Quietly Quitting or Boldly Creating?

If you’ve been on social media lately or read recent news headlines, you’ve likely heard about the tidal wave of employees “quietly quitting” their jobs. A recent Gallup poll of a random sample of 15,000 full- and part-time U.S. employees (aged 18 and over) in June of 2022 found that at least 50% of the U.S. workforce are quietly quitting—meaning they are not “engaged” in their employment, doing the minimum required to keep their jobs, and are psychologically detached from their actual work. And because of the viral nature of these social media posts, it could get worse.

In the second quarter of 2022, the ratio of actively engaged to actively disengaged employees went from 3:1 to 1.8:1, the lowest level in almost a decade. The drop in engagement was concurrent with the rise in job resignations. Managers experienced the greatest drop. The overall decline was specifically related to clarity of expectations, opportunities to learn and grow, feeling cared about, and a connection to the organization’s mission or purpose—signaling a growing disconnect between employees and their employers.

The good news is that 32% of the workforce is still very engaged in their work, but, while almost 50% are classified as disengaged, the bad news is that 18% is actively disengaged. They are considered “loud quitters” with high levels of dissatisfaction, and they are the most vocal on TikTok and other social media which has generated millions of views and comments.

I’m sorry to say that I’ve personally seen all of this in action. Of course, I’m sorry about the effect it has on my clients’ businesses as they try to remain productive, competitive, and profitable amid growing inflation and a serious workforce shortage. But, I’m also deeply saddened about the impact it is having on the actual employees who have quietly quit.

It is heartbreaking to think that the statistic stating that only 6% of American workers love their job is true. 6%. This means that 94% of us don’t love our jobs. We might not hate our jobs, but we definitely don’t love them. We don’t love when the alarm clock rings, forcing us to awaken and head to work. We don’t look forward to creating value, positively impacting others, and contributing to a collective effort that makes a difference in the lives of those we serve and with whom we work. There is a feeling of having to go to work versus getting to go be part of something meaningful and part of a healthy, productive team.

How awful to spend such a huge amount of your life in the malaise of mediocrity or dissatisfaction when the alternative of an awakened, brilliant, meaningful work experience is available to all of us and literally right at our very fingertips! It has always been our choice, but especially now there is no reason for any of us to accept a less than amazing work experience. You could certainly change jobs in the hopes of finding something better… but be forewarned… everywhere you go, there you are. We take ourselves, with all of our talents and all of our challenges and shortcomings, into every new relationship including our professional ones. The alternative is to gain and practice the skills of boldly claiming what you need to feel great at your current workplace. You can absolutely learn how to lead conversations with your owner, manager, department leads, and co-workers to fix what’s not working, to gain clarity around systems and processes, to advance your own career, and to create a more positive, exhilarating work environment. If you’ve accepted less, you have the opportunity in front of you to demand more for yourself. Sometimes being a leader means leading your own life.

I suggest these steps:
• Identify what it is you actually want. What matters to you in your job and career?
• Meet with your boss and tell them what you need to be fascinated and motivated in your role.
• If you are overworked and overloaded, come to your boss with that information and what you think your compensation should look like and/or what the solution could be for a healthier workload or a better organization.

No, there is no guarantee that this will solve your issues, but if the alternative is passively protesting and quietly quitting, it is worth the effort to take the risk and be the change. Leaders always go first.

If you are an employer who is tolerating and accepting employees who have quietly quit, you also have a choice. You can continue to ignore what is obvious to everyone, or you can learn and practice the skills to respectfully confront the situation and have a meaningful discussion about what it will take to turn the lights on inside your current team. What needs to change in the environment, relationships, team agreements, reactions, communication, team spirit, creativity, and problem-solving skills to make the work environment feel amazing to all those who work there?

I believe that quiet quitting is a symptom of poor self and company management. Here’s what I recommend for professional managers to consider in order to reduce (if not eliminate) the quiet (or even the loud) quitters in your company:
Start with addressing manager engagement. Only one in three managers are engaged at work. Owners and senior leaders must clarify expectations and inspire their managers to build strong, engaged teams.

Managers must learn how to have conversations to help employees reduce disengagement and burnout. Only managers are in a position to know employees as individuals—their life situation, strengths and career goals. Managers must be trained to have the courageous conversations necessary to inspire a growth mindset, positive attitude, optimistic outlook, and high-level of engagement with each of their employees. Gallup found the best requirement and habit to develop for successful managers is having one meaningful conversation per week with each team member (15-30 minutes). When managers are trained to structure these conversations well, they can be incredibly productive. Managers must learn coaching skills for their employees, not just supervisory skills.

Managers must create accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and customer value, and employees must see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger and higher purpose.

There has never been a better, more important time to learn the skills to demand more for yourself, your team, your business, or those we serve. Don’t settle. Boldly create what you need to feel alive and enthusiastic about what you do every day for a living. Boldly create the kind of team, environment, and work experience you want for yourself and those on your team, now and in the future. Stop waiting for someone else to change or become more. Transform your workplace into THE place where the best of the best want to work. Transform it into THE place where people fight to stay. Become the person everyone wants to hire and teams fight to keep. It’s up to us to boldly create our life, including an amazing career and work experience that we feel blessed to be part of each and every day.

Reach out to LionSpeak if you’d like more guidance on how to make your own career and/or managers and teams more aligned, alive, and productive.

“You can’t have a million-dollar goal with a one-dollar work ethic.”

~ Stephen C. Hogan


  1. These Monday morning stretches’ are truly a blessing. Their insightful and helpful, personally and it transfers to your work life. Thank you and your team for for all you guys do! So appreciated!

    1. Thank you, Nina, for your kind words. We’re so happy that you are finding such value, both personally and professionally, in our weekly Stretches. Thank you for being a big part of our success. Cheers to a great week ahead.

    1. Thanks, Susan… so much work and good for us to do out there in our industry, right?

  2. I really appreciate this article. It gave practical suggestions that I plan on implementing.

    1. Thank you, Jamia. I’m so glad you found this article meaningful. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and tell me so. Wishing you a great week ahead!

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