The Power of Positive Feedback in the Age of Quiet Quitting

Since the early 2020s, the trend of ‘quiet quitting’ has grown drastically. Coming to the forefront thanks to social media, research now estimates that at least 50% of US workers and two-thirds of UK professionals are quiet quitters. 

Quiet quitting doesn’t refer to the action of actively quitting a job. Instead, it refers to employees doing the bare minimum, putting in as little time, energy, and enthusiasm into a job role as possible to get by. This drop in engagement can have serious impacts and implications for a business, like higher absenteeism, toxic behavior in the workplace, and it could even lead to staff retention levels dropping dramatically. So, in this age of quiet quitting, how can something as simple as positive feedback change business outcomes entirely? 

The power of positive feedback is endless. However, it can have huge benefits for workplace engagement and staff retention. In light of this, we’ve rounded up five ways in which positive feedback can help your business thrive in the age of quiet quitting. 

1. Boosts employee engagement 

Something as simple as providing your employees with positive feedback can contribute to higher levels of engagement. Since quiet quitting is based on a lack of employee engagement and enthusiasm, such a simple fix can reduce the percentage of your workforce who might be quiet quitters drastically. If employees hear and feel they are doing a good job whilst making a genuine impact, you’ll find they’re far more connected with and committed to their work and business goals, boosting engagement rates. 

2. Boosts employee happiness and morale

Acknowledging and appreciating the efforts and achievements of your employees can increase morale and happiness within your workforce. Feeling valued is key to an employee’s overall satisfaction at work, and something as simple as a positive piece of feedback can lift spirits and cultivate a positive working environment. This can motivate and inspire employees, reducing feelings of apathy and expelling the quiet quitting phenomenon in your business. 

3. Improves workplace culture

Research suggests that the magic ratio for feedback is 5:1. Give five pieces of positive reinforcement for every one piece of constructive feedback. Without it, the chances your employees will take on constructive advice are far lower, but with it, you foster a working environment of trust, transparency, and open communication where employees feel valued and appreciate constructive criticism for growth. Once again, this acts to motivate and encourage employees to do more than just the bare minimum. 

4. Increases staff retention rates 

Quiet quitting, where employees are unmotivated, disengaged, and unsatisfied at work, getting by with doing the bare minimum could lead to an increase in staff turnover in the long run. But something as simple as positive feedback has the power to inspire individuals and provide a healthy working environment for them to work in, making it more likely they’ll want to stay at your company. This is key given the expense that hiring new staff can bring. 

5. Improves staff growth & development

Finally, the opportunity that positive feedback brings to employee growth and development is significant. Identifying employee strengths, and then building strategy and providing work around those strengths is not only going to see performance increase, but it’s going to provide employees with a greater love for their job if they’re excelling at it. Identifying these strengths, as well as areas where improvements could be made, is where employee growth and development can thrive. 

Written by Lauren Hunt-Williams

Lauren is a senior content executive at Artefact, a global data and AI consulting company. Her experience includes working with clients in different industries, such as business, coaching and retail. Her passion for writing, along with years of experience, allows her to collaborate with industry experts for her writing and share that knowledge with a wider audience.