Many workers in the United States are what researchers call “quiet quitters.” This means that even though they do their job, they don’t feel connected or engaged with their work. A recent survey by Gallup, a research firm, found that around 50% of the surveyed workers fell into this category. This mindset became more common since the start of the pandemic as people’s priorities and workplace policies changed.

The survey, which included over 15,000 full-time and part-time workers, revealed that 32% of employees were engaged and satisfied with their work, while 18% were actively disengaged, meaning they were unhappy and uninterested. This is an increase from the beginning of 2022 when only 17% fell into the actively disengaged category.

Gallup noticed a decline in employee engagement towards the end of 2021. Workers reported feeling less connected to their organization’s goals, less clarity about their responsibilities, and fewer opportunities for growth. The study also found that most quiet quitters and actively disengaged workers were looking for another job.

One particular group that experienced a significant drop in engagement was Generation Z and younger millennials (those under 35 years old). Since the start of the pandemic, these younger workers have felt less supported and encouraged in their development. Additionally, less than 40% of young workers who aren’t in the office full time know what’s expected of them at work.

Gallup’s report emphasizes that quiet quitting is a result of poor management. This insight supports the idea of “quiet firing,” which refers to situations where employers make working conditions unpleasant or deny resources and opportunities to push employees to leave without actually firing them.

Gallup suggests that one effective way to improve engagement is to have regular, meaningful conversations with their team members. Spending 15 to 30 minutes per week discussing work and development can make a difference.

However, it’s worth noting that managers themselves are struggling with engagement. Only about one-third of managers currently feel engaged in their jobs, which poses a challenge for employers in addressing the issue of quiet quitting.

If you have staff, it’s important to reach out to connect with your team, find out what they may need, and improve the work environment. Doing so can help you re-engage your employees so they enjoy their work once again.

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