How “Quiet Quitting” can be Solved by Leadership Training

by | Mar 28, 2023

Quiet Quitting

In recent years, there has been a growing concern in the modern workplace about the phenomenon of “quiet quitting”. This trend is characterized by employees doing only the bare minimum required for their jobs, with no extra effort, enthusiasm, or engagement. According to a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article*, bad bosses are the primary reason for quiet quitting. This trend is affecting various industries, including technical and engineering fields and is becoming increasingly prevalent.

The impact of quiet quitting on organizations cannot be overstated. Quiet quitters may complete their assigned tasks, but they won’t volunteer for additional work or take initiative to improve their skills or the quality of their output. This lack of engagement can lead to decreased productivity, poor performance, and ultimately, an impact on the bottom line.

According to a study mentioned in the HBR article, the most effective leaders have 62% of their direct reports willing to give extra effort, with only 3% quietly quitting. In contrast, managers who lack essential leadership skills have only 20% of their direct reports willing to give extra effort, with 14% of their employees quietly quitting. This clearly highlights the importance of effective leadership skills and the need for managers to improve their abilities to lead effectively.

One of the most critical attributes for managers to possess is trust. Employees who trust their managers are more likely to share their thoughts and ideas, leading to better collaboration and problem-solving. A lack of trust in managers can lead to high turnover rates and poor performance, ultimately creating a negative work environment. Effective communication and relationship building are essential to building trust with employees.

However, it is also essential for managers to be aware of their own leadership style and how it affects their employees. For example, a judgmental leader can also lead to quiet quitting. A judgmental leader is one who often criticizes their employees, creating an environment of fear and insecurity. Employees who feel judged and criticized will not be motivated to put in extra effort or engage in creative problem-solving.

Judgmental leaders can benefit from practicing empathy and curiosity. Empathy allows the leader to understand the employee’s perspective and create a sense of connection and trust. Curiosity helps the leader to ask open-ended questions, creating a dialogue that promotes creativity and problem-solving.

Quiet quitting is a growing concern in the modern workplace, and it’s crucial for managers to improve their leadership skills to address this issue effectively. Trust and effective communication are crucial for creating a positive work environment that fosters growth, development, and a more engaged and productive workforce.

One resource for managers looking to improve their leadership skills is the “Blue Fjord Leadership System” training series offered by Shelley Row, P.E,. CSP from Blue Fjord Leaders. This training focuses on developing essential skills such as communication, listening, trust, empathy, and understanding. Attendees are encouraged to identify the attributes of a great manager who inspires them to do their best and creates a more engaged and motivated workforce. By investing in leadership training and practicing empathy and curiosity, managers can create a workplace culture that inspires employees to do their best and drive their organization’s success.

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Zenger, Jack, and Joseph Folkman. “Quiet Quitting Is about Bad Bosses, Not Bad Employees.” Harvard Business Review, 23 Sept. 2022,


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Author Byline: Founder and CEO of Blue Fjord Leaders, Shelley Row P.E. CSP, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speakers. Professional engineer and former senior executive, she was recognized as one of the best minds in advanced traffic management systems.

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