HR buzzwords are running amok. No sooner do we debunk and ridicule them than more nonsensical balderdash proliferates. But now we have located the breeding ground: TikTok (checks notes); enabling us to, rather like Ripley in the Aliens movie, waft our flamethrower of disdain across the whole lot – hopefully with more lasting success than Ripley managed.
Personnel Today has been alerted to the horror of this trend by workspace business Easy Offices, which seems to be sitting on the fence when it comes to whether these buzzwords tell us anything or are an utter abomination conjured into being as part of some monstrous marketing effort.
Easy Offices tells us “a quick scroll through TikTok reveals some of the most popular office buzzwords that are popular among Gen-Z and Millennials.” So, before we delete various apps on our smartphones in the rush to limit our exposure to such baloney, let’s examine the leading candidates.
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First off is Quiet Quitting (yawn) with, wait for it, 428.6m views on TikTok. There’s no need for further comment on this term, it has been seen off on multiple occasions over the past year or so. There there’s Loud Quitting (5.9m) and its close relation Rage Applying (519k), a rather inelegant easy-to-forget phrase. Searches for rage applying have apparently shot up by 388% over the past year. Easy Offices thinks “this is a buzzword employers should be mindful of”. We don’t agree.
Career Cushioning has 89.9m views on TikTok. This is where employees prepare for new opportunities by upskilling during their current role. This might be something as little as updating their Linkedin profile more regularly, or networking on the job. Perhaps going to the pub with colleagues might count. Interest in ‘career cushioning’ has apparently risen by 211% over the year.
What is mystifying is how a social media brand most closely associated with crazy deep-faked dance moves is coming up with so much “hot” HR content. We can’t help with this one, sorry to say.
We have now passed the point where there’s some pleasing alliteration in the buzz phrases – “quiet quitting” at least has a poetic ring to it. Unlike Frolleagues (just 10.3k views). This is not a cheese-sharing work group but just a term for colleagues who are also friends. Then there is Overemployment. This refers to people having more than one job, either remotely or hybrid; jobs that are kept hidden from their employers (moonlighting anyone?). These will not catch on and we have no fears over giving them the oxygen of publicity.
Searches for Quiet Firing (439m views) – which is for when employers deliberately hold back on training and development in hopes of pushing someone out – are horrifyingly up by 2,424%. Easy Offices tells us: “This method is known to be toxic and unethical, but could it be happening more than we think?”
No doubt the purpose of these buzzwords is to neatly package some facet of our existence to enable us to discuss it more easily. Thus we now have the truly forgettable #bareminimummonday (1.8m views on TikTok) which is apparently a response to the pleasantly alliterative Sunday Scaries.
There are real issues lurking behind all these words of course, but as they proliferate they lose meaning; nobody will be able to remember them all for one thing. Let’s quiet quit them.
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