The Rise of Quiet Quitting

In a 2022 article titled, “If Your Co-Workers Are ‘Quiet Quitting,’ Here’s What That Means,” The Wall Street Journal reported on a new phenomenon. Young professionals were rejecting “hustle culture” and the “above and beyond” philosophy held by previous generations in the workplace in favor of not taking their job too seriously. Labeling this “less enthusiastic” approach to employment as a form of quitting, WSJ reporters, Lindsay Ellis and Angela Yang, stated that, “these 20-somethings joined the working world during the Covid-19 pandemic, with all of its dislocating effects, including blurred boundaries between work and life.” Armed with plenty of time to climb the corporate ladder and a healthy fear of burnout, some members of Gen Z have opted to strive for balance, staying “on the payroll” while also focusing on personal pursuits.

Factors to Consider

Reporting on the rise of mental health awareness among Gen Z, Forbes notes that, “Gen-Z has been at the forefront of some of the world’s most traumatic events and experiences, from the global pandemic to mass school shootings.” Seeing parents dominated by stressful jobs and sometimes unreasonable work expectations amidst the Great Recession could have also shaped perceptions of what is important in life and the dangers of saying “yes” to everything.

Trends and Statistics

Employee engagement has steadily dropped since 2020, especially with workers under the age of 35. The recent embrace of hybrid or remote work may be contributing to this trend. According to Gallup, “less than four in 10 young remote or hybrid employees clearly know what is expected of them at work.” Young employees also report “feeling less heard and less cared about at work.” Also of concern, Gallup notes that “quiet quitters make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — probably more.”

Further Discussion

On August 8, 2023, Forbes elaborated on this topic in an article titled, “3 Things Gen Z Teaches Us About Quiet Quitting,” stating that “Gen Z doesn’t ‘quiet quit’ because they’re lazy. But they’ll keep their best to themselves, unless our workplaces give them flexibility, resilience, and trust.” Citing MeQ data, the article notes that burnout is 58% lower among employees who have strong manager support for mental well-being. Per Forbes, “The key to unlocking the passion and potential of this growing percentage of our workforce lies in supporting them, protecting them, and engaging them. Perhaps this is how we end quiet quitting, regardless of generation or demographic.”

Looking Forward Lab, under the umbrella of Tammy Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC, is a learning and development company designed to serve as the “go to” hub for innovative workforce and professional development solutions for Gen Z, the institutions educating/training them, and hiring managers welcoming them into their early career workplaces. We are working with teams by providing the in-person, online, and virtual experiences to help prepare, launch, and retain Gen Z team members. To learn more about our approaches to galvanize Gen Z leaders, please visit our website, or contact us today!    

Tammy Dowley-Blackman Group, LLC is a certified National Supplier Development Council Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Administration (SBA) Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Women’s Business Enterprise Network Council (WBENC) woman-owned company. The company is comprised of a suite of brands, including TDB Group Strategic Advisory, a management consulting firm; Looking Forward Lab, a learning company focused on Gen Z, which partners with corporations and higher education systems to offer a full-service learning engagement model that delivers workforce development solutions; and Cooper + Lowe, an incubator for women interested in transitioning to entrepreneurship and thought leadership using the tools of a company that has successfully scaled.

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