HR’s Newest Challenge: The ‘Loud Quitters’

4-minute read

There’s good and bad news in the latest Gallup report on how things are going in the workplace. It’s a nearly 100-page report with lots of charts so we’ll give you what we feel are the important highlights:

  • Most workers are (still) “quiet quitting” (not engaged, 59%) or, to introduce a new term, “loud quitting” (actively disengaged, 18%). You’ve heard of the quit quitters. They’re the clock-watchers, stressed and burnt out. Loud quitters are the toxic bunch, undercutting your corporate goals and opposing leadership. There’s zero trust there and lots of drama. “They aren’t just unhappy at work. They are resentful that their needs aren’t being met and are acting out their unhappiness,” Gallup said. “Every day, these workers potentially undermine what their engaged coworkers accomplish.”
  • The Quiet Quitters, meanwhile, could be your next performance leaders, but they want change in the workplace, including better recognition for their contributions, greater autonomy, clearer goals, and better guidance.
  • Twenty-three percent of the world’s employees were engaged at work in 2022, the highest level since Gallup began measuring global engagement in 2009. Although engagement declined in 2020, it has returned to its historically positive trend. Much of this gain was due to a 7-percentage-point rebound in engagement in South Asia, which includes India.
  • Although the world has recovered from the worst of the pandemic, employee stress remains at a record-high level. Forty-four percent of employees told Gallup they experienced a lot of stress the previous day, repeating the record high seen in 2021 and continuing a trend of elevated stress that began almost a decade earlier.
  • Globally, over half of employees expressed some level of intent to leave their job.
  • As we know, some people love working from home, while others prefer the office. Gallup, however, found that employee engagement has 3.8 times as much influence on employee stress as work location. So, what people experience in their everyday work — their feelings of involvement and enthusiasm — matters more in reducing stress than where they are sitting. In other words, the fix for poor performance more likely requires making a management adjustment, not ordering people back to the office.

What’s the bottom line on all this?

Introducing the "loud quitters," employees who aren’t just unhappy at work but are resentful that their needs aren’t being met.

According to Gallup, employees who are not engaged at work or actively disengaged represent an $8.8 trillion untapped productivity opportunity for global workplaces.

That’s a huge chunk of change, obviously.

Also, it’s not news that mismanaging employees leads to employee disengagement. Doing more to train your managers on how to be better at their jobs will naturally help reverse that, keeping the "loud quitters" to a minimum.

“Poor management leads to lost customers and lost profits, but it also leads to miserable lives,” Gallup explained, adding, “Having a job you hate is worse than being unemployed.”

A better benefit plan that’s aligned to your employees’ needs also will help.

The modern-day benefits plan includes things like nutritional counseling, health literacy training, low-cost childcare, gym memberships, pet-friendly offices and more.

The bottom line? Understanding the importance of employee engagement (rather than ignoring it), addressing workplace stress, and providing comprehensive benefits can unlock the potential of your employees, leading to higher productivity and the overall success of your organization.

The Mahoney Group, based in Mesa, Ariz., is one of the largest independent insurance and employee benefits brokerages in the U.S. An employee-owned organization, we’ve been providing our clients with the confidence to face whatever lies ahead for more than 100 years. For more information, contact us online or call 877-440-3304.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

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