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The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Gen Z’s Mentality of “Quiet Quitting” has negative effects on workplace

Photo by Cole Nuss
Student Lucas Schlichting works at Target, bringing out a cart of groceries for a customer. He works hard, but he is pushing through for the future.

Quiet quitting is term coined by Brian Creely in March of 2022 to describe employees who put in the bare minimum effort into their work until they quit or get fired. This has increased especially with Gen-Z employees, who are continuing to enter the workforce.

“It is, I’m just going to work to whatever my contract says, I’m going to do the bare minimum. Until people incentivize me to do more,” counselor Sydney Piras said.

Piras said this trend has been developing out of burnout, not having enough pay or not feeling valued. Everyone’s reason for putting in the bare minimum is different, but all lead to similar outcomes.

“I think there is an aspect that people have certain expectations about their work and how good of  a job they want to do and I think most people, when given time and training want to do a good job on things,” Piras said.

You don’t move from your role to a manager role, you’re just switching over.

— Rachel Steil

A major tendency that has been occurring amongst the quiet quitting members of the workforce are these movements from company to company. This lack of strong loyalty to a singular business, company or work group has put a halt on the number of people moving up the work ladder. This causes people to search for jobs at their current level with better pay.

“You don’t move from your role to a manager role, you’re just switching over,” said Rachel Steil, English Teacher and Pathways Coordinator.

According to a Gallup survey in June 2022, 50 percent of workers 18 and older are quiet quitting. This means at least half the population is dissatisfied with their job and are not putting in the full necessary work.

“I’ve seen so many of my past co-workers slack off and not finish their job well,” junior Makayla Duffy-Wightman said.

Especially in the context of schools, teachers and students putting their fullest effort allows for a thriving environment. Teachers who go above what is expected of them have students who are more engaged in their class and do better on tests and with grades.

“I think it would make me like, resent the class. A teacher who was there and just assigns work and be like, read this book or do this assignment, stuff like that and doesn’t actually teach the class as a teacher,” Duffy-Wightman said.

One reason quiet quitting has emerged is from different priorities of each generation, like those of Gen-zers compared to those of Gen-xers. A major difference is Gen-Z does not want to bring work home, “Why would I give  away all this free work?” Steil expected of younger employees.

Gen-Z also finds importance in social matters. These things help determine where people want to work and if an employer doesn’t suffice to an employee’s standards then they might quit or put in low effort.

“Your generation is looking at your parents who work all the time. And you’re like, ‘We’re not going to do that. We’re going to be really present, we’re going to live our best live’s,'” Steil said.

“If you find yourself in that place, do some self reflection figure out what brings you joy and work towards that goal,” Steil said.

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About the Contributor
Cole Nuss
Cole Nuss, Layout Editor
I am Cole Nuss, a junior layout editor. I do a lot of activities and almost always have stuff to do I do: Football, Speech, Sailing, Band, Peer Helpers, and Theater in school and for fun I like to be outside doing anything like skiing in the winter and swimming in the summer. I love nature and hanging out with friends, I also love traveling and seeing new places. I am most looking forward to creating connections with people I interview about stories and fellow staff members.

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    Briana BarreiroFeb 6, 2024 at 9:27 am

    I think this is a really important topic and you did a great job of explaining it. The facts you put such as ‘50% of workers 18 and older are quiet quitting’ was a really good way to put it into proportion for the people reading.