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Can we prevent #QuietQuitting from invading the workplace?

  • Publish Date: Posted 28 days ago
  • Author: Adrian Adair
Quiet quitting has made its way into the mainstream, with Collins Dictionary naming it as one of its words of the year just last week.

First touted on TikTok, back in March, the term has done the rounds with the recruiter and business media, generating plentiful commentary and analysis but little dialogue around tackling the issue head-on to deliver meaningful solutions.

Morson Group's Chief Operating Officer Adrian Adair discusses the phenomenon:

To kick off, let’s unpick what quiet quitting actually is and the role it plays in present day workplace culture. Firstly, it has absolutely nothing to do with quitting your job.

If we revisit where the trend started, online, viral videos describe quiet quitting as delivering just what your job description demands and no more. You’re ‘quitting’ the idea of going above and beyond by doing the ‘bare minimum’ – that’s it.

The world of work has drastically evolved, and quiet quitting is now being used to supercharge the apathy of employees who feel they’re not receiving the recognition or compensation they deserve for going that extra mile. Or as one social media user coined it: “acting your wage”.

In reality, quiet quitting is a phenomenon indicative of a wider malaise. Individuals feel disengaged from their role or they lack the same energy or passion they once had. It’s something many people will have felt at some stage of their career, but the real question is, how can we, as leaders in the talent space, prevent workers from reaching this tipping, and then ultimately, breaking point.

Regardless of your employment status – perm, contract or otherwise – it’s natural to strive for a sense of purpose. Workers want to understand their role, have a clear career pathway for growth and have the ability to see how their skills align with the outcomes that they – and the business they work for – are trying to achieve.

We all know that better worker engagement delivers enhanced performance, but what are the steps before this? How can employers demonstrate real purpose in their EVP, ensuring they attract and then retain the best talent?

Within Morson Group, we encourage our clients’ organisations to ‘recruit for stretch’ – ensuring they actively seek out difference makers and not ‘people like them’. This isn’t about ticking a box for the purposes of ED&I, it’s much more. In today’s war on talent, recruiting solely for experience and skillset is the baseline, savvy minded businesses understand that and are open to loosening the hiring guard rails to reach an unimaginable pool of superb candidates.

We train hiring managers to identify talented individuals that don’t fit the traditional mould by accurately spotting raw – and often untapped – potential. Hiring managers – and candidates – must treat job requirements as a ‘wish list’, ensuring the role offers personal and professional goals for those who are willing to stretch and challenge themselves. Whilst they may not be your ‘perfect’ candidate, they could be an absolute superstar in the workplace.

We work with hiring managers to create 4D role profiles which detail critical outputs, how these fit into the organisation and what success looks like in the immediate and long-term. This ‘stretchy’ job description allows HR and talent teams to recruit those with transferable skills, critical thinkers and those with learning ability, who possess a real passion for their own future and that of the organisation. By working in this way, you’re not only going to land a better candidate fit, you’re demonstrating a commitment towards development, reward and recognition.

There are numerous mega trends shaping labour populations and talent markets, with multi-generation workforces dominating our conversations with clients. Companies who embrace talent pipelines irrespective of age gain a competitive advantage, with the ability to recruit across what is essentially five-generations of candidates.

Diversity of opinion and ideas act as an engine for growth and leads to improved processes, better products and services, and intriguing strategies – deliverables every employer strives for. Plus, when you consider that 1 in every 3 workers will be aged 65+ by 2050, compared to 1 in 4 currently, many employers’ success depends on mobilising, maximising and maintaining the contribution of multi-generational workforces today.

As leaders, we must embrace differences, build digital literacy, re-skill talent, create a culture of ‘we’ not ‘me’ and much more. Together, these solid principles will help to tackle quiet quitting, quiet hiring, the great resignation and whatever phrase hits the headlines next. After all, 89% of talent professionals surveyed by LinkedIn said that multi-generational workforces make a company more successful, whilst those with a purposeful mission reap 49% lower attrition rates. And those numbers simply can’t be ignored.

As a Morson client we listen, identify opportunities and curate solutions that are designed for you. Our solutions are for organisations seeking to enhance their capability, who need flexible, adaptable solutions to help scale, brand-led strategies to inspire, screening solutions to comply, ED&I insight to transform, training to develop or technology to streamline and accelerate. We offer a depth and agility that is unique to the Morson Group.

It all starts with a conversation, so if you are a business wishing to explore how best to champion inclusion and support your employees or an individual looking for an opportunity in an organisation that cares for the personal and professional you, don't hesitate to get in touch with me directly at