The rise of loud quitting and employee discontent

1 in 5 employees significantly dissatisfied and disengaged at the workplace
The rise of loud quitting and employee discontent
Disgruntled employees

Following the latest Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace report, the consulting and research firm coined the term ‘loud quitting,’ in contrast to last year’s trend of ‘quiet quitting.’ It turns out that loud quitting is a common practice among 18 percent of employees surveyed worldwide. The report assessed data from 122,416 employed people across the globe, ages fifteen and up. 

What is loud quitting? 

Quiet quitting is a term that came out in recent years to point at the category of employees that simply do not engage with their workload. 59 percent of those surveyed were quiet quitters. 

In other words, their approach to their job is passive and strictly limited to the exact terms they were hired for and nothing more. The term gathered speed on TikTok last year, post-pandemic, as healthy work-life balances entered the conversation and the workforce embraced remote working. 

The conversation is turning on its head as return-to-office mandates are being issued by many companies around the world, and Gallup’s report highlights the dissatisfaction that employees feel in the current work climate, a climate of burnout, and unrealistic expectations. 

On the other hand, loud quitting looks more like an active or deliberate disengagement. Employees that look to loud quitting generally feel unappreciated by the company or brand they are working for, with management problems being the primary reason. Low employee engagement already accounts for 9 percent of the global GDP and is costing the global economy about $8.8 trillion, according to Gallup. 

Of the employees surveyed, at least 1 in 5 reported active disengagement or showed signs of loud quitting. Loud quitters may choose to directly harm and further cost businesses, as they have no problem damaging the brand’s reputation and scaring off new hires. 

Read more: Driving employee-centric initiatives to improve long-term retention

How can businesses increase employee engagement? 

Gallup’s report findings show that employees that can trust their managers, along with understanding the vitality of their responsibilities, are less likely to disengage from their roles. Around 70 percent of employees surveyed reported that their bosses greatly impact their engagement or disengagement levels as part of a corporation. 

Although employee turnover has shown a slight decrease from 2022, levels of employee satisfaction do not seem to mirror that. On the contrary, employee retention is more dependent on the growing fear of recession and financial necessity.

There are many simple steps managers can take to increase engagement and employee satisfaction in order to curb the growing trend of loud and quiet quitting. Gallup notes that, primarily, an active relationship between manager and employee is vital. A meaningful weekly conversation that touches on progress, offers feedback and recognition, and reiterates the company’s goals and priorities can be of great comfort to employees that are not sure where their place in the corporation is. 

Further, Gallup notes that employee agency is an important part of this conversation. Giving employees a say in their working arrangements and their overall workflow is reported to be of much value to disengaged employees. 

Ultimately, whether employees are quitting with bravado or slowly yet surely vacating their roles, the current workplace trends highlight a necessary examination of workplace conditions and their longevity – how employers are choosing to engage with this varies, but it raises that question: is loud quitting here to stay? 

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