“Loud quitting”: the new trend on the labor market

One of the newest phenomena in working life is “Loud quitting”: a powerful way for the employee to express frustration, create awareness or influence the workplace, but at the same time also a potential trigger of controversy and negative impact on one’s future employment opportunities. Understand the phenomenon and how you, as an employer, can avoid it.

What is Loud Quitting?

“Loud quitting” refers to the act where one or more employees publicly and dramatically quit their job, often by making a scene or using social media as a platform for their resignation. In contrast to traditional quitting, which usually happens privately and may only be shared with close colleagues, “loud quitting” is a more public act.

The trend has roots in the current debate about work/life balance: the balance between working life and private life. For many “loud quitters”, the loud termination is about making the public aware of some inappropriate working conditions with a view to creating change in the norms and culture surrounding the pressured and competitive working life.

Social media offers a space where employees can share their criticisms, frustrations and dissatisfactions directed at the company or industry they have chosen to leave with a wider audience.

According to a report from Gallup from 2023, almost 1 in 5, or 18%, of global employees are loudly quitting or actively disengaged. The report was based on more than 120,000 global employees.

Why do people choose “loud quitting”?

There are several reasons why some employees choose to practice “loud quitting”. Firstly, it may be due to a feeling of frustration about their working conditions. By drawing attention to their resignation, they want to bring focus to the problems or challenges they have experienced in the workplace. It can also be an attempt to create change or influence the company’s reputation by publicizing their story.

Another reason for choosing “loud quitting” may be a desire to increase one’s personal branding or create opportunities for new career paths. The act may attract attention from potential employers, industry professionals or the media who may be interested in hearing more about their story or offering new opportunities.

What are the consequences of the phenomenon?

If one or more employees in a company choose to “loudly quit”, it can have a number of comprehensive consequences for both the company and the resigning employees.

1. Consequences for the employee

While “loud quitting” may seem like an effective way to express yourself or create change, it is important to consider the potential consequences. Publicizing one’s resignation may create controversy or conflict with former employers or colleagues. It can also have an impact on one’s future employment opportunities, as potential employers may worry about how one will handle any future conflicts or disagreements. At the same time, you will reduce your chances of getting a recommendation.

Therefore, it is crucial that employees considering “loud quitting” carefully consider the potential consequences and weigh the pros and cons. It may be a good idea to talk to a career advisor, mentors or trusted people in your network to get advice and perspective before making a decision. In addition, it is important to be aware that you do not violate any legal agreements regarding e.g. confidentiality, non-competition and infringement.

If you as an employee have not already had a constructive conversation with your immediate manager about the possibility of changes around the things that cause dissatisfaction, this is also a good place to start.

2. Consequences for the company

Loud quitters’ behavior can affect the company very negatively. At worst, employees may create an unpleasant public scene, share negative comments online, refuse to perform assigned tasks during the notice period, and engage in disruptive and potentially sabotaging actions. This can also damage productivity, create increased workload for the other employees and affect the company’s culture and reputation.

Therefore, as a manager in a company, you should try to prevent the tendency from finding its way into the company. We have 3 tips for that here:

3 tips to prevent your employees from quitting loudly

To avoid that employees choose to create a spectacle when they quit, you as a company manager can focus on the following:

1. Establish regular feedback sessions

By being in ongoing dialogue with the employees about their experience of being at work – professionally as well as socially – you have the opportunity to track any dissatisfaction in good time. This gives a better opportunity to solve the problem, so that dismissals are avoided.

2. Focus on mental health

The company should prioritize the well-being of the employees, and offer support and resources to support their mental health.

3. Recognize the employees

Let the employees know when they do well. This will make them feel more recognized and valuable for the company. At the same time, it can give a feeling that any extra effort they might have put into the work during a stressful period has been worth it.

Sources: Forbes.com, Gallup.com

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