Why are More Employees Quietly Quitting in 2022?

By Chevas Balloun

Last Updated: June 5th 2024

an unhappy employee quietly quitting

What can businesses do to prevent quiet quitting?

Work can be hard. We all know and accept that.

But it should be rewarding and satisfying, too.

That's why so many put up with the stress and long hours—because they want to be proud of their achievements and contributions.

It feels good to add value to an organization’s mission.

Plus, everyone needs food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads.

But organizations are seeing a rise in a phenomenon known as "quiet quitting."

More employees are disengaging from work altogether.

This isn’t a new concept, employees have been “checking out” for decades.

But like the great resignation, this trend is spreading.

"Quiet quitters" make up at least 50% of the U.S. workforce -- probably more, according to Gallop.

So, why are most people in the workforce so unhappy, unmotivated, or uninterested?

What's causing the increase?

And how can it be reversed?

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What is Quiet Quitting?

Quiet quitting is when an employee disengages from their work without trying to fix the cause—or causes.

They may stop working completely, which is easier when working remotely.

Or, more often, they perform the bare minimum of the job: no more going above-and-beyond, no more other-duties-as-assigned, no more working more than 40 hours a week.

They don't hand in a resignation letter or talk with their boss about how to address the issue.

They just stop “showing up” mentally, and sometimes physically.

A workforce with a low employee engagement level doesn’t produce high quality work.

And many workers are getting away with it without repercussions, in part because it’s hard to identify and monitor with a remote workforce.

This has a snowball effect for highly engaged employees who have to pick up the slack.

Team members who still go above and beyond, can become resentful, risk getting burned out, and start looking for a new job.

6 Reasons Employees are Quietly Quitting

1. The Work is Unrewarding

In many cases, the work itself is simply not satisfying.

It's tedious, and it's monotonous.

For a lot of people, that's simply not worth committing their valuable time.

Therefore, if you want happy and engaged employees, make sure they're doing work that is interesting.

Now, every job can’t promise this 100% of the time.

But employers can try to assign everyone at least one exciting project to keep employee motivation high.

2. Low Morale

Low morale can be caused by poor or absent management, not feeling valued or connected, and a lack of opportunity for professional development and advancement.

Managers should check-in with employees regularly—individually and as a team.

These check-ins can be to communicate anything new happening with the company, review project work, and recognize successful deliverables.

Many teams have periodic virtual social events to replace those conversations that occurred when coworkers would run into each other in the hallway or cafeteria.

Remote work has all but eliminated those impromptu conversations.

Leaders can’t “manage by walking around” anymore with teams working remotely.

3. High Stress Levels

Today's employees are under more pressure than ever before, and it's taking a toll on their mental health.

American Psychological Association found that stress levels in the U.S. are at an all-time high, with millennials reporting the highest levels of stress.

If employees seem on-edge or burned out, it's important for leaders to intervene.

This is a tough one, because most managers aren’t trained to help with mental health issues.

But a manager can remove obstacles that are causing stress or allow more days off so their staff can decompress.

Many companies also have Employee Assistance Programs with staff who are equipped to provide emotional support.

4. Lack of Opportunity for Advancement

For employees who feel stuck in their job, with no room for advancement, it's only natural that their performance will suffer.

Why work their tail off for a company that doesn’t recognize and reward their hard work?

If you want to keep your best employees, it's important to give them opportunities for growth and development.

Show your employees that you value their contributions and that you're invested in their future.

Additionally, providing opportunities for professional development can show your employees that you're committed to helping them grow in their careers.

5. Not Feeling Valued or Appreciated

When employees don’t feel appreciated or recognized, it's not a matter or “if” but “when” they’ll start looking for an employer who values them.

Before you lose your best employees to quiet quitting (or actual quitting), look for ways to recognize them.

Promotions and raises are important, but they’re not always possible.

But they’re not the only ways to reward hard work: a small bonus, a gift card, an opportunity for training, or even a shout-out at a meeting can go a long way.

6. Poor or Absent Management

Hopefully the first five reasons that contribute to the problem of quiet quitting show that the solution is with strong, supportive, and compassionate leadership.

Employee retention is a top priority for any business, but it can be difficult to achieve with weak management.

When managers are ineffective, it can lead to many problems that make employees feel dejected.

Mistakes such as a lack of communication, unrealistic expectations, and not showing appreciation are signs of ineffective, or worse, incompetent management.

This can lead to employees feeling resentful, stressed, and overwhelmed.

Businesses need to ensure that their managers are effective leaders who can handle the demands of their positions.

A solid manager communicates with their employees, sets expectations, and makes sure employees have what they need to do their jobs.

By properly training their managers, businesses can reduce employee disengagement.

Key Takeaways

There are several reasons why employees quietly quit, but businesses can prevent or reverse it.

To be clear, all the blame for the increase in disengaged employees doesn’t fall on managers.

It’s not okay to just stop working and continue to collect a paycheck.

Managers need to make low performers accountable.

It’s been a very tough few years for everyone, but “checking out” is not a viable or healthy solution.

In addition, quiet quitting isn’t an indication that workers are lazy.

A recent Twitter thread by Clint Murphy correctly states that “This is not a lazy generation workforce. It’s a workforce that wants passion, purpose, and balance.”

Fill this form to download every syllabus from Nucamp.

And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

7 Solutions to Prevent Quiet Quitting

1. Assign interesting and challenging work when possible

2. Keep teams connected to boost morale

3. Manage employee stress

4. Provide opportunities for advancement and professional development

5. Recognize and reward hard work

6. Train managers

7. Managers must make low performers accountable, but also offer guidance and support.


These solutions are not new concepts, they were just easier to implement in-person.

The key is to continue to follow these standard practices with a remote workforce.

Companies, managers, and employees have to adapt so that these practices continue.

With proper adaptation to the new normal of hybrid and remote work, businesses can create a work environment that motivates employees to stay invested and engaged.

To learn more about how Nucamp can help you achieve your career goals, please schedule a call with a Nucamp advisor.


Chevas Balloun

Director of Marketing & Brand

Chevas has spent over 15 years inventing brands, designing interfaces, and driving engagement for companies like Microsoft. He is a practiced writer, a productivity app inventor, board game designer, and has a builder-mentality drives entrepreneurship.