Unspoken resignations and quiet quitting

A GOOD friend was a dedicated and innovative senior marketing manager at a well-respected advertising agency in Makati for seven years. He was highly regarded for his creative ideas, hard work and unwavering dedication to his career. However, this good friend began to experience a gradual shift in his attitude and behavior. Initially, this change was subtle as he spoke to me about his struggles to find his real purpose. He caught himself not actively participating in team brainstorming sessions and instead remained quiet during meetings where he previously dominated with his innovative concepts. Initially unaware of the shift, his colleagues even assumed it was due to a temporary creative block.
In the bustling workplaces of Metro Manila, this subtle yet widespread behavior of my good friend is known as quiet quitting. Unlike employees who dramatically leave their office or resign due to frustration, it is a subtle way of becoming disengaged that can significantly impact individuals and organizations. It is characterized by employees who physically show up for work but emotionally and mentally check out. They go through the motions of their jobs, yet their enthusiasm, dedication and productivity wane over time. This behavior can be challenging to detect, as it sometimes lacks the apparent signs of dissatisfaction or conflict.
Employees engaging in quiet quitting can negatively affect their personal lives, including reduced job satisfaction, poorer mental health and strained relationships. These consequences can accumulate over time and lead to a decline in their quality of life. In addition, organizations also suffer because disengaged employees are less productive, less innovative and more likely to leave the company in the long run. High rates of turnover and the costs associated with replacing skilled workers can significantly impact an organization’s financial bottom line.
Several factors, including the quick pace and long work hours, can cause this phenomenon. A lack of balance between work and personal life can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, making it difficult for employees to commit to their jobs entirely. When employees feel that their hard work goes unnoticed or unrewarded, they may lose interest and become indifferent towards their work. However, employers and employees need to recognize the signs and address the underlying causes of this issue, which is different for every employee.

To guarantee that employees sustain a balance between work and their personal lives, offering flexible work arrangements and encouraging them to take time off is essential. Additionally, it is crucial to recognize and reward employees for their contributions by providing both monetary and intrinsic acknowledgments. Offering fair chances for enhancing skills and progressing in one’s career can also keep employees engaged and motivated. Finally, prioritizing employee well-being initiatives such as mental health support, wellness programs and stress management resources may boost employee satisfaction and retention.
Our Filipino workforce is known for being resilient and dedicated. Employers should continue to nurture an organizational culture that advances employee well-being, acknowledges their contributions, and offers growth opportunities to prevent quiet quitting behavior. In doing this, they can foster a more involved and efficient workforce.

Jyro B. Triviño is currently a Doctor of Philosophy in Business candidate from De La Salle University Manila while serving as an assistant professor at Ateneo de Manila University’s Department of Leadership and Strategy. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration degree from Ateneo de Manila University in 2010, and his research interests are aligned with customer experience and humanistic management. Email: [email protected]

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