managers talking to their people

Stop talking about Quiet Quitting (and start talking about investing in your people)

Written by Investors in People

Stop talking about Quiet Quitting (and start talking about investing in your people)

Article Outline

Quiet quitting – the act of coming to work to do just what is expected of you and nothing more – is a buzzword in HR and Leadership circles at the moment.

We discuss why leaders need to focus on supporting people to grow rather than worry about quiet quitting.

What is Quiet Quitting?

The term Quiet Quitting is everywhere right now, and refers to employees who come to work to do just what is expected of them and nothing more. Depending on your perspective, this is an indication of the widespread and increasing levels of disengagement at work, or a bold step towards achieving work life balance in support of better wellbeing.

This is not a new phenomenon, but it’s captured the attention of leaders as they attempt to tackle the challenges of a volatile economic climate at the same time as managing talent shortages.

It’s undeniably a challenging time. But focusing on quiet quitting is not the answer.

Instead, we need to flip it, and explore what we can do to support people in moving in the opposite direction to quiet quitting. To experience a sense of purpose, passion and drive. To feel they are progressing and growing. To have a role which is meaningful and supports their wellbeing.

We need to talk about managers

Harvard Business Review recently published research by Zenger and Folkman which assessed the connection between managers and their teams willingness to ‘go the extra mile’ [i]. The results will surprise no one who has experienced being line managed; if people feel their manager cares about their needs as well as getting the job done, they are much more likely to go above and beyond themselves.

Putting it into numbers..

The top 10% of managers had 62% of their time putting in extra efforts, and just 3% ‘quiet quitting’. The bottom 10% of managers had just 20% of their team prepared to go above and beyond, and 14% quiet quitting.


These stats are supported by other studies; for example, research by Gallup indicated that 70% of the variance they found in engagement was due to the line manager [i].

Investing in improving how your people are managed and led is therefore not a ‘nice to have’ but essential for organisations which rely on their people being engaged and retained to succeed.

4 Things that Great Managers do to address Quiet Quitting


Managers need to get to know their people as individuals, understand their lives and how this impacts their work and find opportunities to connect with them. This builds trust and rapport, and means that the manager can spot the opportunities to provide flexibility or support when they’re needed. Creating opportunities for managers at a similar level to network and share challenges can also be a very effective way of supporting them and encouraging learning from each other.


Designing roles to facilitate job crafting is an over-looked management tool to help people find better fulfilment and engagement in their roles. Ask someone to do something they love and its unlikely you’ll find them quiet quitting. One of our Platinum level clients does this with a simple post-it exercise where a team member writes down their ‘love-it’ and ‘loathe-it’ work tasks. The manager then coaches them into exploring ways to do more of the things they enjoy, and solutions to manage the areas they like less.


The best leaders and managers accept that you can’t stand still when it comes to development, and that learning never stops. Coaching can be a powerful tool as a manager to help people unlock their potential and solve their challenges through asking effective questions and actively listening. It can also be a very effective way for they themselves to achieve greater fulfilment and the self-awareness necessary to improve. In fact, we have a client who has replaced the traditional management training programme entirely with a support network of coaches. The coach supports the manager as an individual with exploring their style and how it impacts on their team members, focusing on their strengths and values.


At Investors in People, we provide organisations with the insights and recommendations which make your business a better place to work. Every member of the team completes a survey which covers the nine core areas of engagement, and our specialists verify the results of this with focus groups or interviews. This results in insights which are actionable, relevant to you and your unique context and can have immediate business impact.

So the next time someone mentions Quiet Quitting, you can tell them you have the answer. It’s as simple as investing in your people.


About Investors in People

Investors in People have been working with a huge range of big and small organisations from Public Sectors, SMEs, Charities, PLCs and anything in between for over 30 years. We have accredited more than 50,000 organisations and our  accreditation is recognised in 66 countries around the world, making it the global benchmark when it comes to people management. So we know we speak your language and can offer the specific kind of support and guidance your organisation needs.

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14th Nov 2023 | Old Billingsgate, London



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