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How to Address Quiet Quitting in Tech

The Betts Team
November 28, 2022

Quiet Quitting – is it actually a thing? Should tech companies be worried? Betts Recruiting has done our own research into the trends and compared with external studies, and the results all tell a similar story. 

Continue reading below to learn more about what is driving tech workers to “quiet quit,” and some of the best ways to address it:

What is Quiet Quitting?

Despite all the buzz, you’re not going to find unanimous agreement on what Quiet Quitting means. Basically, it’s more of what sparked the Great Resignation, which was also often misunderstood and buried under assumptions. The same factors that made employees quit in the far off era of Pre-2020 still apply, but they’re exacerbated by the continuing fallout from the pandemic and a clash of cultures within the US workforce.

According to Gallup, at least 50% of employees in the US are some form of quiet quitting. Of those surveyed by Betts Recruiting in the tech industry, 75% know someone who has quiet quit and 50% say it has affected their own organization. This has impacted the workplace in various ways, including:

  • 71% said productivity diminished
  • 57% saw less contribution to team projects
  • 43% noted some colleagues not participating in meetings
  • 100% noticed a lack of passion or enthusiasm among coworkers

However, it’s also important to note that employee engagement and disengagement rates are still better than their worst periods in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Additional research in the tech sector reveals that many employees see a lack of investment in their roles from leadership, reinforcing uncertainties about the future. While these types of trends are not new, Quiet Quitting is mostly Gen Z’s unique response to the cultural divide.

Before you go to the extremes of mass firing or forcing yourself to make awkward TikTok posts to address this growing gap with your younger workforce, Betts Recruiting has come up with these tips based on research to help you build solutions for employees who Quiet Quit.

Address Quiet Quitting 

87.5% of Betts survey respondents said that their organization was not engaging in any conversations with employees on Quiet Quitting. This contributes directly to the propagation of the issue by creating a status quo where communication is avoided (one of the worst kinds of environments for Gen Z). After all, if you won’t take the lead on addressing Quiet Quitting, why would your employees bother to bring it up?

Transparency is key to weeding out true underperformers from those that feel unnoticed in this day and age. Generations Y (Millennials) and especially Z are used to information flowing freely, and can take it as a bad sign if it doesn’t within your organization. You don’t need to overshare, but a few open acknowledgements can go a long way to rebuilding trust. 

Give Attention to Remote Workers

62.5% of Betts survey respondents were remote workers, reflecting how Quiet Quitting has grown out of the “new normal” that the global pandemic brought. What is most telling, however, is that concerns over development and general interest from managers is most prevalent among this demographic as well as with hybrid workers. 

Given that the Working From Home (WFH) pivot actually increased productivity in tech, it’s easy to see why many employees pull back when they don’t see performance investment scaling with their performance output. On the flip side, remote work presents culture challenges that can create a perfect sStorm for burnout. However, following Betts guidelines on redefining culture for remote and hybrid workers can help you overcome these and cut to the heart of Quiet Quitting. 

Give Attention to Younger Employees

According to Gallup, 69% of employees under the age of 35 were either not engaged or actively disengaged from the workplace in 2022. More importantly, there was a sizable drop from 2019 in the number of those who felt their development was a priority for their managers among this demographic in particular. 

Culture clashes between young employees and older leaders isn’t new, but the pandemic introduced a lot of stressors that weren’t there before. Generation Z entered the workforce at an unprecedented time and both sides of this equation are often still figuring things out together. The data shows that younger remote workers are looking for direction as much as a sign that their leadership cares about their growth before committing to the organization.

Invest in Career Growth

100% of Betts survey respondents said their organizations were still investing in learning and development…so what gives with this headline? If you haven’t skipped too many of the previous sections, you have probably put together that the most common factors behind Quiet Quitting are a lack of communication, visibility and guidance felt by employees. This means that existing development programs – or just the way they are being presented – are not helping engagement.

2022 brought on a lot of uncertainty, especially in the technology sector. As the Great Resignation – and Great Rehiring – showed the previous year, employees are ready to divest from any company they fear isn’t looking out for them and candidates are considering the opportunities to move up within an organization more seriously. There remains plenty of room here, however, to show that you are willing to help your workforce grow into the type of professionals they want to be.

Reward Performance

This one is obvious – most employees want to see better pay. With inflation rates growing in 2022, even while remote and hybrid workers in tech maximize productivity, many are seeing a decreased return on their labor. 

Compensation has evolved throughout the industry since the start of the pandemic and continues to go through changes from entry level to executive salaries. While the downsizing by enterprises that grew fast in 2020 dominates headlines, the reality is that the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive for the right talent at the right time. The winners will be those that are able to provide both the culture and the performance rewards current employees and candidates expect.

Competitive Compensation is Key to Quiet Quitting in Tech

Compensation rates in the tech industry went through major milestones from 2021 to 2022, and we have the data to prove it. Discover how much the market shifted and what your new salary benchmarks need to be to attract top talent by reviewing our Compensation Guide for 2022.

Download the 2022 Compensation Guide by Betts Recruiting and see firsthand how candidate expectations have changed over the past year.