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What Does Quiet Quitting Mean for Your Community


Staffing & Recruitment


Sometimes it means doing just enough to get by. Other times, it’s a mental shift of bringing more equilibrium into one’s overall priorities. However workers are interpreting this trend, the truth is, it’s been happening for ages, but now it has a name: quiet quitting

What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting describes a situation when a worker doesn’t want to quit their job, but they are quitting the idea that they need to go above and beyond in their job responsibilities and expectations.

This may include quitting the overtime hours, extra projects, or tasks not listed in their original job descriptions.

Depending on how you look at it or how an employee decides to delineate it for their own life, quiet quitting can be good and bad.

The good part? Quiet quitting helps the overachievers in the office to reevaluate and reset, just by mentally separating from work when appropriate. It can be a move to gain more life balance, instead of working hours on end, then going home and thinking about work hours on end.

New York University social psychology professor, Tessa West, says, “Quiet quitting should generally be seen as a healthy development…It is a misuse of a term that really means carving out boundaries.”

Work-life balance doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, right? So what’s the negative part about quiet quitting? Having a sour attitude, skating by doing just the bare minimum of work, or stirring up a culture of carelessness with peers can make quiet quitting a real problem.

It’s kind of like when a relationship goes downhill. People stop caring as much, stop putting in the effort, and eventually the original vision they once shared gets lost along the way.

Where Did the Term “Quiet Quitting” Start?

The phrase became famous on social media by a Gen Xer career coach who had his fair share of workplace hustle culture. states, “While the term was popularized by TikTok, it was actually coined in March by a 44-year-old Nashville native, Bryan Creely, who was laid off by his company in 2020. Posting regular videos on his YouTube and TikTok accounts, Creely was an advocate for the practice and its power in resisting toxic workplace culture and is still promoting the benefits of quiet quitting to this day.”

“The misconception of quiet quitting is that you just do nothing,” Creely said. “The true definition of quiet quitting is that you are basically doing what your job description says and doing nothing more. Not taking on additional projects, not volunteering for additional work, shutting your computer down at 5 and leaving … Honestly, I think it’s a healthy rebalance of the workplace.

With the pandemic showing workers a new way to work and giving us all more time at home with our viral videos, this phenomenon became the perfect storm.

“’Quiet quitters’ make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce — probably more, Gallup finds.”

 Why People Quiet Quit

 People like to feel that they matter. (Because they do.) When workers engage in disengaging, many times it’s because they just don’t like their current situation. It’s unmotivating, depressing, or the office politics are slowly killing their souls.

Psychologist Gena Cox noted that beyond being a potential issue for companies, quiet quitting can be harmful to one’s health if we’re doing it out of sheer disgust for our jobs. Cox says, “Staying in a disengaging situation can contribute to burnout, stress and emotional distress.”

Here are some reasons for quiet quitting:

  • No incentive to do more because of a lack of appreciation from management
  • Favoritism in the workplace
  • A previous work philosophy of going above and beyond which ultimately leads to burnout
  • Needing more balance in life and less emphasis on the job as a number one priority
  • Employees disconnected from leadership and the company mission

How to Avoid the “Bad Kind” of Quiet Quitting in Your Community

Ask your team members what’s important to them.

While the focus is typically skewed toward leads, clients, and residents, employees and cargivers are people whose needs should be nurtured, too.

Stephan Meier, a Columbia Business School business-strategy professor says, “All of those tools that we have in customer centricity apply to employees,” he said. Figure out what actually matters to them.”

Here are some ways to do it:

  • Talk with your employees through one-on-ones and build trust through candid conversations.
  • Create an anonymous employee survey, but genuinely take their thoughts into consideration and make meaningful changes. (Not listening to your employees after you ask their opinions is worse than not asking at all.)
  • Form a core team that conducts their own personal surveys with their teammates. Peers know the behind-the-scenes dramas, reasons for discontent, and systemic issues that hold many back from being motivated.

Show your employees the value of their work.

It doesn’t take much to make someone feel appreciated for their work, however employers miss the mark time and time again. Especially in caregiving, being a part of a greater purpose motivates workers. Recognize your workers’ indelible contributions like this:

  • Share positive feedback from a resident or family member when a team member is praised.
  • Nominate workers who go above and beyond for a special perk: an extra day off, a generous gift card, or a bonus.
  • Encourage work-life balance and back it up with your actions. Rested and refreshed caregivers will have more energy to do their best work.
  • Pay attention to workers who are struggling, stressed, or overworked. Then, partner with them on finding a solution. Maybe it’s an afternoon of paid creative renewal.

Make it fair for all employees.

Not everyone is afforded the luxury of quiet quitting. Those in caregiving industries have less opportunity to slough off work responsibilities versus those who work in the office. Also, diverse employees traditionally have had to work harder for raises and promotions, putting them in an inequitable position.

To level the playing field, you must build trust within your organization. Let all good workers know how much you value their talents and skills. If you’re consistent with this behavior, your employees’ loyalty to the job will increase because their faith in your leadership will also increase.


 Keeping workers from quiet quitting to the point of no return starts with the top down. Employ strong, fair, and intuitive managers who are trained in leading a unique group of individuals. Give those managers the wherewithal to help their reports succeed, then watch your community begin to truly thrive.

Expert advice and ideas for the new world of senior living

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