Quiet quitting is not the answer

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For some reason, quiet quitting has been on my mind. No, I am not quiet quitting. I just remembered that when there is a new term like this, some people try to fit their situation into the idea. I suddenly saw an influx of social media posts saying they are quiet quitting.

Quiet quitting is the new term for employee disengagement, whereby employees become like zombies at work. They are present but their mind is away and the effort is non-existent. Quiet quitting isn’t a new employee behavior, though the term suddenly became a buzzword latter part of 2022.

There are several reasons why employees get disengaged from work, it could be they are demotivated, or disillusioned because of office politics, poor leadership, no sense of direction, expectation vs. reality, or bad office environment. One of the prevalent reasons is that employees feel they are not compensated justly or their extra mile is not rewarded by the company. Quiet quitting left unmanaged will have a long term effect on the culture of the company.

An article from Gallup suggests that managers need to be engaged and be able to have meaningful conversations with the employees, and “Managers need to create accountability for individual performance, team collaboration and customer value — and employees must see how their work contributes to the organization’s larger purpose.” Many companies have done these yet it seems to be not working as employees are still not pleased.

In a business environment where the objective is to make money, hit numbers, grow the company value, gain status and earn a living disguised as passion, it will truly be hard to reconcile the needs of both the company and their employees.

When only numbers, objectives and salary are what pushes us to work, when there is no meaning and purpose, we are tempted to disengage. If we stay and only do satisfactory work, we are being unfair to the company we serve and we do not maximize our full potential, which is a waste of talent. In cases like this, it is best to be reminded that we are Catholics and that we are called to respond differently: to be excellent (unless, we are abused or unjustly paid. Rather than quiet quitting, find another more fulfilling job), and mediocrity is never the answer.

As Catholics, work is something that “honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him”…. And in hard work, or sacrifice, we are one with Christ: “in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2427)” also, “in work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature.(CCC 2428)” As consequence of good work, “not only will you be supporting yourselves financially, but you will be contributing directly to the development of society. You will be relieving the burdens of others and supporting local and international welfare projects for less privileged individuals and countries. (St. Escriva)”

It is not all work. The CCC recognizes that rest from work is necessary for human welfare and considers it a human right, “human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord’s Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.”

Prolonged quiet quitting or disengagement is never the answer, it is a waste of human talent. Next time you are tempted to disengage, the choice is either to rest or to be excellent in your current work or in another.

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