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Last year we were all talking about quiet quitting. As a reminder, quiet quitters are employees who've lost interest in their work and jobs. Quiet quitting can manifest itself in many ways. Some quiet quit by not taking on additional work or helping colleagues. Others quiet quit by setting a boundary and simply working their set number of hours. Quiet quitters don't usually leave the organization, but because of low employee engagement and low employee satisfaction they are workers who put in the lowest effort to simply get the job done.
What's happening now, though, is that some employees aren't being so quiet. Let's dive in.
Loud quitting is when an employee quits by openly (and loudly) expressing their negative feelings towards an employer or organization. These workers are actively undermining an organization’s goals and leaders. According to Gallup, 18% of global employees are loud quitting. In a world of social media, the reach that loud quitting has can be detrimental to an organization’s reputation.
Occam's razor says the simplest explanation is usually the right one, and that applies here. Loud quitters act out of frustration and rage, stemming from feeling that they aren't being heard. They could be workers who have been placed in roles that don’t match their skills, workers who have lost trust in their managers and/or leadership, or workers who feel like they are being overworked and taken for granted.
As workplace stress levels and burnout continue to rise, it's important to be aware that loud quitters could exist among your workforce.
So, what’s the best way to avoid loud (and quiet) quitters? Employee listening.
Whether an employee quiet quits, loud quits, or properly puts in their 2 weeks’ notice, the common denominator is that your organization did not meet the employee's needs. It's important for employers to know what employees value in the workplace, beyond compensation or better pay. Employees’ needs are also constantly changing, so it's important that you make listening an ongoing task, rather than a one-time event.
Remember that antidote we discussed previously? The goal of employee listening activities is that an employee who feels heard and valued becomes an engaged employee. Engaged employees take pride in their work and believe that their contributions are pivotal to the success of an organization. They'll go above and beyond in their day-to-day work, support coworkers, and potentially help in recruitment of new hires to fill open roles through referrals.
Listening to what employees want can look different every time, but what’s most important is taking action after collecting the data. Asking employees to provide feedback on what they want or need and then not being transparent about the results and subsequent outcomes can be quite disengaging. The first time you hear a loud quitter is probably not the first time they've voiced their concern.
Here at Mercer, we offer an entire arsenal of tools to help HR professionals and managers craft excellent employee listening programs. Implementing an employee listening program can help reengage quiet quitters who are just punching the clock as well as help protect your reputation from the damage loud quitters can cause.
Take the steps today to listen to your employees better or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 855-223-8180 to learn more about how Mercer can help your organization improve employee engagement.