LOUD QUITTING! The New Emerging Global Resignation Trend Taking the Workplace by Storm

From “Bare Minimum Mondays” to “Put Your Boss on Blast on TikTok Fridays,” loud quitting is the new emerging resignation trend affecting employers.  Where employees previously used “mouse-jigglers” to simulate mouse movement to prevent their computers from going into sleep mode, they are now using social media as a megaphone to voice their resignations.  Employers everywhere should be cognizant of how loud quitting may impact morale and productivity in the workplace and affect employers’ reputations, sometimes overnight.  But to address the issue, we must first understand what this trend means and why it might be happening.

What Is Loud Quitting?

Loud quitting is not a Gen-Z or millennial trend.  It is cross-generational.  It is also not just about prioritizing boundaries over a hustling culture, but rather about how employees are expressing their discontent for their jobs publicly.  Loud quitting involves actively disengaged employees taking “actions that directly harm the organization, undercutting its goals and opposing its leaders.”1  In other words, loud quitters used to be quiet quitters, but instead of remaining quietly disengaged, they are now taking steps to actively influence workplace disengagement.

Inflammatory digital communications that permeate the workplace are a favorite tool among loud quitters.  These communications can destroy relationships, cause morale issues, risk waves of resignations of skilled talent overnight, increase the workload of remaining workers, disrupt the company’s operations, and result in lost revenue due to diminished productivity.

Why Is it Happening?

Why are employees screaming from the tops of their lungs about the problems they faced at work, and why did they air their grievances on TikTok or Instagram instead of speaking with management or human resources?  The likely answer: no one would listen to them while they were employed.  Woefully mismatching employees to a role is another common reason.

Resignation trends are often fueled by unmanageable employee stress, and loud quitting is no exception.2  Burnout, micromanaging or overbearing bosses, increased costs of living, not feeling appreciated, and increased pressure to return to in-person work have left employees taking solace in disengaging from and publicly renouncing their jobs.  Loud quitting is a wakeup call for employers to lend an ear to their employees’ concerns.

Takeaways for Employers

Riding on the coattails of quiet quitting, loud quitting is here to stay – at least for now – and this is how employers can combat it:

  • Identify Quiet Quitters.  Before quiet quitters transition into loud quitters, employers should identify less-productive employees and engage with them.  Employers should assess why an employee may have become less productive and should listen to the employee’s concerns, recommend solutions to address concerns, and empower the employee with tools to be more productive.  In order to identify less-productive employees, employers could implement better productivity measurement metrics.  When using tracking software to monitor productivity, employers must abide by all laws protecting employees’ rights to privacy.  They must also consider the public and labor relations implications of using such tools.
  • Educate and Mentor.  Workplace trainings are a powerful tool to keep employees and management informed of expectations and foster an inclusive environment where employees feel heard and respected.  A mentorship program can offer employees the opportunity to be matched with a more senior employee who can become the ear they often need to communicate their frustrations and who can offer solutions, thus minimizing the risk employees will resort to TikTok or Instagram to air their grievances. 
  • Review Handbooks and Policies.  Employers should review their employee handbooks to ensure the policies concerning professionalism and communication are up to date, apply equally to employees working remotely and in-person, and are enforced.  An open-door policy can encourage employees to come forward with concerns and foster a culture where employee input is valued.
  • Find the Right Fit.  Employees involved in recruitment and advancement should be carefully matching candidates to the roles for which they are hiring.  The focus should not be exclusively on the skills presented on paper.  Soft skills should also be considered, and it is crucial that employees be provided the necessary tools to succeed in their roles, so they are not operating in perpetual crisis mode. 
  • Document.  Employers should document all instances of loud quitting to identify trends.  Is there a common cause to which employees are citing as the reason for their resignation?  If so, employers should be addressing the root cause and taking steps to correct any issues.  Employers should also conduct exit interviews to gather data that can help improve the workplace.
  • Seek Help.  Employers should regularly consult with their employment counsel for the best recommended practices and risk avoidance measures.

See Footnotes

1 Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report (2023), https://www.gallup.com/workplace/349484/state-of-the-global-workplace.aspx (finding almost 1 in 5, or 18%, of global employees are loudly quitting based on a report of more than 120,000 global employees).

2 Id.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.