By now you’ve probably heard the term “quiet quitting.” It describes an employee who’s just putting in the time and doing the bare minimum.

It’s not a new concept, though. I’ve known many disengaged employees (or volunteers or partners) over the course of my career. So I’m not sure if the number has increased.

Or maybe we just created a term for it.

In any case, disengagement can be a major factor in the success of your organization. As the boss, you might not be sure about whether someone is in this class. But your employees sure do. And it drives them nuts every day.

Your job is to do something about it.

But guilt-tripping someone isn’t effective. Beating them up about it doesn’t work. And ignoring it just makes the problem worse as it spreads from one person to the next.

The solution is straightforward, but not easy.

  1. Let everyone know that you actually care about engagement.
  2. Clarify the compelling reasons why they should get excited about the work – and the paycheck rarely works.
  3. Show appreciation for, and even reward, the people who are engaged and helping the rest of the team to care more.
  4. Factor teamwork and other intangible factors into how you show people their success is measured.
  5. Talk with each person to uncover what would make them care more about their work.

I suppose you could just hope that someone will resign so you can replace them. But if they’re not dissatisfied with their pay, they may be just fine to stick around as a quiet quitter. And drag the rest of the team down with them.