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Quiet Quitting: Getting Into the Mind of a “Quiet Quitter”

The “quiet quitter” moniker has come to mean “slacker.” But is this accurate?

A recent Gallup poll states that “quiet quitters” make up at least 50 percent of the U.S. workforce. Defined as “not going above and beyond, but just meeting job expectations,” this trend has been much discussed throughout American business.

According to one, self-admitted “quiet quitter,” she’s been “quietly quitting” for years of working with her current employer. Also a mother of three, she works remotely, and she’s happy about not having to make the two-plus-hour commute to the office. She’s an expert at her job, and both she and her employer are satisfied with the work that she does.

“I see it as a shift from the ideal of ‘hard work = working lots of hours’ to doing a good job and having time to live,” she comments.

She enjoys a good relationship with her boss, who repeatedly offers her raises as well as opportunities for advancement. She will take the annual raise (basically a cost-of-living increase) but rejects the advancement.

Why? She is content with simply fulfilling her job requirements. She cites no “you are expected to go above-and-beyond” clause in the job description, except when necessary and mission-critical. Then, she steps up and gets the job done, recently pulling an all-nighter to get out a proposal to meet a deadline for a colleague who was late in getting her the necessary information. She was lauded by her boss for doing so, but she never wants to be put in that “above and beyond” situation again.

For her, it is understandable. She gets her work done. In addition to having a job, she also wants to have a quality of life. She wants to do good work but does not want to be a slave to it.

In addition to the critical people who are innovative and essential to grow and change a business, a foundation of a company’s stability and performance are those reliable employees who are an essential “cog in the wheel” – the people who just get their assigned tasks done. They are not necessarily “slackers.” A true “slacker” is self-evident, relying on the work of others to get theirs accomplished. A “quiet quitter” may be simply someone who is content being that “cog in the wheel.” Without them, mission-critical things may not get done.


Attend the Business Value Forum breakfast meeting and presentation on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 from 7:30am – 9:30am at Bello Grand Hall, Bryant University. The featured speaker is Mike Ritz, an Executive Director at Gallup who will discuss “Quiet Quitting: The Reality, Impact and Antidotes.” Standish is privileged to be a sponsor of The Business Value Forum.


Stan Davis and Greg Mickelson are Standish Principals. Both also have decades of corporate leadership experience. At Standish, they work with business owners, executives and boards to secure the right leaders for accelerated growth, change, and succession.

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