‘Quiet quitters’ make up half of the US workforce, Gallup finds

About half of US workers could be described as 'quiet quitters', according to new research by survey firm Gallup, meaning they fulfil their job description but are psychologically detached from their work.

According to Gallup’s survey in June of more than 15,000 full-time and part-time US workers, about 50% of respondents met the definition of quiet quitting, a term that has bubbled up to describe a prevalent worker mindset at a moment when the pandemic has upended employees’ priorities and companies’ workplace policies.

The study found that the share of engaged employees held steady at 32% and those who were actively disengaged rose to 18%, up from 17% at the beginning of the year.

Gallup began to see employee engagement sink in late 2021, with workers indicating they felt less connected to their organisation’s mission, felt less clarity around what’s expected of them, and saw fewer opportunities to learn and grow. According to Gallup, most quiet quitters and those in the “actively disengaged” camp are on the lookout for another position.

Gen Z and younger millennials under 35 are one cohort that has seen a substantial drop in engagement. Since the pandemic began, the share of younger workers who strongly agree someone cares about them and encourages their development has fallen steeply. Among young workers who are not in the office full time, less than 40% fully know what’s expected of them at work.

“It’s clear that quiet quitting is a symptom of poor management,” Gallup said in the report.

That insight is an underpinning for the idea of “quiet firing”, another new term getting traction in workplace policy debates that describes what many say is the flip side of quiet quitting. Definitions of quiet firing range from employers who actively make working conditions miserable to managers who deny time, resources or opportunities to employees, thereby encouraging them to leave without dismissing them outright.

Gallup says one effective intervention to boost engagement is for managers to have at least one in-depth conversation per week with each team member that lasts 15 to 30 minutes.

Given that managers are essential in the fight against quiet quitting, it may prove a challenge for employers that they are among the groups that have experienced the greatest drop in engagement: At this point, only about a third of managers are engaged in their jobs.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options