A new buzz phrase and salary news from Netflix forms the basis of our whimsical Friday view of HR this week.
It’s been about six months since “quiet quitting” became a thing. It was a phrase that made some people justifiably angry. This worthless addition to the lexicon of HR has quietly quit itself of late, after an initial flurry of press attention. Unfortunately, and somewhat unimaginatively, someone somewhere has come up with “loud quitting”.
Accusing, say, Mick Lynch of being a loud quitter wouldn’t go down too well”
At Personnel Today we doubt loud quitting is going to receive quite so much analysis as its shy cousin, so let’s make hay while the sun occasionally shines and take a look at what it might mean.
We initially thought that New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern may be the loud quitter as she publicly announced she was to leave her post, explaining she didn’t have enough “left in the tank”. But no, this wasn’t it at all.
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According to Jonny Edser at events management firm Wildgoose, who has brought this matter to our attention, the “trend” is “troubling”.
He says it is a “form of employee disengagement where employees try and play risky mind games to squeeze more money out of employers”. That puts Jacinda right out of the equation.
Such “mind games” might involve openly mentioning they aren’t happy, Edser says, and that they are applying for other jobs in the hope for a pay rise.
It is troubling because “it signals employees are not happy as well as a disconnect between the employer and employee regarding expectations when it comes to promotions and pay.” It is, thus, “in a manager’s best interest to recognise and prevent loud quitting and correct it as soon as possible.”
This can be done by having regular meetings and conversations with employees around issues such as pay, Edser adds.
Much of this is hardly controversial, and hardly merits the invention of a new buzz phrase, but then Edser writes: “When employees are disappointed with their pay, it’s usually due to lack of information.”
It struck some of us in the Personnel Today office (which on Friday is obviously empty as we’re all WFH) that actually it was the availability of information, not its lack thereof, that often made people want a pay rise.
For example, information about what the boss was getting, the contrast between company expenditure on jollies and junior salary levels, what rival firms paid and finally, the rising cost of living. You can imagine it not going down too well if the Rail Delivery Group accused RMT chief Mick Lynch of representing a bunch of loud quitters.
One is tempted to ask what workers are supposed to do exactly? They are caught between the hard place of quiet quitting, and the rock of loud quitting. In both definitions the workers are actually carrying on working and being productive – they still haven’t quit.
Perhaps it’s time someone came up with some buzz phrases for companies that don’t address employee concerns over workload and salaries.
Talking of quitting, it was interesting to read that Reed Hastings was stepping down from his role as co-chief executive of Netflix, the firm he helped found more than 25 years ago.
The news came just two days after it was revealed that Netflix was hiring a flight attendant for one of its private jets with a salary of up to $385,000 (£313,538) a year attached. Perhaps Hastings left his post because he thought having private jets and paying flight attendants enormous salaries was unbefitting a company that had laid off hundreds of staff in the past year or so.
Regardless, it’s hard to imagine the successful flight attendant “loud quitting” anytime soon.