We’d like to highlight three phrases which have grown in popularity over 2022 and which we will be discussing in the future.

The first of these phrases has been “quiet quitting.” First seen in early 2022, quiet quitting is not a method of leaving a job, but the behaviour of undertaking no more than the minimum required – putting in no more enthusiasm, time, or effort than required to retain the role. From the point of view of employees this is often described as “acting your wage.” See https://www.refinery29.com/en-gb/act-your-wage-trend

In a recent Gallup survey of US workers only 32% said they were engaged with their job, with another 18% making no secret of their dissatisfaction. The remaining 50%, Gallup suggested, could be classified as quiet quitters, people who were not especially engaged in their work but were unwilling to be open about this. See https://www.gallup.com/workplace/398306/quiet-quitting-real.aspx

The ideas here are not new. Some people have always “worked to rule” or seen no little reason why they should “show initiative” or “go the extra mile”, seemingly expected by their employers when there is no clear reward for this.  We will discuss this, and remedies for this problem in a later article.

One response to this might be “quiet firing” – where managers fail to provide support, training, and development opportunities, to encourage unneeded employees to leave. While this might be seen as a knee-jerk reaction to quiet quitting it isn’t effective leadership. See https://www.gallup.com/workplace/404996/quiet-firing-stop-doing.aspx

The most recent of this trio is “quiet hiring”.  A range of techniques to fill roles in an organisation without the use of traditional recruitment, for example, having more emphasis on promotion from within, or in redeploying staff to other roles inside the organisation. Supporters of quiet hiring suggest that it offers a fast method of filling vacant key roles. Others, possibly staff encouraged to redeploy to roles they would not have chosen, may think otherwise. See https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolinecastrillon/2023/01/13/how-quiet-hiring-will-shape-the-workplace/?sh=6d66a9e162a5

Are you aware of these new terms and what are your views – do these terms demonstrate a change in working practises – or just new names for old ideas?

Do you think that employees want to build a career inside a single organisation, or do you think that both employers and employees prefer a more flexible system where staff can be hired and fired to meet the needs of the organisation?

Is your business interested in developing its workforce and promoting internally?

What we each think about this will shape our Human Resources policies. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. We’ll be discussing these issues in our next few articles.