Job resignations have seen quite an evolution in the last several years. While there is the occasional Jerry Maguire “Who’s comin’ with me?” moment, by and large, quitting a job used to standardly be a process of polite meetings and formal notices. Considering many of the workers we’re discussing today weren’t even born when that movie came out, it’s safe to say things have changed.
“Quiet quitting” emerged during the pandemic, a trend wherein burned-out workers elected to do the bare minimum in their professional roles, generally withdrawing from work without formally quitting. Of course, there was the actual quitting too. Burnout led to 26% of U.S. workers changing jobs in the first year of the pandemic. And it didn’t stop there. A 2022 Deloitte survey found that roughly 40% of Gen Z and 24% of millennials would like to leave their jobs within two years.
While the so-called Great Resignation churns on, many workers — especially those on the youngest end of the labor pool — have shifted from an attitude of quiet quitting to loud leaving. Some employees are even documenting their resignations with the help of social media platforms like TikTok, using the hashtag #QuitTok. As workplace dynamics continue to change, it’s important for employers to understand these shifts and do their best to support their workers in all the ways they can.
Amid these big shifts in the workplace, here are a few things modern employers should be considering.
As the youngest generation in the workplace, Gen Z has grown up online. It is normal, encouraged even, for them to share openly on social media. So, while the idea of #QuitTok may seem surprising and even inappropriate to some, it’s important to recognize that in some ways, it’s par for the course. Why wouldn’t they share this moment?
Gen Z is also particularly guarded about their mental health. And perhaps it’s because research shows they are under the most stress. In fact, 91% of Gen Z say they’re stressed about work. Their early careers have been heavily upended by the pandemic, which has created a series of “spinoff” stressors, like shaky global markets and high inflation. Indeed, there is a collective sense of stress among workers. So when workplaces become viewed as “toxic,” it is easy to see how quitting in a bold moment and filming it might be considered aspirational, or even empowering.
On the flip side, many in leadership are struggling to find silver linings in the trend. Matt Weiss, President of creative growth agency Huge said this about this trend on LinkedIn: “I am struggling with the Quittok trend. It feels performative more than marking a milestone and it disrupts my belief in being good to each other.”
In reply, Steve Palmisano, Founder of AdElevate took it a step further. “It is simply bad behavior, with a large dose of narcissism. Anyone doing this has to be able to realize it is bad form on so many levels.”
Whether your company views #QuitTok as a generational quirk or an unprofessional move, it’s important to understand why it’s happening and how you can best position your team to respond.
WorkHound can be a powerful tool for improving communication with employees and addressing their concerns before they escalate into retention problems. By giving workers an outlet to share feedback, they feel heard and included, which in and of itself can be a positive change within the workforce. And beyond nurturing these needs, WorkHound also helps employers capture important information from the workers themselves, giving them a roadmap for problem-solving, and an opportunity to positively shape company culture.
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