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Salary & Trends

Silent Resignations: Understanding Quiet Quitting and How To Prevent It

If one of your employees suddenly shows a lack of initiative and keeps cutting back on work, this can be a sign that the person has already resigned internally.

There are a number of reasons for internal resignation; the most common are dissatisfaction and lack of perspective. Internal resignation mainly affects large companies, as the structure is usually less personal and employees feel not integrated enough.

We want to explain to you what signs of internal resignation employers should look out for and how to successfully avoid this problem.

Since the productivity of an employee who has resigned internally drops sharply, companies should work to prevent this condition.

What is Internal Resignation?

An internal resignation is a condition in which an employee only performs the minimum of work and refuses all additional services and any commitment.

This is first noticeable in the lack of motivation of the employee, who has mentally checked out of their position. Employees have the option to quit their job, but often cannot do so for personal reasons and thus struggle through the workday.

In the Employee Psychology, this condition is understood as a covert conflict of an employee who passively-aggressively protests against the employment relationship.

Since the person concerned does not express the dissatisfaction publicly, it often goes unnoticed and only becomes visible at the falling performance rate.

In many cases, the silent resignation eventually leads to a legal termination, and this causes the increase of employee turnover within the company.

Differences between Internal Resignation and “Quiet Quitting”

Internal resignation is not the same as quiet quitting. When employees have resigned internally, they refuse to work because of lack of recognition and lack of perspectives.

Quiet Quitting, on the other hand, means that employees still enjoy their work, but consciously decide not to bring any additional commitment to the job.

More and more people give more importance to their private life and refuse additional work, even if it is paid for. Employees with a high affective commitment show initiative and are interested in constantly improving the employment relationship.

Imputed commitment exists when employees only stay at their job out of necessity and pursue exclusively their own goals.

Quiet Quitters fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

The Five Stages of Internal Resignation

Resignation due to dissatisfaction does not happen overnight, because a number of factors come together here that put a strain on the person concerned. Usually this process takes several months or even years and the employee's frustration increases continuously. Generally, an internal resignation is divided into five different phases:

1. Frustration: The employee feels dissatisfied due to failures or is not satisfied with the management behavior of the employer. Additionally, there are often reasons such as too much pressure to perform or a bad working atmosphere.

2. Reduced Performance: Personal initiative decreases and the amount of work is reduced to a minimum.

3. Resignation: The employee pulls back and only does the job by the book.

4. Total Demotivation: Sick notes accumulate and the employee begins a passive-aggressive protest. The staff motivation reaches rock bottom.

5. Leaving the Job: The final step is either a change of job or resignation.

Potential Reasons for Silent Resignation or Quiet Quitting

There are various reasons for silent resignation and quiet quitting. Employees may develop the perception that their job expectations are not being met and increasingly feel that their work is pointless.

In addition, disputes with colleagues or managers can be a reason for withdrawal. Hierarchical or authoritarian leadership styles are perceived negatively by employees and often have a negative impact on engagement.

Furthermore, excessive controls by the employer can also lead to this condition. Major changes within the organization or in the work system, with which the employee does not agree, are also frequently attached as a reason.

Indicators of “Mentally” Quitting a Job

As an employer, you should look out for the following signs to prevent the employee from quitting:

  • An employee's sick days suddenly accumulate
  • The person in question often complains about the employment relationship and expresses himself increasingly sarcastically
  • The employee does not bring in new ideas
  • Working time is only completed
  • Offers for professional development are denied
  • Private interests dominate the working day

How to Prevent Internal Resignations and Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitters are an enormous burden for companies, especially in times of a shortage of skilled workers, which means that they lose important personnel and qualified talent.

Since hiring processes take a lot of time and require just as many resources, as a company, you should try to make the workplace as pleasant as possible for your employees. Effective solutions include:

Reach Out to Your Employees

Employees often feel misunderstood when there is a lack of contact between employer and employee. By regularly talking to your employees, you can find out if they are comfortable in the workplace or what improvements are needed. Alternatively, anonymous satisfaction surveys can be conducted here.

Offer Your Employees Attractive Benefits

Perks such as flexible working hours, continuing education courses, fair bonuses and awards, and the opportunity to work from home provide more motivation for your employees.

Recognition For Work Performance

When employees perform well, this should also be appreciated. Appreciation goes beyond mere praise and refers to recognition of the whole person. Employers can achieve this through respect, employee empowerment, and opportunities for employees to shape their own work.

Provide a Good Work Environment

A good working climate includes factors such as a high level of respect, helpfulness, open communication, a relaxed atmosphere and cooperation between employees at different levels of the hierarchy.

Fair Pay and Opportunities for Advancement

A serious trigger for employee frustration is unfair pay. If a job offers no opportunities for advancement, employees quickly look for another job.

Inner resignation becomes apparent through a gradual withdrawal of the employee. The affected person performs only a minimum of work and refuses any engagement at the workplace.

In most cases, an internal resignation ends with an actual resignation and thus the loss of a worker for the company.

To avoid this condition, employers should create the most pleasant working environment possible, where employees can contribute themselves and feel valued.

TieTalent can help you find new talent and simplify the hiring process. With our services, your company can save valuable time and resources and recruit employees who are such a perfect fit for your company that they certainly won't think about resigning. We are particularly top of the line in IT and digital marketing. Not hiring on TieTalent yet? Test the platform for free here!

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