In a World of Loud Quitting Employees, Are Employees Truly to Blame? #QuitTok

Loud quitting - Where a worker resigns from their job in a way that makes it as public as possible.

Following the pandemic, ‘silent quitting’ was the thing to do, but not anymore, as ‘loud quitting’ has taken social media by storm. #QuitTok is the up-and-coming trend, and employers must learn quickly to prevent themselves from becoming a part of it. From the hashtags to the covert recordings, we delve into what this new wave is and the steps employers should consider to avoid it.

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#QuitTok – The Opposite of Quiet Quitting

What is Quiet Quitting?

COVID-19 impacted the globe in a myriad of ways. One of its influences was the Great Resignation. For those who don’t know, lockdown measures caused employees worldwide to reconsider their well-being priorities.

For many, the work-from-home practices sparked a desire for a better working environment with enhanced flexibility. Consequently, this resulted in many employees quiet quitting. This refers to the practice where individuals offer minimum effort to keep their jobs without going the extra mile.

The Loud Quitting Phenomenon

In recent times, though, a new trend has emerged in the form of loud quitting. As the name suggests, this is the opposite of silent quitting and involves making a public statement exit. 

The movement has arisen on social media platforms like TikTok, garnering the title ‘#QuitTok’. Typically, Gen-Z users will film themselves being made redundant or resigning on an online call. The other caller is usually unaware of the recording, and the social media content is posted with hashtags like ‘#layoffseason’.

In this #QuitTok video, Gabrielle Judge resigns from her tech role during a performance review.

In one clip, Brittany Pietsch filmed how Cloudflare sacked her as an account executive after just three months in the role. The video showcased the employer’s harshness, prompting their chief executive to make a statement. While defending the decision to dismiss her, he felt the company learned a valuable lesson in being “more kind and humane” in its approach.

READ: Verbal Resignations – Are they Valid in the UK?

Separately, Christina Zumbo joined the loud quitting move when she posted a video labelled ‘quit my job with me’. The TikToker appeared upset as she sent a resignation email to her boss, followed by a call from HR. Despite this, she felt it was the right thing to do, as her job made her unhappy.

The Root Cause of Loud Quitting

Although workers have embraced this trend for many reasons, a common theme is workplace transparency. Several have sought to expose workplace shortfalls, such as inferior working conditions and treatment, and invoke change.

One example can be found in the tech industry, where the loud quitting movement has been prevalent. In this sector, the industry tracker reports there have been mass redundancies in excess of 312,000, since the beginning of 2023. 

Sometimes, workers are cut off without their manager being present or providing a proper reason. Others are made redundant without receiving a sufficient severance package. This has influenced increased distrust among workers and prompted a need for better workplace transparency.

But that’s not all. Factors like the push for employees to return to the office have also motivated the desire for workplace transparency. Despite flexible working arrangements proving a considerable success for employee productivity and well-being, employers have looked to end them. As such, many workers have felt undervalued by their employers, believing better communication was needed.

Far-Reaching Ramifications for Businesses

#QuitTok workers seem unfazed by the potential legal action they could face due to covertly recording their employer. The same can’t be said for their employers, though, as the ramifications caused by loud quitting could be far-reaching.

Internally, such actions could distract the rest of a company’s workforce, decreasing their engagement and productivity. The worker’s exit could also increase the workload of others, causing them to become stressed at work and dissatisfied with their employer. Alternatively, the resignation could inspire others and prompt a wave of exits, massively straining the employer’s resources and capabilities.

Yet, the trend could have severe external repercussions, too. Should a worker publicly expose a company’s bad practices, the company’s reputation could be damaged indefinitely. This may result in future recruitment struggles or cause customers to think twice about purchasing their product or service.

Avoid Becoming a Viral Sensation by Improving Workplace Transparency

In light of the loud quitting movement, employers must carefully take steps to avoid becoming a viral hit online. And since the vast majority of it stems from workplace transparency, this is where employers must mainly focus their efforts.

From requesting regular feedback to attentively listening to workers’ needs, employers should prioritise support and the well-being of their workforce. Furthermore, they must break down the barriers of mistrust that have arisen by rebuilding worker confidence and praising their efforts.

READ: Jailed Farmfoods Worker Ordered to Pay Back £77k After Defrauding Supermarket out of £275k

To achieve this, employers should invest as much into retaining staff and letting them go as they do in recruitment. Moreover, by listening to workers’ needs and implementing relevant but practical measures, employers can ensure their staff feel appreciated and are more engaged. Some examples of this include:

  • Promoting flexible working practices, including work-from-home models, rather than taking them away
  • Clearly discussing potential redundancies and any alternatives with the workforce
  • Offering complete severance packages that support the individual post-employment

By considering the above, employers can halt the loud quitting campaign. They can better retain talent and influence positive references from departing employees who feel supported.

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