Woman reevalautes her priorities as part of the resenteeism movement
Employer, Job Market

‘Resenteeism’: The next trend in the workplace

Resenteeism is a play on presenteeism. Employees are turning up, but they aren’t necessarily happy about it.

Worse than ‘quiet quitting’, resenteeism is the new trend forecasted to affect Australian workplaces this year.

Resenteeism is a play on presenteeism. Employees are turning up, but they aren’t necessarily happy about it. And that’s not great news for employees or employers.

Resenteeism and quiet quitting: What’s the difference?

Quiet quitting was the workplace buzzword of 2022. It was born from a rejection of the hustle culture and encouraged doing the bare minimum at work to get by.

The trend was mainly noticed among employees who felt they were not heard or cared about in their workplaces. It also seemed like a natural follow-on after the pandemic and Great Resignation, where employees reevaluated their priorities and wanted more give and take in the workplace.

The difference between this and resenteeism, is that workers are much less subtle about how they feel about their jobs.

Resenteeism is much less subtle than quiet quitting

Like quiet quitting, more workers are staying put out of fear of job insecurity or as they don’t think there are better options out there. However, they are doing so while they are very unhappy and likely frustrated by their current workplace. This means their apathy or frustration is more likely to affect the culture and the people around them.

Growing resentment in the workforce is not great for morale, productivity, or motivation. On a personal level, it can really impact the mental health of employees around a particularly negative individual.

What’s causing resenteeism?

There are several issues that have contributed to growing resentment in workplaces:

  • More (and unmanageable) job responsibilities due to candidate shortages or employees that left during the Great Resignation not being replaced
  • The enormous cost of living pressures
  • The threat of a global recession
  • Being forced back into the office after working from home.

Resenteeism is impacted by the threat of a global recession

How can you address resenteesim in your workplace?

While managers can’t necessarily change the outcome of a recession, there are actions they can take that can alleviate growing resentment in the workplace.

  1. Encourage workers to use their leave

As with all things, mountains seem much easier to climb when you’re rested. Encourage your workers to use their leave to try and combat burnout and give them a chance to reset. This could be the mood booster or perspective shift they needed. It’s also a gentle reminder that you care about their well-being.

  1. Apply an open-door policy to encourage communication

Encourage more communication with an open-door policy. While all the best managers may have a roster for 1:1s or surveys, sometimes you can’t plan when there is a concern that needs to be addressed. Ensure your workers understand you are available to them, without judgement.

  1. Provide opportunities for development

Sometimes resentment can grow when workers feel stagnant, with no opportunities to progress or when their day lacks any variety. Check-in with your employees to see what might pique their interest. It might be worth even encouraging them to learn something that is outside of their usual remit, to challenge and reengage them. This can serve as a reminder that you care about their interests and aspirations, outside of their business output.

  1. Review salaries

Money is always going to go a long way to show employees that you value them. Especially if the salary review or promotion is suggested on your end, rather than prompted by them.


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