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“Loud quitting:” New trend among frustrated employees?

By Lee Cleveland - July 17, 2023

The latest workplace trend is “loud quitting,” where employees who are dissatisfied with their jobs are acting out their unhappiness rather than quietly disengaging.

According to Gallup’s annual State of the Global Workplace report, 18% of employees worldwide are considered “actively disengaged” in their jobs, down one percentage point from the previous year. Additionally, 51% of currently employed workers are watching for or actively seeking a new job, and stress levels among workers are at a record high.

Loud quitters express their dissatisfaction by undermining the organization’s goals and sharing their discomfort with others, both within and outside the organization.

They may send disruptive emails, make inappropriate outbursts, or publicly criticize the company on social media. These actions often stem from frustration with managers and a feeling that their needs as employees are not being met.

“[Loud quitting] is when people aren’t just unhappy at work — they’re resentful that their needs aren’t being met and they’re acting out on that unhappiness,” Jim Harter, Ph.D., Chief Scientist of Workplace Management and Wellbeing for Gallup’s Workplace Management Practice, told Good Morning America.”

Loud quitting contrasts with “quiet quitting,” where employees mentally distance themselves from their work without leaving their jobs. This includes only working the required number of hours and not making their jobs a significant part of their lives. The pandemic has increased the prevalence of quiet quitting as employees seek better work-life boundaries.

Disengaged employees, including both loud quitters and those quietly disengaged, cost the global economy $8.8 trillion, according to the Gallup report. The frustrations employees experience are often rooted in feeling disenfranchised by their organizations and not having their needs met as employees.

Both employees and employers have a role to play in addressing these issues. Employers should create plans and provide more predictability in the workplace. And managers should have regular meaningful conversations with their employees, recognizing their work, involving them in goal-setting, and focusing on their strengths.

Employees, on the other hand, should make their voices heard before reaching the point of loud quitting. They should raise concerns, seek feedback, and understand the importance of their work. If quitting becomes the only option, employees should think strategically about the next job, considering both the on-the-job and off-the-job aspects.

In conclusion, addressing the issues of dissatisfaction and disengagement in the workplace requires efforts from both employers and employees to create a more fulfilling and productive work environment.