At first glance, there seems to be two conflicting narratives out there right now on the “state of work.”
It is hard to ignore the latest layoff-centric headlines, which hit big tech firms earlier this year before trickling into other job sectors. But at the same time, quiet quitting remains the “think piece” word of the moment, appearing in national articles since spring of this year.
Though not the same as an employee packing his or her bags permanently, quiet quitting is about disengaging or changing work patterns while still on payroll.
For Atlanta entrepreneur Greg Sloan, the phenomenon of quiet quitting is an emotional decision, but it did not arise out of thin air. In fact, he sees it as a new scene in the ‘future of work’ saga unfolding before our very eyes.
“We’re in a long drama that started some 20 years ago,” he told Hypepotamus.
Sloan said the first act started after 9-11, when employees started searching for more meaningful work experiences. The second act started with the Great Recession, when employees felt less certain about corporate leadership practices.
Now, Sloan says quiet quitting in the post-pandemic area is a sign that we’ve started the third act.
“The music is speeding up and people are making decisions very quickly,” he said.
According to Nashville-based Work Institute, only 7% of employees actually leave a job because of compensation and benefits. Most start a new position in search of career growth or work-life balance.
Sloan described quiet quitting as an “unsettling inside” of a person when they realize that what they love about a job is outweighed by what they hate and what they will tolerate for some time.
“I think the quiet quitting is really each individual’s [own] analysis….they begin to internally say, ‘Okay, I’m here until I leave.’”
Building Purpose Pulse
We last spoke to Sloan in March to learn about his startup Go Beyond, an HR and employee engagement platform.
The team recently expanded its product offerings with the launch of Purpose Pulse, a streamlined survey tool that taps into employee motivations and what is behind increased burnout.
“We didn’t set out to build this tool,” Sloan told Hypepotamus. “We were working with HR folks, telling them one of the problems that they were facing was because employees’ purpose was not aligned with the company’s purpose. The HR folks were telling us, we believe you, but do you have any data to prove it?”
Purpose Pulse isolates six root causes impacting the rise of quiet quitting, be it an employee’s stress responses, energy, and personal fulfillment at work.
The team has been beta testing Purpose Pulse since the latter part of 2021 as they refined the question asking process.
Using predictive analytics, companies are given an aggregate snapshot of their teams while individuals get access to their own reports.
“I do believe we found [a way to] help a leader uncover where more of their people are struggling,” Sloan said while adding that “we want companies to [address quiet quitting] internally before their people quit.”
As for how this “workplace drama” ends? It is anyone’s guess, added Sloan.
“We’re optimistic that the finale is going to be a realignment. What we would like to tell companies is that one of the solutions to the quiet quitting is a realignment of your workforce and maybe even your workplace.”