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Quiet quitting: How can employers improve employee engagement?

Author: ICAEW

Published: 22 Nov 2022

Learn about how employers can deter employees from quiet quitting while increasing employee engagement and motivation by using these tips below.

Quiet quitting is a recent term that’s used to explain an old workplace phenomenon, employee disengagement. The term became popular through a TikTok video, but its reach has extended way beyond social media. Employees are fed up with going above and beyond in their current positions as they prioritise a better work/life balance.

As the name suggests, quiet quitting has nothing to do with quitting your job. The term refers to employees doing what is required within their job description. Employees will still show up to do their jobs, but not do additional work outside of their current responsibilities, as well as staying late in the office.

In the age of The Great Resignation, it’s important that employers make sure that employees are engaged in the workplace. Instead of quitting their job on the spot, an employee may pull back on the output they produce at work. When a team member quietly quits from their job, they are stopping themselves from going above and beyond in their current position.

If you’ve experienced decreased employee engagement levels within your company, then there are ways that you can boost employee engagement. This piece explores how employers can improve employee engagement within the workplace.

Provide opportunities for your quiet employees to speak up

Giving quiet employees a platform to speak up will show that as an employer, you are committed to improving employee engagement. What you don’t want is frustrated employees regularly posting issues with their current job on social media, creating communication problems between the employer and employee.

Quiet quitting is rooted in the idea that if an employee speaks up about an issue or idea in the workplace, it can have negative repercussions on them. If you want to make sure that your employees are engaged during the time they’ve spent in their current positions, it’s important that the employer values employee feedback.

By valuing employee feedback, you can use the data and trends you’ve found in surveys to improve the employee experience in the workplace. This gives the employer a starting point to work from, enabling them to overhaul their policies or strategies for improving engagement amongst their employees.

Focus on prioritising a better work/life balance for your employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of work/life balance amongst employees. Young workers have become frustrated as they are not being rewarded and recognised for their hard work by leaders and managers within the workplace. Instead of continuing to work long hours, they are prioritising a better work/life balance.

One simple, but effective way to prevent quiet quitting from becoming the norm is to provide flexible working options for your employees. Giving employees the option to work from home or at the workplace creates an opportunity for them to work in a way that enables them to have a better balance between work and life.

If you have several young employees within your company, it’s crucial that you keep them motivated. We have a piece that provides some tips to keep junior staff members motivated so that they bring their best selves into the workplace. By doing this, it ensures that they want to work for you long term.

Create highly engaging and fulfilling roles 

It’s important for any business that employees understand what’s expected from them. You need to make sure that the positions you create not only add value to your business, but also allow employees to feel engaged at work. What you don’t want is employees feeling like they are a cog in the machine.

To prevent quiet quitters from emerging in your company, you need to make sure that your employees feel as if they are valued and respected. When you’ve hired a new employee, you should work with them right from word go to put together some career goals. By setting goals from the outset, the employee can see that there are opportunities to grow in the company.

Make your employees feel part of your company

When it comes to preventing quiet quitting with your employees, you should make sure that they feel part of your company. Employee engagement is a process that works both ways between the employee and employer. There are many ways that you can increase employee engagement, thus improving the company culture within your organisation.

Holding 1-to-1 meetings, recognising employees’ achievements and investing in employee wellbeing are a few ways that you can do to make employees feel part of your company. You may also decide to create a competition with various departments, giving them an allotted budget to hold a company-wide event.

By putting together activities that demonstrate that you care about your employees without ticking a box, they’ll want to work with you for many years to come.


Quiet quitting has highlighted that employees don’t need to overwork themselves to keep their job. By putting the tips we’ve listed in this piece into practice, employers can prevent a culture of quiet quitting while also improving employee engagement in the workplace.

Interested in learning about retaining employees? We have a piece that explores how as an employer you can avoid losing staff in the era of The Great Resignation.