When job re-designation becomes hype.

"Actually, I've already quit inside, but I won't tell you." That's the work attitude that's currently going through the roof on social media. 72.7 million times has been posted on TikTok with the hashtag #quietquitting has been used.

"Quiet Quitting" stands for a life model that clearly decouples work and life, but goes far beyond the well-known "work-life balance". It means only doing exactly what is included in the job description. Not a single move more, not a second longer.

When a person decides to "quit quietly," it means a complete emotional detachment from the job and the workplace: from the employer, from the team, from the job itself, from one's own responsibility, from creative opportunities or perspectives. Work is performed with the least possible effort and is merely a means to an end. Everything that is "life" takes place after work.

Quiet Quitters do not deliberately want to harm the company or lose their job. They do what is required of them. With maximum indifference and always just enough to fulfill their duty.

The term "quiet quitting" originally appeared in connection with burnout prevention - as an alternative to over-sacrificing oneself to the point of self-abandonment at work. In such cases, it can make perfect sense to gain a little emotional distance from work and refocus on yourself and your own needs. However, if such an idea becomes "hype", it can be assumed that not only people on the verge of burnout will feel addressed, but also very many who were never prepared to go the famous extra mile anyway. Who have never been on fire for a job. Who not only find justification for their lack of commitment in this mindset, but can also feel hip and fancy in the process.

Stalemate for employers, colleagues and customers

Such behavior is self-centered and unfair to employers and colleagues. It is damaging to business when it comes to production activities, for example, and a disaster when people are involved. As soon as empathy, care and charity are required in a job, quitting spells doom. Teachers, nurses, paramedics, ... It's unthinkable if all of them were to do their work mechanically. It is really not to be wished on anyone to come across a doctor in an emergency who shares this mindset.

The damage done by "Quiet Quitting" is enormous, far-reaching, and irreversible.

How can this happen?

The employment contract specifies what employees have to do and to what extent. The "what" can still be stated relatively clearly, but the "how" has no place in any contract or job description. It lies in the corporate culture, in the interaction of the team, in the common understanding of values. But that is precisely what matters and what makes companies successful - or not.

All this falls under "psychological contract": Services that are mutually assumed, without having to be explicitly and in detail recorded in writing.

"If you are committed to your career and feel an emotional attachment to the organization or career, then an event that violates the psychological contract, the unwritten expectations, destroys our sense of whether we can trust the organization", said Dr. Ashley Weinberg, an industrial psychologist at the University of Salford.

So if expectations are disappointed over a longer period of time, this is perceived as a serious breach of trust. Even if these expectations have never been addressed.

Keeping an eye on the psychological contract can prevent frustration.

When employees decide to keep quiet, it's too late for surveys and employee retention programs. In the worst case, this mood is transferred to others, or they also become increasingly frustrated because they have to compensate for their colleagues' shortcomings. Therefore: Ask questions before problems become visible. Even or especially when the answers may be angry, desperate and loud, because at this point you can still intervene.

PERSENTIS is the only employee survey that breaks down the psychological contract: The results show how needs and expectations are weighted and to what extent they are met on the job. It also shows the difference between satisfaction and engagement: An optimal Quiet Quitting early warning system.

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