U.S. Labor Secretary on quiet quitting: ‘It shouldn't get to that'
2nd September 2022

U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh isn’t down with younger generations’ quiet quitting tactics.

Basically, the former Boston mayor said, workers need to figure it out with their employers.

“Certainly, as the City of Boston mayor, if I had a situation where I had people taking a step back in working for me, I would address it as an employer,” Walsh said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “I would go over and talk to them and find out what the issue is and what the situations are and have those conversations.”

Walsh stopped short of saying that employers should fire quiet quitters for their lack of productivity but said he is still getting up to speed on the quiet quitting movement sweeping the country.

“It shouldn’t get to that,” Walsh said. “If you are an employer, you should catch on early enough that your employees aren’t satisfied, aren’t happy, and then there needs to be a dialogue, a conversation.”

In other words, now may be a good time than any for employers to touch base with workers at length.

Quiet quitting, a term that popped up on TikTok and gained steam in 2022, has no single meaning. For some, it means an employee doesn’t flat-out quit their job but may do just enough to keep it. Others believe it reflects setting boundaries between home and office life, such as not reading emails late into the evening.

A recent Gallup poll found that just 21% of employees are engaged at work, suggesting that up to 79% could be practicing quiet quitting in some form or another. Another study by The Conference Board found that disengaged workers could cost U.S. companies around $500 billion each year.

“I don’t think quiet quitting should become a thing,” Walsh said, “and companies should be paying attention to it.”

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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