18. June 2024

Why is everyone talking about… the cost of quiet quitting?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week we’re talking about the £257 billion cost of quiet quitting and what your HR team can do about it.

What you need to know

Quiet quitting may be a buzzword that some feel is overhyped, but it's been found to be costing the UK economy an undeniably large amount.. According to Bloomberg, the nation’s demotivated employees are costing £257 billion in lost productivity.

Additionally, Gallup’s latest research found that a staggering 90% of UK employees are feeling disengaged from their work. These figures compare to 33% engagement levels for the US and 23% globally. 

The research paints a stark picture of employee satisfaction and overall health of UK employees, with 40% reporting daily stress in their jobs. Additionally, 27% reported feeling daily sadness and 20% feeling daily anger while at work, making this figure the second highest across all European countries. 

What others are saying about it 

In the short term, quiet quitting causes lower productivity, decreases employee satisfaction and has a negative impact on culture. In the long term, it can impact turnover as these employees are unlikely to stick around:

"When people feel they're not in an inspiring job, and see opportunities elsewhere, they'll likely look to get their career needs met with another employer," Jim Harter, chief scientist for workplace management and wellbeing at Gallup, told the BBC.

"You likely know the proportion of people in your workplace who are quietly quitting – it’s a feeling and it’s infectious. But what can be done about it? The answer is simple, really: your best managers are already doing it. You need to cater to the fundamental workplace needs of your employees” says Odhran Guilfoyle, Workplace Advisor at Gallup.

What that means for you

The role that middle managers can play here is crucial. Fortune points to equally worrying data showing that only 30% of managers say they are engaged at work. As leaders are often regarded as multipliers of culture within your organisation, fixing this should be at the top of your list. 

In organisations that follow best practices for employee engagement, more than 75% of managers are engaged at work, along with 70% of non-managers. To combat the cost of quiet quitting, focus on engaging your managers with the following steps:

  • Build out their skills: Provide company-wide training on areas like delegation, feedback and conflict resolution.

  • Learn from other leaders: Carve out time for cross-departmental workshops that foster knowledge-sharing and support.

  • Create better transparency: Build top-down trust with clear information from executives on company decisions.

  • Reward their hard work: Build recognition and reward programmes that recognise all of their non-target-driven work.

  • Open the dialogue: Run regular feedback sessions and surveys where they can bring their challenges to the table.

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

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Hannah Popham

Hannah Popham

Hannah is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. She loves writing about the ever-changing ways that we work and how they intersect with our lives outside work.

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