The Physical Therapy Owner’s Guide to Addressing Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is an all-too-common problem in the workplace. It’s when employees stop putting in effort and start checking out—not necessarily quitting outright, but quietly slipping away from the job. The longer it goes on, the more difficult it can be to get them back on track.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71.6 million people left their jobs during the Great Resignation from April 2021 through April 2022, which averages 3.98 million people quitting monthly. In June 2022, the number of people quitting reached 4.2 million.

And while more people are leaving positions than normal, some are still hanging on – putting in the bare minimum as a way of “not showing off, not falling behind” as George Costanza, Seinfeld’s patriarch of quiet quitting, would say. This quiet quitting can be a way for employees to voice their displeasure with their current role, how they deal with stress or burnout, or it may even be the signal that they are on their way out and already eyeing new positions elsewhere.

Fortunately, there are ways to help prevent quiet quitting and keep your team motivated.

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Quiet Quitting at Your Private Practice:


  1. Encourage Communication: Make sure you’re creating an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their concerns by maintaining open and honest communication. Regularly check in with your team to see how they’re doing and what they need from you, actively listening to their concerns and feedback. Address any issues they may have in a timely manner because if an employee feels like their voice is not being heard, they may be more likely to disengage or disconnect with your mission.

  2. Stay Aware: Quiet quitting happens in the absence of true leadership. If you are keeping an active pulse on your employees through check-ins, surveys, water cooler chats, etc., you will notice the signs that an employee may be considering quitting or has slipped out of love with the role: Look out for changes in behavior or attitude, such as a decrease in productivity or a lack of engagement in company activities. If you notice these signs, address them as soon as possible to try and prevent the employee from quitting.

  3. Celebrate Successes: It’s important to recognize and celebrate the successes of your team to create a positive and supportive work environment. This can be achieved by fostering a culture of collaboration and teamwork, and by recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are less likely to quietly quit. This could be a team lunch, a bonus or simply a “thank you”. Acknowledging small victories can boost morale and keep employees motivated.

  4. Provide Resources: Make sure your employees have access to the resources they need to be successful. This could be training materials, mentorship or a clear career path. Providing employees with the right tools can help them feel more confident and motivated. When employees feel like they have a clear path for growth and development, they are more likely to stay with the company for the long term.

  5. Show Appreciation: In 2021, Pew Research Center found that lack of advancement opportunities, low pay and feeling disrespected were the top reasons Americans quit their jobs in 2021. Showing appreciation for the hard work your team puts in can go a long way because recognition and praise from leaders not only keeps employees engaged, but also motivates them for further success.

By implementing these strategies, physical therapy owners can help to retain valuable employees and minimize the impact of quiet quitting on their business.

Please Note: If their disengaged path is irreversible, another key strategy for addressing quiet quitting is to conduct exit interviews with employees who do leave. These surveys provide valuable insights into the reasons why they decided to quit and will help you identify any issues that need to be addressed to improve employee retention.

Want to Take Your Personnel Management to the Next Level? 

Enroll your physical therapy staff in MEG Academy where they will get the onboarding, clinical and leadership training necessary to grow personally and professionally with your clinic.

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