Anger over wages leads a generation of younger people to ‘silently quit’

Almost half of Irish workers under the age of 30 have said they intend to do only the ‘necessities’ at work if their pay or promotion stays the same, according to a new poll.

Dubbed “quiet quitting,” the new phenomenon sees young professionals fulfilling only the basics of their professional role, making sure they don’t bring any further initiative or improvement to the position.

The survey, conducted by recruiter Robert Walters, found that the top reason 40 percent of workers choose to “quiet quit” is pay.

The results also show that remote work favors quiet quitters, as 37 percent of managers say hybrid and remote work makes it difficult to measure their team’s performance.

Robert Walters Ireland Country Manager said quitting quietly is often a “subconscious action that springs from frustrations with the workplace”.

Suzanne Feeney said: “This behavior is not new – there have always been less motivated people in the workplace”.

“It’s easy for managers to tease their employees for lack of productivity, but if they don’t get to the ‘why’, their motivation may have waned, then the quiet quitting could become a silent movement that is detrimental to the company’s productivity impact and profitability.”

From October 1st, energy prices are set to skyrocket across Ireland, with some suppliers announcing price increases of over 30 per cent.

Companies including Electric Ireland, Prepay Power and Community Power have warned customers about rising gas and electricity prices.

Coupled with the 8.7 percent inflation rate, the accruing increases dwarf the current 5.3 percent average pay rise across the country — which is up more than 2 percent since 2021.

Ms Feeney said rising costs and inflation suddenly made younger workers feel severely underpaid for their role and some were reluctant to do more outside the parameters of their job description as a result.

“In all cases of economic hardship, it is young workers with lower wages who feel the financial strain more,” she said.

“Their lack of experience – further angered by the pandemic – puts them in a much weaker position than their older, more experienced peers when trying to negotiate higher wages.

“Employers won’t be able to raise wages at the same rate of inflation – that’s a fact, so softer perks and benefits really have a chance to make a difference here.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing potential employees being offered coupons, travel cards, and streaming subscriptions.”

Ms Feeney said the quiet exit creates an “imbalance in the team” – where engaged workers find they “need to fill the gap or grapple with the lack of performance of their non-engaged colleagues”.

“This, in turn, will either burn out or frustrate the workers who are doing everything they can to produce at a high level,” she said.

“Business leaders cannot allow ‘giving up quietly’ to become the norm – accountability is a key part of that. If “quiet quitters” benefit from being “out of sight, out of mind,” then employers shouldn’t hesitate to make more office time a requirement.

“As much as we’ve learned new ways of working during the pandemic, we had some great work habits even before Covid. These more traditional structures and systems should not be overlooked.” Anger over wages leads a generation of younger people to ‘silently quit’

Fry Electronics Team

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