‘Quiet’ is the workplace word of 2023
By Madison Hoff, Business Insider
It seems fair to say that “quiet” is the workplace word for this year. “Quiet quitting,” “quiet hiring,” and “quiet firing” have all entered the work lexicon in the last several months, each marking a trend in how workers and employers are continuing to adapt to changes in how work works three years after the start of the pandemic. Experts think those “quiet” trends and more are set to continue throughout 2023 and beyond.
While not everything in today’s workplace are related to these quiet terms — there’s also rage applying, career cushioning, and chaotic working to name a few — there are a lot of quiet trends happening at work.
According to Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster, quiet hiring involves shuffling workers into new roles within a company and “happens when people internally are being asked to move to another area internally.”
“Quiet hiring” is one of the “biggest workplace buzzwords” of 2023 per Insider’s reporting. That’s based on Gartner research, which considered it one of nine “Future of Work Trends for 2023.”
Emily Rose McRae of Gartner’s HR Practice said per reporting from GMA that quiet hiring is a workplace trend in 2023 in part because of a shortage in talent.
“We do not have enough talent for the roles that are available,” McRae said. “The jobs report that just came out said we had the lowest number of job seekers in months, so we’re not in a situation where we’re easily finding lots more talent.”
Salemi noted a few other reasons as to why quiet hiring may happen, including that it can be a strategy to get around having to lay off workers. She added that it could be the case too that “the company realizes that the employee’s talent are being underutilized.”
She pointed out that there can be pros to these internal moves like acquiring new skills, but some may find out they aren’t happy with this change. Salemi pointed out a Monster poll that half of those impacted by quiet hiring are in roles that actually don’t match their skills. This could lead to people joining the ongoing Great Resignation.
“Companies are redeploying resources and employees are — depending on their situation — it could be a move or stepping stone to a bigger opportunity or they could feel perhaps like they’re not in alignment with their goals,” Salemi said.
As Insider’s Samantha Delouya reported, “quiet quitting,” or just doing a minimum workload, was one prominent trend last year, and according to Payscale’s new 2023 Compensation Best Practices Report, it “isn’t going away.”
Today’s high inflation of over 6% may also be one reason people are not going above and beyond in their roles.
“In the midst of inflation, these employees who stayed, they’re being asked to take on more and more work for what feels like less pay if they haven’t got a raise or promotion,” Bonnie Chiurazzi, director of market insights at Glassdoor, told Insider. “So when you think of it through their eyes, it seems more of a natural response to the context that they’ve been living through.”
And layoffs, such as those at companies like Spotify and BlackRock, may not help this trend.
Amid those kinds of layoffs, “there is the likelihood that there’ll be increased responsibility for the employees that are left behind,” Ruth Thomas, pay equity strategist at Payscale, told Insider. “And that may potentially exacerbate that quiet quitting movement where employees become more frustrated at the fact that they’re having to take on more responsibility, so that’s a dynamic we see potentially happening.”
Salemi also said she thinks quiet quitting is still taking place in the labor market. Similarly, Chiurazzi thinks the “quiet quitting trend will persist until employers are ready to turn up the volume on employee feedback and really dig into these conversations.”
“I do think quiet quitting will remain prevalent until some of the underlying issues are addressed,” Chiurazzi said.
Chiurazzi pointed to Glassdoor findings that suggest some workers aren’t too happy with their employer. Chiurazzi said about a third “of employees feel a lack of transparency with their current employer,” but also about a third aren’t happy “with how their employer engages employees” and about a third are unhappy with “how their employers follow up on employee feedback.”
Other buzzwords of the year from Insider’s reporting relate to quiet quitting even if they don’t use the word quiet. That includes resenteeism, which Glamour UK’s Bianca London described as “the natural successor to ‘quiet quitting.'”
Another related buzzword of 2023 is Bare Minimum Monday — or as Insider’s Rebecca Knight and Tim Paradis wrote: “the TikTokian progeny of ‘quiet quitting.'” While this involves doing just the minimum on Mondays, it’s similar given quiet quitting includes not doing more than you are required to. However, not all buzzwords are about quiet things in the workplace. Newsweek reported that “loud layoffs” will be a trend this year, and Salemi told Insider “rage applying” is also happening usually because people want to leave “toxic workplaces.”
Quiet firing, thriving, and promotions
Quiet firing is another trend describing what has been taken place for some in the workplace. As Insider’s Britney Nguyen wrote, this quiet term means “employers treat workers badly to the point they will quit, instead of the employer just firing them.”
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