GREENSBORO, N.C. — Work burnout is real! It's happening in every industry across the country. With the economy the way it is, people are not necessarily quitting anymore. But they are doing something else.
It's called quiet quitting. The new trend happens when people stay on the job to get a check but have already mentally checked out.
"Quiet quitting is a remix to employee disengagement," said communications expert Odell Bizzell. "People are at a point where they just do whatever they need to get by without doing anything extra."
Quiet quitting involves an employee's conscious decision to put in less effort at work, and Bizzell compares it to a breakup.
"If you're in a relationship and you know you are on the way out, you do whatever and think maybe I can make this person break up with me. That's what quiet quitting is doing, and it's communicating to the employer that either I am not appreciated enough to do more or I am not fulfilled enough," Bizzell explained. "I'm not going to quit, but you can fire me!"
Workers keep their job and income without sacrificing their peace of mind. You can tell if an employee or coworker is quietly quitting by looking at their attitude and energy.
"If normally Susie comes in with a lot of energy and says hi to everyone but the last few weeks she whispers, hey, then you know there's something wrong," Bizzell said.
Besides their low energy, workers might come straight out and say they hate their job.
"That is a sign! Also, saying things like, "Oh boy, here we go again. Or another pointless meeting!"
Bizzell shared these three top tips for bosses and employers.
1. Check in on your employees:
"We all love those. Employers can say, 'Hey, I'm just checking in. I don't want anything but are you good?' Then you can go in a question or two deeper with the employee," Bizzell said.
2. Offer your help:
"Ask your staff if there's anything you can do to help ease their load. Or find a way to help them be more efficient," Bizzell said. "Those weekly check-ins versus surface conversations are a great thing for employers to do."
3: Schedule more intentional work breaks to engage your staff:
"That will cause employers to pay closer attention to their employees and their mental health and energy," Bizzell said. "Workers are starting to value their mental well-being more and desiring happiness over the paycheck."
For the worker trying to figure out whether to stay or go, Bizzell says to consider the economy before making big decisions. Take a deep dive into your savings to see if you can afford to be out of work before quitting, or take the risk of leaving quietly and your boss finding out.