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Disruptive HR Trends: Loud Quitting vs. Quiet Quitting

Disruptive HR Trends: Loud Quitting vs. Quiet Quitting
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The current labor climate presents many challenges for today’s HR professionals. Across all sectors of activity, we are seeing a rise in employees leaving their jobs. It’s gotten so bad there’s even a catchy, if not overdramatic, word for the phenomenon: The Great Resignation. And currently, in the US, there is a labor shortage that, in some regions, has gotten to the point where there are twice as many job openings as there are people looking for jobs.

Workmates by HR Cloud can help improve employee recognition and reduce the rate of quiet quitting. The software allows for an easy and streamlined process for managers to provide regular employee feedback and recognition, which can help boost morale and engagement. It also includes tools for employee self-evaluation, which can help identify areas of concern or dissatisfaction before they escalate. By staying attuned to employee needs and proactively addressing them, companies can help prevent the disengagement that leads to quiet quitting


With the difficulties HR managers are currently experiencing in filling open positions, the problem is further exacerbated by an overall decrease in employee retention rate. HR professionals are having to fight the battle on two fronts. The rise of both quiet quitting and loud quitting is only one of the recruitment challenges to be aware of in 2023, but it does give us the opportunity to open our eyes, examine the factors that contribute to a growing problem, and look for lasting solutions.

In this short article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the factors that are contributing to a low employee retention rate, what preventative actions can be taken, as well as the subtle and not-so-subtle signs that an employee may be on the verge of leaving–either quietly or loudly.  

What Is Quiet Quitting Compared to Loud Quitting?

Both quiet quitting and loud quitting are expressions of a frustrated employee, one who either feels underappreciated, taken advantage of, or simply not given the opportunity to express their talents in a meaningful or rewarding work environment.

The difference lies in the way the employee chooses to express his or her frustration. In quiet quitting, the employee chooses to physically remain at their job, though emotionally, they have checked out. They disengage, put in less effort than they normally would, and opt for a more passive-aggressive way to show their discontent.

Loud quitting is more demonstrative. In loud quitting, the frustrated employee will vent, either to their employers or on social media (if not both). In some instances, loud quitting isn’t really ‘quitting’ at all. It is a negotiation strategy wherein an employee will ‘loudly’ state their objections to either the work environment they are in, the leadership they are working under (or lack thereof), or the compensation they are being offered. Regardless of the motivation behind loud quitting, it remains an employee’s expression of frustration and discontent. 

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What Are the Root Causes of Quiet Quitting and Loud Quitting?

We’ll start at the core and work our way outward. We could boil down the root causes of both quiet quitting and loud quitting to employee frustration.

Employee frustration stems from reality not lining up with expectations. The reasons for this could be multiple, and we’ll take a look at some of the more common examples of those in a bit. But we can avoid quiet quitting and loud quitting by avoiding frustration, which in turn means stacking the odds in our favor so that reality lines up with expectations.


Avoiding employee frustration begins at the recruitment process. In an effort to fill open positions during a period of drastic labor shortage, many HR professionals oversell the position. This will inevitably lead to problems down the road. Reality is unlikely to line up with the high expectations created in the mind of the recruit.

Ask yourself: Is it better to take longer to fill an open position but have the employee stay at the position for a long time or to fill the position immediately but have to repeat the process a few months later? In most instances, HR professionals prefer the former to the latter.

Similarly, in an effort to land a job, many job seekers will overstate their qualifications. This, as well, will lead to problems down the road as reality is bound to set in and fail to line up with the expectations the job seeker has set in the mind of the recruiter. To a large extent, this is par for the course. However, there are measures HR professionals can take to curb the negative effects of this common practice.

Consider placing a greater emphasis on soft skills as opposed to technical skills or industry-specific experience. A candidate who shows that they have a high capacity to learn and adapt often has more staying power than a candidate with purported technical skills that are most likely overstated.

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Employee frustration sets in when there is a lack of growth. Quiet quitting is synonymous with disengagement, and an employee who is not challenged and who does not grow, learn, and develop has very little reason to engage.

Again, avoiding stagnation begins with the recruitment process. Every job description should anticipate growth and employee development. It is not enough for a job description to state what the role demands. It must also identify and define what the role will do a year, two years, etc., down the road.


Employees need a clear channel of communication to voice their concerns, ask for assistance, or gain a better understanding of the tasks they are responsible for completing. Without this possibility, employee frustration is inevitable. 

In fact, loud quitting is characterized by an employee venting his or her frustration in a demonstrative way (often online or on social media platforms), ways that circumvent or ignore a company’s internal communication channels. This is clearly an indication that the employee doesn’t feel like they can have their frustrations heard and addressed by management.

Sometimes, it is not enough to have channels of communication open for employees. Some people are by nature timid or non-confrontational. In these instances, their frustration manifests in apathy or disinterest (quiet quitting). For such people, reporting requirements such as regular requests for feedback and regularly soliciting suggestions for improvement are needed.

When it comes to communication, there isn’t an optimal one-size-fits-all method. Instead, have a talk with your employees and ask them for insights as to how you can best provide them with comfortable and effective means for them to share their concerns should they have any.

Having clearly defined and agreed-upon expectations, fostering growth and development, and keeping clear lines of communication open are the pillars of workplace culture. And workplace culture and employee engagement go hand in hand. Improve workplace culture to improve employee retention.

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What Are the Signs of a Disengaged Employee?

When an employee loses interest in their work, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the employer. There are tell-tale signs that are easy to spot when looked for.

  • A decrease in productivity - Lack of motivation isn’t the only potential cause for a drop in productivity. However, even if there is a different cause, chances are high that a decrease in productivity will also lead to a decrease in interest in the job.

  • An increase in absences or showing up late more frequently - Physical withdrawal from the workplace is a dead giveaway of employee frustration.

  • Unwillingness to accept praise or criticism - When an employee balks at accepting praise or recognition for their work, that might not be due solely to humility. Often, frustrated or disengaged employees will seek to distance themselves from their work. This can translate to a refusal of ownership: not accepting either praise or criticism since they don’t feel like the work represents them or what they are capable of.

  • Negativity - Complaints or criticism of an employee’s work or the work of their colleagues ceases to be constructive when it comes to characterizing the overall impression of that employee. It often takes a good leader and a good communicator to sift through the negativity to find the root cause of the problem.

Conclusion - What Preventative Measures Can Be Taken to Avoid Quiet Quitting and Loud Quitting?

Both quiet quitting and loud quitting stem from employee frustration. This problem is best anticipated right from the hiring process. Make sure to be clear, specific, and honest with your expectations for the employee in the role they are given. Additionally, it is also vital that the role be anticipated to grow.

An engaged employee is one who is challenged, learns, and grows on the job. Every employee wants to be better a year down the road than they are right now. Without an employee developing and expanding on his or her skills, they will inevitably become stagnant. Stagnation leads to complacency, which leads, invariably, to apathy.

Provide your employees with opportunities for growth and development. Even demand that of them. 

Identify what methods of communication would best suit an employee’s specific individual character. Avoid implementing a one-size-fits-all approach to communication. Everyone is different, and identifying then respecting those differences is key to developing good communication. 


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Author Bio:

Gergo Vari is Lensa CEO. He has one mission: to revolutionize job search for companies and professionals. His journey through founding, funding, and exiting successful startups has taught him a valuable lesson: the hiring process is broken. Thus, he shares the desire for recruiting and human resources technology that puts people first.

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