Maslow’s hierarchy of needs implies that the highest level of human fulfillment is self-actualization, or reaching one’s full potential. This principle is quite evident in today’s workplace. 

When employees feel valued, they show deeper interest in their jobs that goes beyond just getting a paycheck. However, when they don’t, they start to look elsewhere and may start a trend known as ‘loud quitting.’

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What is loud quitting?

Loud quitting is a workplace trend where employees try to manipulate their employers into paying them more by threatening resignation because they are unhappy or need a raise. Loud quitting is mostly a function of insensitive work managers. When employees feel their concerns are not adhered to, or they don’t feel appreciated for their impact on the company.

As opposed to quiet quitting, where an employee does the barest minimum job requirements, loud quitting is often used as a powerful tool for negotiation by the employee, leading to a raise or even a positive change in the work environment.

Reasons for loud quitting

Loud quitting is the culmination of previous events accumulated over some time. Some of these events could include an employee not feeling “seen” in the workplace, a delay in salary payment, or an unnecessary reduction in salary payment. These events contribute to several other factors, eventually leading to a loud quitting. The following include factors/reasons for loud quitting.

1. Lack of motivation and drive

Loud quitting often happens when an employee feels that employers are apathetic to certain concerns. When employees have raised complaints over certain issues that fell on deaf ears, they are likely to consider loud quitting.

Providing a forum where employees can feel “heard” and “seen” is essential in combating loud quitting. When the concerns and issues are addressed, they feel motivated to work better, encouraging employee retention. 

2. Burnout

Employee burnout is when an employee experiences complete mental, physical, and emotional fatigue. This is likely a result of excessive work, an unconducive work environment, or even a combination of both. Employee burnout decreases an employee’s productivity rates and leads to absenteeism, anger, and frustration at work, among other things.

36% of employees express that their employers have no plan to eliminate employee burnout. When employees experience burnout, they are likely to turn elsewhere, and this is where loud quitting comes in. 

Another study shows that burned-out employees are 63% more likely to call in sick while actively looking for a different job. This implies that burnout is a fueling factor for loud quitting.

Many businesses neglect to provide resources and support for employees’ well-being, which could improve their general health. People are thus growing closer to burnout and mental crashes as they become more exhausted. The ability to focus on even the slightest of details, let alone strive for perfection at work, is impacted by this mounting stress.

3. Cost of living  

Due to the high cost of living crisis, employees are more likely to ask for a raise. And when not adhered to, they might decide to look elsewhere. It is no news that the paycheck isn’t enough to cover basic living costs. This is an early indication of financial strain.

When businesses fail to realize that their paychecks cannot cater to their employees’ basic cost of living, these employees are automatically triggered to find greener pastures for higher income. The constant struggle to cover the basic cost of living is a stumbling block in employees trying to save or invest for the future. The cost of living is going to be on the rise, so it is therefore important that companies realize that.

4. Poor employee engagement

An engaged employee is visibly seen for their impact on the growth and wellness of the company. On the other hand, a disengaged employee is physically visibly but mentally and emotionally disconnected from the company. An engaged employee is interested in the growth and development of the company and not just in their career. A disengaged employee is indifferent to the growth and well-being of the company. Poor employee engagement impacts a business’s performance as the employee shows little to no interest in the business. 

loud quitting
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4 ways to combat loud quitting and improve employee engagement.

Studies show that only 35% of American employees and 15% of employees worldwide are actively engaged in the workplace. The following consists of ways of improving employee engagement at work.

1. Listen and follow up

The first step to curbing disengagement in the workplace is to listen and understand why the problem exists. Have personal discussions with your employees, keep an open mind, and pay attention during these discussions. Ask for their views on the organization’s leadership, structure, and workplace relationships. This approach is important because you can’t solve a problem without first understanding it.

Follow up with feasible plans after listening to the employees’ views. This is important because when employees see their opinions being considered, they feel seen, and that’s the foundation of employee engagement. The employer should let the employee know why certain views are not feasible to execute in the organization. This brings clarity and fosters acceptance.

2. Provide training and professional development

Training is not just for work-related activities but encourages employee-employee and employer-employee relationships. Training platform can help to foster these relationships, as well as improve overall engagement in the workplace. By providing a safe and secure space for employees to access learning material and update their skills, it sets the tone of trust and accountability.Most people do not like to remain static in their roles. Training provides the avenue to advance and get better in their career. 

By fostering talent, assisting individuals in learning new skills, and encouraging them to perform better, the correct training and development may significantly increase employee engagement. Then, you can publish this program as social media videos to increase your online presence and gain customers’ trust. Most people want to believe that they are doing a good job and that their employer values them for their role.

3. Keep track

At regular, close intervals, keep track of the progress made. It’s one thing to encourage and facilitate an idea; it’s another to keep up. After listening, implementing new ideas at the workplace, and organizing training, a regular progress check is very important. It doesn’t have to be the grand ‘mid-year’ or quarterly meetings. Regular feedback boosts improvement.

4. Reward

The Society of Human Resource Managers reports that companies with solid employee recognition programs saw a 63% increase in employee productivity. These rewards don’t necessarily have to be cash. Rewards are an avenue to recognize an employee’s impact on the company’s growth, especially when running employee advocacy programs. This stimulates the rewarded staff to do better, encouraging employee engagement.

The success of an engaged employee begins with thriving workplace relationships, employee-employee, and employer-employee. An engaged employee is not a loud quitter but a successful and innovation-driven employee, inevitably visible in the company’s growth. 

5. Flexibility

This might be the most important factor that can change everything for your employees and flip the things around. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed all of us to work-from-home, and both, the companies and the employees felt the benefits from it. 

According to a survey conducted by Statista on the question “What’s the biggest benefit you see to working remotely?” 

  • 67% of the participant answered with “Flexibility in how I spend my time”; 
  • 62% answered with “Flexibility to choose my work location”, and 
  • 55% answered with “Flexibility to live where I choose”. 

You might have noticed that all of their answers start with the same word: Flexibility.
The hybrid work model approach better supports the diverse needs of employees, and at the same time enables employers to combat loud quitting in the changing company landscapes. If you want to retain your employees and improve the overall employee engagement make sure that you offer the hybrid work model that allows them this much desired flexibility.  

The results are heightened productivity with 13% performance increase thanks to the quieter and more convenient work environment, improved work satisfaction and a 50% lower attrition rate – according to Forbes.