Quiet Quitter or Just a Slacker?




Lots and LOTS of articles written almost ad nauseum (current article excluded) about #quietquitting. Are you, or your team members legitimately quietly quitting or are you just truly a slacker? Here's the 3 things I have learned since the beginning of this monumental and seismic shift in the workplace post-COVID.


  1. Trust is earned.

  2. There are 3 qualities of a highly effective team member

  3. A truly remote workplace means you can also be replaced more easily.


First, let's talk about trust. It's earned. It's earned by the employee in their daily actions and it's also earned by the employer in the trust they give you and how they treat you. I heard a great industry trainer named Danny Cahill talk about his own mind shift away from being a leader that surveils his people to being a leader that trusts his team and allows them get their work done. In the times where I have had to 'surveil' and inspect what I expected, I was often disappointed. I have had team members who felt they could run their own businesses from my company because they knew I was out of the office for the day, do their homework on my computers when I was in a meeting in the next room, and even type up their husband's resume and letter of resignation and copy it on my company computers and on my company time. To quote Ronald Reagan, "Trust but verify." If you want to be trusted, you have to be trustworthy. If you think it's ok to sneak out early from work at home, then give a little the other way and come in early the next day or stay later one night to finish something. Relationships are all about give and take. But, if you are constantly taking and not giving back, then eventually, this will come back to bite you. Just because your boss doesn't say something, does not mean they don't notice. Character is what you do when you think no one is watching.


Second, let's talk about the qualities that make you a great team member. Patrick Lenconi wrote a great article about this for #tedx. You have to be hungry, you have to be humble, and you have to be smart and you have to have all three to be a GREAT team member. I have worked with some amazingly talented people who reminded you early and often how good they were. I have worked with some amazingly talented people who were lazy and tried to get everyone else to do their grunt work. What would YOUR team say about you? Do you try and take credit for the success of the project or are you the one who throws her teammate under the bus at the first sign of a challenge? Humble people (and leaders too) believe that “Humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking about ourselves less.” What makes you a great team member?


Lastly, in this world of remote work, you can be more easily replaced since your manager might not be bound to hire someone who is within a drivable distance to your office. If they have the whole country as their recruiting pool, there are plenty of people to take your job if they have a good value proposition. If you are feeling like your career is stalled or you are not getting the recognition and advancement you deserve, think first before you quietly quit. Be honest with yourself and if it's time to move on, then move on with #integrity. Don't take someone's paycheck and then give them the minimum required to not get fired. If your boss is taking advantage of you, then find someone who appreciates you and someplace where you can go to work each day excited and enthused. Life is just too short.