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How to Prevent Loud Quitting: Strategies to Boost Employee Engagement

After learning of “quiet quitting” earlier this year, leaders can turn their attention to a new subject: loud quitting, or active disengagement at work. Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace report exposed almost one in five employees engage in “loud quitting.”

The ranks of loud quitters are smaller than disengaged quiet quitters, who make up 59% of the workforce. However, even a minority of loud quitters can negatively impact morale and culture. Loud quitters engage in behavior to actively undermine the organization, reaching the point of direct opposition due to a complete breakdown in trust and communication.

Loud quitters can pose a serious obstacle to an organization by reducing efficiency and hindering its ability to achieve key goals. To prevent loud quitting from harming their business, leaders should keep a few strategies in mind.

READ: You’ve Heard of ‘Quiet Quitting,’ but What About ‘Quiet Leadership?’

Understand employee engagement

Employee engagement is critical to motivation, productivity and culture. However, between loud quitters and quiet quitters, up to seven in 10 employees may feel passively or actively disengaged in the workplace. To sidestep the pitfalls of loud quitting, it is important for organizations to understand what factors keep employees engaged and happy and how they can improve engagement overall.

The starting point for understanding engagement is gathering data. One useful way to measure engagement is using anonymous surveys to poll employees several times a year. Direct conversations can also help leaders uncover the truth about the employee experience at their organization, but anonymous surveys often solicit more honest feedback.

Understanding employee engagement takes time. One survey might not reveal the whole picture, but it is a springboard to make change. Leadership must remember: When a survey is conducted, employee communication and/or action to address any obvious concerns is paramount. Over the course of months to a year, leaders can experiment with policies promoting engagement and interpret the data points to guide them in the right direction.

READ: How to Craft an Ideal Employee Experience Strategy — 6 Easy Steps

Train managers 

The best way to address loud quitting is to prevent employees from loud quitting in the first place. The cause of quiet quitting goes beyond employee disengagement. By the time employees reach a point where they deliberately undermine leadership, their relationship with their employee has usually been deteriorating over months or years. Managers have many opportunities throughout that process to intervene and course correct.

Organizations should thoroughly train their managers in how to have difficult conversations with employees and work with different types of personalities. If an employee seems disengaged, managers should take the initiative as soon as possible to uncover why and re-engage the employee. Once an employee begins to show signs of loud quitting, managers urgently need to step in before the employee can hurt the organization.

Culture plays a key role in loud quitting as well. In an organization culture where employees feel valued, trust will remain high, and employees are less likely to become loud quitters. Organizations can collaborate with managers to foster a thriving culture within their teams, where workers feel both supportive of and supported by one another. Whether through training managers, intervening early or building culture, the most effective solution to loud quitting is prevention.

READ: 5 Tips for Building a Strong Company Culture in a Hybrid Work Environment

Hire for culture fit

The unhappiest employees in an organization are often those who do not fit into a culture. While that might not mean the employee is a poor worker, a bad culture fit can lead to low engagement, intrapersonal conflict and eventually, loud quitting. HR can and should try to help employees struggling to integrate into corporate culture, but the most effective way to ensure culture fit is to focus on culture during recruitment. 

There is no single solution to hiring for culture fit, but organizations need to define their culture before they can hire for it. Once leaders have identified what makes their corporate culture unique, recruitment materials should emphasize core mission and values embedded in company culture. Recruiters should also receive training on the best ways to talk about culture with candidates and how to identify candidates who can function well as a team with existing employees.

No organization wants a loud quitter in their midst, just like no employee wants to become a loud quitter. To avoid the unwanted outcome, employers should focus on employee engagement, teach their managers to address loud quitting and embrace culture fit during recruitment. In doing so, they can build an organization of happy, productive employees. 

 

Niki JorgensenNiki Jorgensen is a Director of Service Operations with Insperity, a leading provider of human resources offering the most comprehensive suite of scalable HR solutions available in the marketplace. For more information about Insperity, call 800-465-3800 or visit www.insperity.com.