“Quiet quitting” is not-so-quietly gathering steam, on the heels of a viral TikTok video by @zkchillin. “You’re not outright quitting your job, but you’re quitting the idea of going above and beyond,” he says. “You’re still performing your duties, but you’re no longer subscribing to the hustle culture mentality that work has to be your life.”
For some, quiet quitting simply means quitting on hustle culture, which is a great thing. But for many others, it means just going through the motions, accepting a lack of engagement, joy and purpose in our work as a long-term solution to burnout. That’s the version of quiet quitting we need to quit.
There’s a reason quiet quitting is resonating so widely. It’s a response to a very real problem — the global epidemic of stress and burnout.It’s also about how people feel about their work — what they give to their jobs and what they get in return. What the quiet quitting phenomenon tells us is that far too many people feel that their employers aren’t holding up their end of the agreement. They don’t feel seen, valued or cared about. And as Adam Grant put it: “When they don’t feel cared about, people eventually stop caring.”
But the idea that burnout and quiet quitting are our only options is clearly a false choice. There’s a third alternative — being engaged in our work without burning out and sacrificing our health and happiness. I love people who are interviewing for Thrive and say, “I give 100% when I’m working, and these are my boundaries.” That’s very different from, “I do the bare minimum to get by.”
We’re not, after all, just in a crisis of burnout, we’re also in a crisis of purpose and meaning. And in recent years, study after study has validated the ancient wisdom that having a sense of purpose is deeply tied to our physical and mental well-being. Implicit in quiet quitting is the idea that finding purpose and engagement in our work somehow saps us, or makes us more susceptible to burnout. But in fact purpose is an antidote to burnout.
What’s encouraging about this new trend is how profoundly young people are rejecting burnout and hustle culture. They’re the first generation not to brag about working 24/7, being always available and “sleeping when they’re dead.” And that’s cause for celebration. But they deserve more options than burnout or quiet quitting. And that’s up to employersrecognizing that employee well-being is directly tied to performance — including how present, productive, creative and empathetic people are at work. How many hours we work does not reflect the quality of our work. And that’s why investing in employee well-being and mental health is increasingly seen as critical to business success, including recruitment, retention, productivity and healthcare costs. Some of the tools we have implemented at Thrive, and work with many of our customers to adopt, include The Entry Interview, Compassionate Directness, Thrive Time, Giving Days, Thrive Pulse and Microsteps.
The paradox in the quiet quitting trend is that Gen Zers are very unquietly working to change the world in so many long overdue ways. They’re not content to accept the world they’ve been handed, when it comes to race, climate, mental health, the economy and so much more. So why give up on changing how their companies work? Why not take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine how we work and live?That’s a goal we should never quit on.
Author Name: Ariana Huffington
This article first appeared in www.thriveglobal.com
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