BlogHuman Resources

Quiet Quitting and the Problem of Disengaged Learners

Emily Mason
Writer, Learning and Development
Human Resources
October 4, 2023

Address 'quiet quitting' by understanding disengaged learners, recognizing signs of disinterest, and implementing strategies to reignite their passion for learning.

Cultivate a Culture of Learning

You’ve likely heard of it by now: quiet quitting, the topic that everyone on the internet seems to be talking about, defending, attacking, or celebrating. It all began when a TikTok user shared a 17-second video garnering hundreds of thousands of likes and sparking a global conversation about boundaries with work, balancing your workload and how you can or should express dissatisfaction when dealing with frustration at work.

The original video and the wider #QuietQuitting trend both emphasize the reality that our lives are more than just work, encouraging employees to step back from over-functioning in their jobs, which often leads to burnout.

Perspectives on quiet quitting are numerous and vary widely, but the concept has clearly struck a nerve. In just a few short weeks the conversation has expanded to include plenty of stories from employees who (spitefully or not) claim they’ve ‘quietly quit’ their jobs. They claim that they feel free and that no one has seemed to notice their drop in productivity.

There seem to be lots of contributing causes to quiet quitting, but several common threads include:

  • High rates of employee burnout.
  • The recent exodus out of the office to work from home has blurred the lines between work and personal life.
  • Smaller teams and budget cuts, requiring employees to take on extra responsibilities at work, whether they wish to or not.

In our estimation, quiet quitting has a root cause beyond feeling unappreciated or overworked.

The reality is that a huge percentage of our employees are disengaged. Polls estimate that as high as 15% of the U.S. workforce are actively disengaged employees. 

Disengaged employees:

  • Have lost sight of where they fit and their unique contribution to your business. 
  • Feel unnoticed and unappreciated for their efforts.
  • Get lost in the crowd, whether your team has 50 or 5,000 members.
  • Will ultimately struggle to complete their training, exercises, workshops, and assigned learning tracks.
  • Have lost their drive and passion to contribute and grow in their skills. 

So how can you meet the challenges of the #QuietQuitting movement and re-engage your employees?

How to prevent quiet quitting and improve engagement

1. Increase the value of your L&D offering 

Outdated training material and processes can unfortunately increase employee frustration and disengagement. A great place to start is to take an audit of your current materials, examining where and how they’re accessed, all the way down to how they look. What is the experience like when users log in and try to complete required training? 

The Continu platform prioritizes a multimedia experience, allowing you to upload and sync materials like training videos, flexible articles and wikis, assessments, video coaching, and important documents for onboarding or reference. All these distinct components can be easily accessed from a beautiful and intuitive dashboard and navigation within our LMS.

Many in the quiet quitting crowd cite frustrations with perceived hypocrisy within leadership, but investing in a modern LMS shows your team that you care about the time they put into learning, and you want it to be as useful as possible for them. 

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2. Applaud performance with our social & community tools 

The social and community features built into the Continu LMS allow your employees to comment and like others’ progress through courses, and to re-share notifications when someone completes a learning module.

This workplace recognition, although simple, helps build a culture where disengaged learners can benefit from positive feedback and see a greater connection and purpose to learning. This helps your whole team to grow in recognizing simple, everyday successes that would otherwise be overlooked, building a more positive ethos around workplace learning. 

3. Create personalized learning tracks 

Quiet quitting is fueled by disconnection. Employees feel disconnected from management, disconnected from the deeper meaning behind their tasks, and disconnected from the bigger picture of their careers and passions. 

Employ a modern LMS like Continu to counteract disengagement with personalized learning. After 1-1 meetings with managers and their team members to discuss personal goals and pinpoint possible intersections of work and their passions, managers can shape and assign specific courses or continuing education modules at the individual or small group level. 

The Continu platform is perfectly suited to do this through Smart Segmentation™, our unique way to tailor learning through custom variables to better serve your team. You can also spark interest and curiosity by recommending new courses, modules, videos, or training materials for employees to explore within the LMS, prompting them to take ownership of their development based on new interests. 

4. Increase autonomy across teams and management 

The powerful reporting tools within Continu help managers to track user progress through the courses and tasks they’ve been assigned. We know what you’re thinking–isn’t micromanagement the exact opposite of what the ‘quiet quitters’ are asking for?

Ironically, the detailed reporting tools in an automated LMS give your managers the ability to improve productivity and efficiency without having to micromanage everyday tasks. They won’t need to constantly pester team members with well-intentioned but distracting questions about how their training is progressing. Employee autonomy is actually reinforced by automated workplace tools to reduce organizational drag. 

Our LMS integrations with frequently used tools like Slack and Google Calendar also put the ownership for completing training back into employees' hands, making learning and development a part of everyday workflows.

5. Build meaningful connections within your team

Although it’s impossible to manufacture artificially, the community within your workplace is crucial to combat quiet quitting. Collaborative workplace learning can prevent siloing into isolated groups within the company through shared training and exchanging ideas.

Our ‘people search’ function within Continu helps facilitate employee interactions and opportunities for mentorship and cross-department connections during the training process. 

Re-engage with employees to prevent quiet quitting using Continu

Disengaged employees can transform into active, thriving team members with the support of an organization that truly values learning. 

That’s why we built Continu, a platform for modern teams in a distracted, disengaged, and dramatically-evolving era of work. It’s our goal to replace overly-complicated LMS software with forward-thinking solutions to help your team to be more connected, integrated, and social. 

Continu helps your HR or L&D team to:

  • Create entire training courses within the platform and easily update old materials
  • Deliver training modules directly to employees 
  • Develop and foster a learning environment to fight quiet quitting
  • Gamify the training experience with rewards, badges, and leaderboards
  • Segment your learners into smaller groups with similar learning preferences or other traits 
  • Assess employees before and after training sessions 
  • Track & measure training progress
  • Suggest new courses or modules that may spark curiosity or interest in your team members 
  • Show your commitment to helping your team get the most out of workplace learning. 

Quiet quitting may be the newest buzzword, but it points to a timeless problem of disengaged employees. With Continu as the vehicle for training, development and centralized communication, you can increase engagement and provide a valuable experience for all your employees, no matter how long they stay with your company. 

Want to book a personalized demo to see our advantage? We’d love to help you and hear about your L&D goals and challenges

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About the Author
Emily Mason is the Content Writer at Continu.
Emily Mason
Writer, Learning and Development

Emily is a copywriter and content marketer specializing in Learning and Development. Emily is currently based in West Michigan. She loves words, coffee, and walking by the lake.

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