‘Quiet Quitting’ and ‘Loud Quitting’: Are working practises being reset?

Published on: 19/07/2023


Last Autumn, we reported on how the controversial practises of ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘loud quitting’ in the workplace were hitting the headlines. However, we have recently noticed how employee-driven learning and development tools are being used to reverse quiet quitting and loud quitting.

What are ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘loud quitting’ in the workplace?

‘Quiet quitting’ is an application of work-to-rule, where employees work defined hours and make a discretionary decision to do what they need to get done and not work longer hours or outside the boundaries of the job requirements. This attitudinal shift seems to have resulted from employees being or feeling overworked over the past 2 years throughout the Pandemic, particularly where employees have reflected on their changing priorities and aspirations for a better work-life balance, whilst seeking to avoid burnout.

Whereas ‘loud quitting’ is where employees raise concerns with their managers and informing their colleagues of their intentions. Currently, we are witnessing this on a large-scale basis in the form of industrial action.

What is being done to reverse such practises?

A key aspect that has arisen in the last few months is that many employees are reflecting on their jobs and wanting greater opportunities to learn, grow and practice new skills to develop their career. There are now an increasing number of technological platforms for employees to develop their skills to enable a tailor-made approach to their career.

Since the pandemic and the new ways of working, in particular in a hybrid setting, there has been  a focus on creating learning programmes that encompass team elements in the hope of rebuilding connections and cohesiveness.

It is clear that, generally, employees are looking for more than just undertaking the day-to-day role but are seeking new opportunities and skills to develop to the next stage of their career.

So what can employers do?

It is clear that employee engagement is a key factor to rebuild the mutual trust of understanding and employers may seek to do this in the following ways:

  • Communicating with each other to better understand their concerns and encourage employees to speak openly if they have concerns in the role.
  • Providing job descriptions to employees from the outset so that they are aware of the parameters of the role and skills required to undertake the role.
  • Undertaking regular performance reviews so that it can be identified what an employee has done well and what can be improved (and communicating this to the employee). It is also an opportunity to discuss if an employee has taken on any additional responsibilities or work to understand if this justifies a promotion or salary review.
  • Reviewing and updating employee handbooks so that employees are aware of the expected standards at work and to ensure compliance with the current legislation.
  • Prioritising learning and promoting employees’ development in existing and new skills and experience.

Overall, open and genuine communication between employee and employer is key to ensuring that both understand their respective positions and seeing if there is a way forward for the employee to remain motivated in the role before key talent is lost.

If you require further advice on this topic, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our employment law team.


This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking professional and legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.