15th November 2022

How to Deal with the Quiet Quitting Movement

Quiet quitting is the term that’s taken the business world by storm in 2022.

Rather than volunteering to work late on a Friday night, organising the collection for Janet’s birthday or hand-delivering that all-important document after hours, quiet quitters avoid going ‘above and beyond’. They likely don’t see the point or the reward for working harder, so why should they?

If you’re a manager/leader and noticed some of your team might be ‘quiet quitting’, there are a number of things to look into.

How managers and leaders can understand (and resolve) ‘quiet quitting’ behaviour

If someone is unhappy in their job, it normally means one of four things. They either believe they should be paid more, developed more or recognised more. Or they don’t like their boss!

To get to the bottom of why the person isn’t happy, and take steps to resolve the situation, it helps to think about things in three areas:

  • Management
  • Development
  • Purpose

Now, let’s take one at a time.


Are you a micromanager, or do you empower your team?

In my opinion, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. My advice? Be a better manager! When someone is unhappy with how you treat them, they’ll eventually move to do the bare minimum.

A lot of the time, managers don’t receive training. If that’s you, look at what you can do to go from being an ok manager to an exceptional one. Invest some time into really understanding what it means to be a great manager

If I could advise you to home one skill, it’s coaching. Take any great leader and I can guarantee they are awesome at coaching. It’s one of the most underrated superpowers of a great manager. It doesn’t take a long time to get good at it, but it does take lots of practice and awareness to become a truly impactful leader.


A common reason why people resign is that they don’t think they can progress or develop within their current role. So, take a step back and ask if you are providing enough opportunities for your team members to learn and grow.

One common issue to avoid is assuming you know what a person needs without asking them. You may think they need one thing, but in fact, they think something else would be more valuable. Ask the individual to share their thoughts on the types of learning opportunities they’d like, and where they feel their skills gaps might be, and then you can come up with a solution together.

It’s often difficult to prioritise learning as we’re all busy and time-poor. To enable effective learning, create a structure that allows for accountability, support and time.

One way you to do this as a manager is to hold yourself and your team member accountable. Approach it by stating that you’re going to check in on how their learning is going every now and again, instead of saying ‘you have to do this by then’.

Next, ensure you support them.

Remember, everyone learns differently, so discuss how each person feels (or knows) they learn best. If you know that any of your team are neurodiverse, ask if there are any accommodations you can make to help.

Providing the right support for someone can make them feel valued and listened to, and this may lead them to stop their quiet quitting behaviour.


A lot of my clients want to work for organisations that have a strong and clear purpose or to know that they are at least thinking about purpose in some way.

At a high level, you should ask ‘does my organisation have a purpose?’. Even if it does, many of your team will still want to know why they’re coming in to work every day.

Let’s take a look at your purpose as an Auditor, for example. Of course, companies should have accurate numbers, but it can be a struggle to connect with the ‘deeper’ purpose of why that role really matters. For auditors it could be: transforming the future of our industry, rebuilding the reputation of important corporate needs or providing clients with great service.

So how do we connect the work we do, to a wider purpose? As managers and leaders, the best thing we can do is make it very clear to our team what our purpose is as a company. It also matters on an individual level too.

Ask your team the following questions:

  • What do you value?
  • What matters to you in life?

Then you can discuss how you can support them to bring together their personal purpose, with what they’re doing professionally.

If a person feels no alignment with their work and their purpose, they just fall back to doing the bare minimum they can do to get by.

Even simply having a conversation with someone about what they care about in life shows that you are taking an active interest. And it might just be enough to shift their mindset from quiet quitting to pushing forward.

Paid more

And on getting paid more, sometimes our hands are just tied on this. So, try to get creative, what can you do instead? Use a learning budget to pay for training, give people a short paid sabbatical or figure out what they really need to help improve things – without increased pay. I had a client who asked for a payrise to pay for increased fuel costs, and their boss agreed for them to work from home 4 days a week instead – actually a much better outcome.

In conclusion…

It’s easy to blame someone’s behaviour on laziness, but by looking inwards, you have the power to positively influence the people you manage. Take that time for self-reflection, become good at coaching, provide development opportunities, and be sure to bring purpose into the conversation.

Need to work on your coaching skills?

I offer coaching for finance professionals so that they can become even better versions of themselves. Get in touch to book a 30-minute discovery call where together we can lay out an action plan, and help you understand what personal coaching can do for you.

Oliver Deacon

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