The concept of quiet quitting has exploded in the last few years. And honestly, I’m all here for it.
As a previous corporate employee who felt incredibly undervalued, I know how frustrating it is not to be recognized and rewarded for what you do.
And as corporate greed continues to increase, the need for pushback like “quiet quitting” or, in some cases, literally resigning is necessary.
However, with all the toxic workplace talk online, it’s easy to assume that every corporate job is dreadful.
So, if you’re trying to determine whether your employer is one of the bad ones, here are eight red flags to look out for.
1) You’re not recognised or credited for your hard work
There are various ways you can receive recognition, such as:
- Being publicly credited for projects and ideas in meetings or the company newsletter
- Receiving verbal praise and thanks in one-to-one review meetings.
- Being rewarded with a pay rise or bonus
If you’re not receiving the above, you are unappreciated. Over time, this leads to resentment, which is how the whole quiet quitting culture started.
Shockingly, research from the University of Delaware shows that women are less likely to receive credit from the employer than men – a disturbing confirmation that gender equality is still apparent in the workplace.
2) There is no room of negotiation
We all have multiple responsibilities and commitments outside of work, such as caring for children or a sick relative or working on a side hustle or passion project.
A company that values its employees is one that:
- Understands there is more to life than work
- Does whatever they can to support its staff in their personal life
Therefore, supportive companies offer flexi-time, remote working, and shift swaps. In addition, they are open to negotiating the contract’s terms to meet their employee’s individual needs and lifestyle.
On the other hand, a non-supportive company is not open to negotiating and will likely do the following:
- Have zero tolerance for work-from-home
- Forbid employees swapping shifts between them
- Regularly deny holiday requests, stating ‘it’s not convenient for the company’
If your employer does not respect that you have a life outside of work, they do NOT value you.
3) You’ve never had a pay rise
Have you worked for your company for several years and are still waiting for a pay rise or bonus despite always getting good feedback?
If so, this is a sign that your company does not value you.
As employees’ efficiency and knowledge increase, they are likely making the company more money.
For example, with experience, a customer service assistant learns how to better handle complaints, increasing customer retention.
So why is it that this increase in company revenue is not passed down to the employee responsible for it?
Now, if you haven’t directly asked your employer for a pay rise, I recommend doing this before you decide to throw in the towel.
Because according to the Raise Anatomy report by PayScale that surveyed 160,060 workers, 70% of employees who asked for a raise received one.
So, if you ask and your boss says no, this is a good enough reason to look for a new job!
4) Your boss dismisses your ideas or undermines you
Does your boss interrupt you when you share your thoughts in a meeting? Or dismiss every idea you propose?
If so, this suggests you are just seen as a number within the company rather than an experienced and knowledgeable team member.
A study published in the Academy of Management Journal examined the impact of companies rejecting employee ideas.
Their research, which spanned 70,159 organizations, found that if the first idea an employee submits is rejected without feedback, it significantly impacts their future engagement with the company.
So, if you feel offended by your boss dismissing your idea, know that you are not being overly sensitive. Instead, you are simply not valued enough.
If this is the culture of your workplace, you’ve probably also experienced the following…
5) You’ve been denied a promotion
Have you been at your company for many years and have been passed over for promotion in favor of a newer employee?
If so, this is a huge red flag.
Being denied promotion (especially after years of service) shows your boss doesn’t think you are good enough for a higher level of authority within the company.
Unfortunately, if this happens once, it will likely happen again, even if they tell you the promotion is yours next time.
So, instead of trying even harder to impress your boss, it is better to find a job that will value you more.
6) The company doesn’t prioritize your wellbeing
As an avid wellness enthusiast and qualified yoga instructor, I am big on employee well-being.
And I have found a company’s approach to this says A LOT about how much they value their workers.
Let me explain.
A company that values its employees will see them as assets. As a result, they will want to maintain these assets by ensuring their workers are healthy and happy.
So, they will introduce wellness programs such as:
- Free yoga classes
- Complimentary gym membership,
- Access to therapy sessions
- Nutrition advice from an expert
A 2021 research study on the effects of a toxic workplace environment supports this.
Researchers collected and analyzed data from 301 workers in China. One of their key findings was that an employee’s well-being affects their behaviors and level of engagement at work.
So, if your company does not prioritize your well-being, you will likely feel disengaged and have a higher risk of burnout.
This leads me to one action that can be extremely harmful to employee well-being…
7) Your boss constantly oversteps your boundaries
I remember one toxic corporate company I worked for right out of college. Although we were contracted to work between 9 and 5, they specifically told us we must answer the phone right up until 5 p.m. AND only finish work once we had fully solved the issue.
The problem with this is that I worked in the complaints department. If you’ve ever done this role, you will know that complaint calls are NEVER short.
So, as you can guess, most days, I would not finish work until well after 5:30 p.m., and of course, I never got paid for that additional time.
Needless to say, I didn’t stay long at that job.
Even so, I’ve found this is common in the corporate world.
Although you are hired for a 9 to 5 job, most companies expect you to be in the office at 8:30 a.m. and regularly work past your scheduled finish time.
A company that does this has NO respect for you and your right to a healthy work/life balance.
8) You feel unsupported and overwhelmed
Did a team member quit, and you had to take on their work rather than the company employing someone new?
Does it feel like your workload increases each week?
Or is your manager nowhere to be seen whenever you need help or support?
If so, it’s safe to say that your boss doesn’t value you.
I see this ALL THE TIME.
Employees who work hard and do a good job get “rewarded” with more work!
Or staff that have been at the company for years are expected to mentor the new employees while still completing their entire workload.
These things are unacceptable and show a HUGE lack of respect and appreciation for the employees.
If you’re dealing with this, please get out of that toxic environment and find an employer who supports you rather than overworks you!
If you’ve read through this list, nodding your head and resonating with every point, take this as a HUGE sign to call it a day at your company.
Work takes up more time in our lives than any other activity (except sleeping). Andrew Naber, an industrial-organizational psychologist and data scientist, famously reported that we spend 90,000 hours at work, which equals 3750 days or over ten years!
So if we are committing this much time to helping another person pursue their dreams, it is ESSENTIAL that:
- We align with the company’s mission
- We feel valued and rewarded by the company
If you find this topic interesting, check out this thought-provoking video on the number one thing no one tells you about having a job. Trust me, it will blow your mind!
And to end on a positive note, although this toxic corporate mindset is so prevalent, there is a way out. To break free from corporate greed, opt to work for smaller companies that value your input and creativity, go freelance, or look into starting your own business.