Why ‘loud quitting’ is the controversial workplace trend you need to approach with caution

Written by Leah Sinclair

When ‘loud quitting’, employees tend to make it clear they are unhappy with certain aspects of their role or workplace situations in an attempt to better negotiate what they want from their workplace – but is it too risky to do?

When you reach a point when work becomes borderline unbearable, it’s a tricky space to navigate.

It can be challenging to sit in meeting after meeting while dreaming of being anywhere other than the Teams call you’re currently enduring. Maybe you feel as though you’re deserving of more than what’s on offer – and with a cost of living crisis impacting all facets of our lives, our career goals are constantly changing.

These changes have led to a rise of new trends for those looking to free themselves of the shackles of their current roles – ‘loud quitting’ is the latest to emerge and is causing some controversy.

While quiet quitting involves silently ‘checking out’ and doing the bare minimum requirements for a job with little effort or enthusiasm, loud quitting is all about making noise.

Workers that are ‘loud quitting’ tend to make it clear they are unhappy with certain aspects of their role or workplace situations, in an effort to better negotiate what they want from their workplace.

“I think loud quitting is likely to continue rising in popularity along with quiet quitting, says Matt Wrigley, HR advisor at marketing company Dentsu.

“Quiet quitting was thrust into the spotlight in part due to pandemic-induced burnout, and now loud quitting has become a popular term and will likely continue to be so for the duration of 2023. The two may be seen as two sides of the same coin, being that they both stem partially from burnout and lack of motivation and drive.”

While there is a multitude of factors contributing towards the loud quitting trend, financial struggles continue to be a key factor.

“The cost of living crisis has put pressure on employees financially along with the tight labour market over the last year, which has shifted the balance of power in favour of employees,” says Wrigley. “As a result, employees have felt more able to use loud quitting as a negotiation tactic.”

While some may feel emboldened to use loud quitting as a means of negotiation, it does come with its risks.

“Loud quitting is a high-risk strategy for negotiating pay increases, especially during a cost of living crisis,” warns Wrigley.

HR tech company founder and CEO Amy Spurling agrees. “It’s very risky. If you have to threaten to leave to get a raise, that should be a red flag about your company anyway,” she says.

“What about the people who aren’t threatening to quit? The company is likely going to favour them and not entertain your outrage, even if you have every right to be unhappy in your job. If loud quitting is the only way, that’s an indicator that you’re working in a nasty environment. No work environment should bring you to that kind of ultimatum.”

While some experts do warn against loud quitting, there are some potential benefits that can come from it.

“Loud quitting allows you to remind your boss of your achievements and your value to the company,” says Wrigley. “It could also lead to an enhanced compensation package.”

Wrigley says that if you do find yourself loud quitting, it’s important to be clear on what it is you are looking for from the negotiation and to “know your limits”.

“If you do decide to do this, there are a few things you can learn about your organisation from the way they respond,” adds Spurling.

“If they offer you a raise, they’re letting you know they’re already paying other people more. A pay gap exists. So, you’re setting yourself up to always have to badger them in order to be fairly compensated,” she warns. 

“That’s, quite frankly, exhausting and a waste of your energy when you can be fairly compensated elsewhere without having to negotiate.

“The other scenario is that your company doesn’t care and doesn’t react. In that case, you’ve kneecapped yourself and you either have to leave or you stay and they still don’t give you a raise.”

There’s no doubt that at times we can all reach our wits’ end with our jobs and, as a result, there’s a possibility that some may act out of desperation and frustration.

However, loud quitting may put you in a workplace box that is tricky to get out of.

“The bottom line is that manipulation is never going to get you the dream job with the dream company,” says Spurling. 

“It’s so much better to have a conversation about compensation. Come prepared – do your benchmarking research, take market evidence of what your salary should be to your manager and have a conversation about what you believe would be fair. 

“If they don’t respond, you either live with it or find another job. You don’t have to quiet quit or loud quit. Move on and use your energy to find the job you want with the company that actually respects you and pays you what you’re worth.”

Image: Getty

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