Most employees say they ‘quietly stop’

At least half of American workers say they’re “quiet quietly” — they only do the jobs they need to do and give up going “above and beyond,” according to a new Gallup poll.

Why it matters: The pandemic made almost all work difficult to perform, and that extra work took a toll on employees — especially younger workers. They react to this by moving further and further away from their job or by looking for new jobs.

Using the numbers: The proportion of “actively withdrawn” workers is now 18% — the highest in nearly a decade, according to Gallup.

  • Among those under the age of 35, the proportion of employees who actively moved out increased by six percentage points.

What you say: “This is a problem because most jobs today require some level of extra effort to collaborate with colleagues and meet customer needs,” writes Jim Harter, Gallup’s chief scientist for workplace management.

Yes but: Not all workers feel they can “quietly quit.”

  • Women and other underrepresented groups in the workforce may feel they will suffer disproportionate setbacks if they step away from “enthusiastic participation in work activities,” Melissa Swift, US transformation leader at Mercer, tells Axios.

Between the lines: The responsibility lies with managers and leaders to clarify expectations and build relationships with workers.

  • “The least effective managers have three to four times as many people who fall into the quiet quitting category compared to the most effective executives,” write Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of consulting firm Zenger/Folkman in the Harvard Business Review.
  • Worker engagement began to wane in the second half of last year, as more workers also quit their jobs, Gallup noted.

Our thought bubble: Workers don’t seem ready to weather a potential downturn like the last one in 2020 – clocking in around the clock to get work done, notes Axios’ Javier E. David.

Something to see: Union efforts have increased since the pandemic began.

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