough: The concept of “quiet quitting” is based on doing the least amount you can while still getting fully paid. As an employee, do you truly know what the “minimum” is for an organization? Unless you have a designated engineered standard that you can work towards then you may find yourself performance managed while still in the job.
• Employers Aware of Social Media: It is bad enough to actually participate in the “quite quitting”; but bragging about it on social media takes it to another level. Your current employer may notice your postings and (as noted above) may begin examining your performance differently. Also, prospective companies may steer clear of you based on the comments that you make public on social media. Don’t forget that social media messages are forever.
• Never Burn Bridges: You never know what will happen in your career. The WNY area is relatively small with a pretty tight network. A new position may become available to you down the road with your current employer, but if you leave in dubious standing, you may not be considered. Similarly, Managers move around, and you may find yourself connected again with the person you just “burned” with your “quiet quitting”. If this would happen, your career progression could be severely compromised.
• Not Fair To Your Co-Workers: The group that ultimately is perhaps most impacted by your decision to “quiet quit” is your co-workers. These dedicated individuals will have to pick up your slack in order to keep things moving forward. This issue will become further exacerbated if they find out you are bragging about it on social media. So, you will then have to deal with a situation where there is significant tension with your co-workers.
• You Are Not Growing Your Career: Depending on how long you decide to participate in the “quiet quitting”, this behavior may cause your existing skills to erode or prevent you from learning new ones. You are, in essence, in a career “holding pattern” until you decide to become engaged again. An individual who is “quiet quitting” is not someone who will be considered for internal promotions. This may sound OK now, but chances are that you will regret your decision of not moving forward with your career.
The concept is quite head scratching to hard working professional people. Academic types will link this behavior to a decline in employee job satisfaction. My view is that you should always do your best, but if you find that this can’t occur for a specific employer, then you should leave for another position. There are many reasons, as noted above, to not “quiet quit”. So, always do your best!
As always, the best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joe Stein WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: Joe Stein