Johns Hopkins' Suburban Hospital president and COO speaks out on 'quiet quitting'

"Quiet quitting," when workers do the minimum required of them at work instead of going above and beyond, has become a highly debated workforce topic this year. Jessica Melton, president and chief operating officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine's Bethesda, Md.-based Suburban Hospital, is joining the conversation. 

"I 'quietly quit' five years ago," Ms. Melton wrote in a recent blog post for the American College of Healthcare Executives. "Since that time, I haven't done less. In fact, I have probably done more, but purposefully."

Quiet quitting, to Ms. Melton, means setting boundaries: tactfully and confidently saying "no" to requests that do not serve her or the organization and thus saying "yes" with more precision. 

"I have been more deliberate and impactful for my organization(s) by aligning my focus to our most critical priorities. I have been a better leader," Ms. Melton wrote. 

The narrative of quiet quitting is a "poorly conceived" one that blames victims for systemic issues, according to Ms. Melton. The workforce's inaction "is a set of responses to thoughtless demands to keep doing more without asking whether what we are doing even makes sense," she wrote. 

Leaders are asking workers to be flexible and take on new responsibilities without letting go of dated practices, according to Ms. Melton: Quiet quitting arises when leaders fail to address the intersection of values and expectations in their workforces. 

Ms. Melton zeroed in on the "additional duties as assigned" portion of many healthcare workers' job descriptions. 

"When this one line describes the majority of their work or accounts for a new job on top of their existing role ('quiet promotion') there may no longer be shared clarity on what they appreciate their role to be, what they are empowered to 'quit' to reprioritize their new work, or what we now 'quietly' expect of them and how it aligns to our priorities—leading to frustration, resentment and ultimately misalignment of values," Ms. Melton wrote. 

"If we are not pausing to have realignment and empowerment conversations when this occurs, our teams are at risk of 'quitting' the work we really need them to do … and not all of the quitting will be quiet," she concluded. 

Read Ms. Melton's full blog post here

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars