Quiet quitting, loud quitting and more - how to manage Gen Z workplace trends
As workplace shortages are being filled by younger candidates, employers need to learn to adapt to the specific needs and habits of Gen Z employees.
One way of understanding Gen Z behaviour is by looking to social media platform TikTok, which has been the seedbed for a number of workplace trends that employers should be paying attention to, especially if they want to attract and retain employees from younger generations.
When an employee is fulfilling their job requirements but doing nothing more – no overtime, no initiative, no volunteering for extra projects or responsibilities - they may be quiet quitting.
Of course, relying on employees to go above and beyond their pay grade every single workday is unreasonable, but when an employee has lost all passion, ambition, interest, and engagement in their job, it’s important to investigate. Instances of quiet quitting can bring down team morale, and affect business performance.
Because quiet quitting is by definition quiet, it can be difficult to spot, so it’s important to pay close attention to employee behaviour, attitude, and work performance.
Quiet quitting is a symptom of deeper problems for an employee. It could be a response to burnout, to feeling undervalued or unheard, or to lack of alignment with company culture of ethics.
The opposite of quiet quitting, loud quitting involves the employee making it known both to the boss and the rest of the team around them that they are looking to move on to a different position elsewhere. This is usually in the hope of gaining a promotion, pay rise, or other perk from the employer as a way of making them stay.
For employers, loud quitting poses a greater risk to the morale of the rest of the team, so dealing with instances of loud quitting straight away is advisable.
It is a risky tactic for disgruntled employees to take, as employers can always call their bluff, however, ascertaining exactly what the problem is can provide valuable feedback.
Loud quitting can be an indicator of an easily solvable problem, such as the need for a pay rise, or the desire for more responsibility, but it can also allude to deeper issues that affect employee happiness, or indicate a poor fit for an employee in a particular role.
When an employee is rage applying, they are sending off CVs and applications to a large number of companies with the aim of being offered a better position and leaving their current job as quickly as possible.
Employing this tactic comes with its pitfalls, as the quick and unscrupulous manner of rage applying means that little research has been conducted into the companies being applied to, and there has been little thought towards tailoring CVs and personal statements. This means its possible that employees might find themselves in a less favourable role, or being offered no new role at all.
How easy this is to spot for employers depends entirely on how vocal the employee is about what they’re doing. It may be similar to quiet quitting, and require some level of observation, or they might be open about their intentions. Either way, it’s best to try and catch this before your employee finds another position.
Rage applying, as the name suggests, can be a reaction to a specific incident rather than a symptom of more long-term issues, but it’s important to get to the bottom of what is prompting this behaviour in order to ensure employees are satisfied within their work.
How to deal with unhappy Gen Zers
Adoption of any of these trends means that an employee is unhappy at work, and the best way to deal with that is to have a frank and open conversation about how things can be improved.
By giving the employee in question the opportunity to provide honest feedback, you can identify pain points and work together to improve circumstances in order to keep them on the payroll.
Of course, sometimes an employee is simply not a good fit for a role and it’s impossible or impractical to create a satisfactory environment for them, and sometimes once an employee is no longer engaged with a company it’s difficult to regain their interest. In those instances, the feedback provided can provide a good basis for hiring and retaining Gen Z employees in future.
To avoid dissatisfaction in the first place, statistics show that Gen Z employees respond best to workplaces that cater to their needs in the follow ways:
Technology - According to research conducted by Dell, an enormous 91% of the Gen Z population say that technology would influence job choice among similar employment offers.
Flexibility and workplace wellbeing - According to a survey carried out by The Workforce Institute, 1 in 4 Gen Z participants stated they would work harder and stay longer at a company with flexible schedules, while a third of respondents said they would never tolerate being forced to work when they didn’t want to, not being able to use vacation days when they want to, and having no say over their work schedule.
Inclusivity and diversity - According to Yello, 88% of Gen Z employees see diversity as a major factor in a job. Gen Z are pioneering identity politics, and taking control of and celebrating their own identities. This means that your recruitment process needs to be mindful of this and be open, accessible, and inclusive to all.
Ethics - Research shows that ethics play an important role in Gen Z’s choice of work, with a recent Bupa study revealing that 54% of Gen Z employees stating that “if they were in a role for an employer that did not take action on ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) issues, they would take a pay cut to join a business in keeping with their ethics – should the opportunity arise.”
At Reed Screening, we can help you to digitise and streamline your recruitment journey with online screening services, and digital checks. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you drive technology and appeal to the Gen Z workforce.