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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

BONUS EPISODE: The Burnout Panel Talks Quiet Quitting

Today, Cait reports live from The Burnout Panel. She joins Vanessa Zamy, Audrey Holst, Aileen Axtmayer, Dr. Sandra Lewis, and Dr. Sharon Grossman to talk about quiet quitting. These experts in the burnout field weigh in on what they believe is causing quiet quitting to be so rampant and the changes business leaders can make to help their employees feel included, safe, happy, and valued.

Quiet quitting is often a response to overwhelm and can be a coping mechanism for burnout. If your body does not feel safe in your work environment, you are likely going to start to disengage. It is also important to evaluate your current interests and values and see that they align with your role. When people choose to quiet-quit it tends to be due to no longer feeling aligned with their work. To get a handle on quiet quitting, first you need to regenerate your nervous system, so that it is not always on high alert for danger. In order for employees to feel valued, leaders must pay attention and create a safe, fun, and inclusive work environment. If employees start to feel undervalued, they will become resentful and more likely to engage in quiet quitting behaviors.

Quiet quitting is not always a choice, sometimes it is a natural reaction to burnout. When it is not being used as a coping mechanism and is instead a conscious choice, it is important for leaders to really pay attention to the work environment. If employees are actively choosing to disengage, they likely feel resentment for some perceived unfairness and they may even feel completely out of alignment with the work they are doing. When employees and employers understand the causes behind quiet quitting, changes can be made to make a better work environment for all.


There are two questions that the body is always scanning for is, am I safe, and do I belong. And this combination of perfectionism with an individual and within an organization can create a bit of a survival situation where people are showing up to work, their bodies are feeling like they are walking into a tiger's cage every single day, their body is getting flooded with cortisol on an everyday basis. And that is bouncing off of coworkers, and it's creating a really tough environment, which is creating those people who are starting to disengage out of survival.” (2:12-2:42 | Audrey)

When you can create space as an employer or as an employee to really examine these parts of yourself and understand where you're at with each of them, you can then use that framework to understand where your work might not be in alignment anymore, and what you can do to really shift and feel like your values, interests, personality and skills are aligned with the work that you're doing.” (5:29-5:51 | Aileen)

Achievement is what will allow you to feel pleasure once you've put in the work.” (7:33-7:41 | Dr. Sharon)

Resentment and quiet quitting have one major thing in common and that is a feeling or perception of unfairness.” (8:34-8:42 | Cait)

With support we can create conversations that allow resentment to be explored in a positive and beneficial way. Resentments turn into boundaries, and boundaries help protect us.” (9:17-9:28 | Cait)

The first thing is to start with regenerating and rejuvenating our nervous system so that then we can start to hear our creativity again.” (11:15-11:21 | Dr. Sandra)

Whether you're leading an entire business, or you're leading a team in a department, or you're about to become a leader, and you want to do it better than your current boss is, remember rewards, refreshments and recreation. Quiet quitting is preventable.” (13:51-14:04 | Vanessa)

“Quiet quitting is a coping mechanism for burnout when it is used not as a choice but as a natural reaction. So I think we have to separate choosing quiet quitting to protect yourself and quiet quitting because you're so burned out that you have no other choice and you're just trying to make it through your day and not get fired.” (14:48-15:09 | Cait)


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