Your Employees Should be ‘Quiet Quitting’

Healthy boundaries are status quo in the modern, purpose-driven workplace.


Recent Gallup poll results show that “at least half of the U.S. workforce is quiet quitting.” 


But quiet quitting—the “annoyingly imprecise and misleading” viral TikTok term for setting harder boundaries at work—“doesn't actually involve quitting,” as NPR’s Amina Kilpatrick explains. “Instead, it has been deemed a response to hustle culture and burnout; employees are ‘quitting’ going above and beyond and declining to do tasks they are not being paid for.” 


It comes as little surprise to those of us in the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) space that so many people are disengaging from companies which exploit their time and value, and which can’t find a way to align business interests with a higher purpose. Meanwhile, studies show that employees who feel fulfilled at work are seeing two-to-five times higher work and life outcomes, while their purpose-driven companies boast 30 percent greater innovation. 


Our challenge now is to adapt the basic structure our companies rely on—from internal processes to culture—with purpose in mind. Let’s take quiet quitting seriously, not as a threat to productivity, but rather as an opportunity to redefine employee engagement. 




The global economy lost approximately $7.8 trillion as a direct result of the widespread unhappiness and consequent disengagement of the workforce. In the United States, workforce productivity fell 2.5 percent last quarter, which TIME reports is the “steepest annual drop since 1948,” causing some employers to go so far as “moderating employees’ keyboard activity.” 


Evidently, managers are struggling to combat productivity fall-off. It’s unclear to many whether quiet quitting warrants a serious response, and what one would even look like. “Many people feel perplexed,” according to The New York Times


Why do you need a term to describe something as ordinary as going to work and doing your job, even if it’s not well? Some people feel validated for never raising their hands at work, or judged because they actually like being overachievers…Then there are those who are envious: They wish they could quietly quit, but believe they could never get away with it because of their race or gender. 


However, when purpose-minded leaders hear that 88 percent of employees expect companies to not just make money, but positively impact society as well, they see an opportunity to think about productivity differently. 


When employees talk about or practice quiet quitting, ironically or not, management should take every opportunity to reassess amongst themselves what policies could help create a more fulfilling and engaging workplace culture. Frank dialogue about the boundaries, expectations, policies, and benefits would help employees feel a greater sense of dignity and fulfillment at work.




Despite their huge teams and decades of established policy, the world’s largest companies are increasingly focusing on ESG to bolster employee engagement while leveraging their enterprises to do good in the world. Thanks in part to exciting new tech solutions, volunteerism, philanthropy, and skills-sharing are rising in popularity from adidas to Airbnb because of the layer of purpose they add to company culture. 




63 percent of employees are looking to their employers for opportunities to incorporate purpose in their day-to-day work, and tech platforms are making it easier to find a variety of local volunteer opportunities. 

When considering whether to volunteer, it’s right that we ask “Where can I be of the most help?” instead of “What’s in it for me?” However, the Mayo Clinic reports that getting involved with your community can have many health benefits, which also shouldn’t be ignored. Perhaps another question we should be asking ourselves is: “How can I make doing good a part of my daily life, at work, at home, and in my community?” 

Read more in our recent blog post, “Volunteering—the meaningful path to health and wellness.




Gen Zs and millennials are “struggling with financial anxiety, while trying to invest in environmentally sustainable choices.” As Deloitte reports in its “Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey”:  


They feel burned out, but many are taking on second jobs, while pushing for more purposeful—and more flexible—work. They press their employers to tackle climate change, particularly when it comes to efforts they can get directly involved in, but businesses may still be missing opportunities to drive deeper and broader climate action. They have inspired organizations to take action to address workplace mental health, but they are not always comfortable talking about these issues or taking advantage of the resources available.


As the younger generations begin to fill management and leadership positions in every industry, they’re bringing this fresh set of priorities with them. The new direction is clear: the nature of work itself is changing to become more closely aligned with purpose. 




Deed just announced our Communities feature, which empowers purpose-minded managers to bring your employees into the modern, inclusive, and responsible workplace, with features including: 


  • Purpose-driven social network to share good deeds like volunteering and donations with friends and colleagues


  • Interest-based communities that anyone can organize around employee resource groups, favorite causes, giving and volunteering habits, or any other way of doing good together


  • Personalized feed where useful content is aggregated from across all of the user’s communities


Employees deserve recognition for what good they do, and we hope that Communities will help you create a culture that values conversation about volunteerism, giving, and skill-sharing.




While quiet quitting isn’t what it sounds like, purpose-minded corporate leaders can make use of its wide resonance by starting a conversation about how purpose will propel our companies forward. 


To demonstrate your impact in an authentic way through advanced reporting, diverse programming, and pitch-perfect storytelling, you’ll need a community of changemakers to support you. 


Whether you’re interested in transitioning from a legacy platform that hasn’t changed with the times or just getting your impact program off the ground, Deed is your partner in the modern, purpose-driven workplace. Reach out now to see how we can help you incorporate social into your company’s future.

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