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  • Dr. Fred Johnson

10 Signs of a Quiet Quitter + Questions Every Leader Must Ask

10 Signs of a Quiet Quitter


Do you know anyone that is resigned but is still on the job? What does that look like?

When we asked our leadership community to describe quiet quitting, leaders responded quickly.


Quiet quitters may be going through the motions, unmotivated, waiting to be fired. They could be unhappy or underachieving. They may be taking a paycheck without taking any responsibility. The truth is that disengagement has a toxic impact on your culture.


Here are 10 Signs of a Quiet Quitter:

  1. They're unhappy

  2. They don't encourage teammates

  3. They avoid feedback

  4. They're caught in the comparison game

  5. They're takers, not givers

  6. They're not connected to purpose

  7. They undermine others behind their backs

  8. They can become cancerous

  9. They're caught up with what's wrong and ignore what's going right

  10. They're quick to blame

Under challenging circumstances, especially when there's a labor shortage, many leaders are afraid to deal with these uncomfortable behaviors. They'll say, "we can't afford to lose anyone," or "if we bring it up, they'll just leave." The reality is that toxic behaviors will drive other members away the longer they are left to run the team from under the table. If you don't deal with it, it will deal with you.


Proactive leaders understand they must take 100% Responsibility for their locus of control. They start by pointing the finger at themselves rather than blaming the people around them. So in that fashion, here are some questions to ask yourself when you recognize quiet quitting on your team:

  • Am I casting vision?

  • Am I lifting up others?

  • Am I being transparent in sharing good and bad news?

  • Am I setting clear expectations?

  • Am I clear about our purpose? Do I explain the "why"?

  • Am I constantly seeking input?

  • Does my team know that I care and appreciate them?

Run through these questions. Evaluate your leadership. At the same time, seek to understand why quiet quitting could occur. Here are some questions to ask quiet quitters:

  • Have you been truthful about your feelings?

  • Have you had the thoughtful, transparent conversation?

  • Have you gained clarity on roles and responsibilities?

  • Are you caught up in the comparison game?

  • Are you looking for too much from your work?

  • Is your place of employment aligned with your vision and values?

  • Do you believe in the purpose of your organization?

Healthy cultures begin and end with the ability to sustain a culture of care. Proactive leaders must create the safety needed to be able to have these conversations. Your ability to genuinely care for your people will directly impact the influence you have on your team.


Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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