Lara Morgan discusses the significant increase in the number of employees using this negotiation tactic to try and improve their daily experiences or salaries.
Before we start discussing how companies and their bosses deal with the phenomena described as ‘Loud Quitting’, it is probably best to define what it means. It is also worth noting that ‘Loud Quitting’ is nothing new to business or employment. Similar to other concepts, such as ‘Woke’, ‘Nimbyism’ and ‘Snow Flake’, it has been around for ages, but has simply been given a label or perhaps even rebranded.
So what does it mean? In short, it is about creating a fuss when you decide to hand in your notice. But those who undertake ‘Loud Quitting’ do not wish to vacate their role. They actually want to stay employed by the company. It is merely their ‘high-risk’ strategy for seeking changes within the company, department and team, or a method for wanting better work and conditions, and/or a higher salary.
Those who undertake the art of ‘Loud Quitting’ – or renegotiation as it is often described – require nerves of steel. And those who carry out such a ‘threat’ are banking on their bosses becoming panicky and therefore responding positively to their demands.
But sometimes it can go horribly wrong and bosses will accept their resignation, which means employees must leave the building with their tails hanging firmly between their legs. And one can only assume that the ongoing cost of living crisis has increased the number of instances of dissatisfaction at work, with the potential rise in the number of people adopting the tactics of ‘Loud Quitting’ to try to get what they want.
So how do leaders deal with ‘Loud Quitting?’ Similar to most things in life, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.
Employees become unhappy for many reasons: These could include their boss, their co-workers, their pay or perhaps they feel they are not being treated fairly. Maybe they feel they are being undervalued or missing out on expected promotion. All of these topics can create a mood of disillusionment.
I struggle with the stupidity of a workplace leader who is unable to understand that a revolving door culture is bad for almost every company. That said, if a workplace makes you unhappy, or emotionally or physically depleted, then maybe it’s best to leave. There must be better alternatives around that won’t damage your health.
Those who say they want to resign, but really wish to stay, often decide to ‘Loud Quit’ in the hope of rocking the boat, in order to achieve their ultimate goal. But they also risk losing their job. It is a tactic that can easily backfire. I always encourage my staff to be open with their opinions but in the right forum. ‘Loud’ does not necessarily mean unprofessional.
Both bosses and employees need to be aware of their own competencies. Both camps need to reassess their positions at regular intervals. Employees need to provide strong reasons for seeking a pay rise or a change in conditions, while bosses should hold pay review conversations frequently.
Sometimes employees feel unhappy that their ideas have fallen on deaf ears and without any real explanation as to why these suggestions have been ignored. My advice to employees is that if you are not in a workplace that values their staff members, then attempting to ‘Loud Quit’ is possibly pointless. Employees should be able to voice their concerns without fear of a backlash.
Some people select ‘Loud Quitting’ as a method for disclosing their displeasure for reasons of spite or even misplaced anger. Meanwhile, there are others who have every justification for choosing this tactic.
No company, regardless of whether they treat their employees well or not, is immune to experiencing ‘Loud Quitting’. It can happen to companies who do generally treat staff members with respect and care. Sometimes it is the disillusioned individual whose behaviour goes beyond what is deemed acceptable.
In short, all businesses need to adopt a healthy line of communication without fear of reprisal. This is the best way to generate a positive workplace culture which will ultimately lead to the success of the company.
Post-pandemic, ‘Quiet Quitting’ appears to have been replaced by the tactic of ‘Loud Quitting’. Perhaps people feel more empowered now. Maybe the combination of Covid and Brexit – and the subsequent departure of so many people within the workplace – has created a culture where staff members feel less threatened by the prospect of losing their jobs. If there is no one, or certainly fewer people, to take their place, why feel under threat?
Sky News recently broadcast a feature that illustrates how younger millennials are turning to social media to discuss their attitudes at work. Do younger people feel more confident, than older ones, at voicing their opinions about workplace behaviour and needs?
However, this could be damaging to their long-term prospects in the job market. Social media posts have a habit of re-emerging at the most inappropriate of times. But bosses must not become complacent either. It is vital that they discover if their employees are happy in the workplace, or perhaps resentful about the route being adopted by the company.
Problems need to be addressed before they get out of hand, and affect the entire atmosphere within a company. Some employees love their job but can’t make ends meet on the existing salary. If this conundrum can easily be resolved by a boss, then it is vital to do so. Happy employees are so important to every company.
At all times, business owners need to be aware of what is going on within their companies, and if that means understanding the modern trends of social media, then so be it. And that can be more difficult now that more people – post-pandemic – are spending a larger percentage of their time working from home.
Returning to ‘quitting’, whether ‘quiet’ or ‘loud’, no company will accept being held to ransom. Manipulation will never earn you, your dream job within a company. No matter how much a business needs or values the work of a particular person, they can’t send out a message that informs other members of staff that certain tactics will secure them their salary demands or changes in conditions of employment.
It’s all about being sensible. ‘Loud quitting’ may be acceptable in a few isolated cases, if done in a positive and mature manner, but overall it is probably to be discouraged. As mentioned earlier, it is about keeping lines of communication open. No company boss should be unhappy if an employee wants to discuss matters which are making them and other staff members unhappy, unhealthy or maybe even resentful about certain topics.
It all needs to be handled sensibly and sensitively. At the end of the day, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get.’ Long term, companies will usually favour colleagues who take the most respectful route towards improving their day-to-day experiences or salaries, and quite often this does not mean listening to the loudest complaint.