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After Quiet Quitting, Resenteeism Is the New Trend Affecting Workplaces; How Can It Be Prevented?

Employees suffering from resenteeism put the bare minimum effort into their jobs because they don't enjoy them.
Cover Image Source: Resenteeism is affecting workplaces (representative image) | Photo by Vlada Karpovich |Pexels
Cover Image Source: Resenteeism is affecting workplaces (representative image) | Photo by Vlada Karpovich |Pexels

Similar to the phenomenon of quiet quitting, in which employees abstain from work out of a sense of overwork and undervaluation, a new trend in the workforce is resenteeism. It occurs when workers aren't producing much because they're resentful. These employees are aware that they must continue working because of financial and other commitments, but they are unhappy for a variety of reasons. This attitude of not putting in much effort is affecting both small businesses and big companies all over the country.

Image Source: Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels
Employees are feeling resentful at work (representative image) | Photo by Kampus Production | Pexels

District manager Jennifer Libby of Insperity in Kansas City, Missouri, defined resenteeism as the practice of workers remaining in unsatisfactory positions because they believe they have exhausted all other options or have tried and failed to obtain what they desire. They eventually begin to feel confined and dissatisfied with their employer.

According to her, factors like a lack of opportunities for growth, a hostile work environment, an excessive workload, and burnout can lead to resentment. Employees may become bitter if they are unable to locate another employment to get away from these problems.

Dominic, a 46-year-old senior manager at a Georgian furniture firm, revealed that he is disengaged from his work and feels guilty and bitter about it daily. Dominic, who asked to keep his last name private, shared his experience of feeling overwhelmed at work. He mentioned that despite taking on more responsibilities, he hasn't seen any pay increase. "People might think that supply-chain problems are causing a slowdown in furniture demand, but the truth is more people are upgrading their homes because moving is just too expensive," Dominic explained.

He's in charge of inventory at his company but he feels weighed down by paperwork, dealing with logistics, and resolving daily employee conflicts and scheduling issues. As a married father with two kids, Dominic dreams of finding a new job. But he feels responsible for his family's financial stability. "My wife works part-time as a nurse, and we have fixed expenses," he explained. He's come to terms with the fact that he has to make the best of his situation like many other Americans facing similar challenges. With prices going up and companies stretched thin, he feels like he doesn't have many choices anymore. Dominic has looked for other jobs, but he's found that they either pay less or are too far from home.

Image Source: Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels
Employees are frustrated at work (representative image) | Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels

"There's also the question of quality of life," Dominic added. "Even though I'm not thrilled with my job, it's only 15 minutes from home. I get to attend my boys' games and spend Sundays with my family at church and watching sports." He also mentioned, "For now, I'll stick with my job and try to make it work even though I know I'm not giving it my all." Lower performance, diminished involvement, and a lack of passion are all indicators of resentment, according to Libby from Insperity. "When employees stop aiming for promotions, it might be a sign that they're feeling resentful and don't see a future in the company," Libby said.

James R. Bailey, another scholar from George Washington University, takes a more pragmatic perspective. According to him, disgruntled workers frequently give only the barest minimum effort, seeming indifferent and agitated.

Image Source: Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels
Resenteeism in the workplace must be addressed (representative image) | Photo by Yan Krukau | Pexels

Owl Labs conducted a survey in March 2024 that revealed a gap that exists between employees and company executives, particularly about regulations surrounding flexible and hybrid work schedules. This conflict can rise to unfavorable feelings among employees—employees may feel they have been taken advantage of or resentful towards those with more flexibility. Owl Labs CEO Frank Weishaupt stressed that disengagement and an unpleasant work environment can lower productivity.

Weishaupt advises paying attention to what workers need, whether it is flexible work hours or locations, to prevent resenteeism. Libby suggests having an open discussion about the problems producing anger with management to get over absenteeism. Employees who are open and honest can strive toward good improvements, such as opening up opportunities for growth or gaining access to resources for skill development.

Experts say prevention is the key. Libby advises developing a company culture that promotes involvement from staff members and offers chances for growth. Bailey concurs and stresses the need for good communication. Bailey clarified, "Workers should understand why their daily efforts are important." Furthermore, he thinks that creating a positive atmosphere might improve the rapport between employers and workers. "It's about building a culture where people are motivated to work because they want to, based on values like community and shared purpose," Bailey told FOX Business.