Workplace Issues

More ‘Quiet’ Trends, ‘Great’ Phenomenons, and Trendy Labor Verbiage

As younger generations continue to label workplace trends, CFOs should be aware of the terminology some of their employees may be using.
More ‘Quiet’ Trends, ‘Great’ Phenomenons, and Trendy Labor Verbiage
Photo: Thomas Barwick

Effective leadership bridges the gap between employees and managers through good communication and human-centric management. Staying current on the latest work trends and the verbiage employees use in the office and on social media helps.

Regardless of whether the trends are actual changes in how we work, or just a renaming of everyday occurrences, they are the context in which employees — especially younger generations — form work habits, opinions on work-life balance, and thoughts on productivity.

Executives who deal with large numbers of employees have most likely heard some of these words uttered by employees in casual conversations with each other. If you’ve only heard of “quiet quitting” or “quiet firing” though, there are many more terms to learn. 

The Newest Employee Trends

While there’s no evidence that employees’ desire to embrace quiet trends is decreasing, some newly named trends that drop the word “quiet” are beginning to pop up. For example, “loud quitting” — defined as speaking openly about dissatisfaction with a role or wanting a raise in compensation and threatening to leave — is a trend a manager may need to handle swiftly. Not only can such a situation change the tone of a workplace, but it may also set off a domino effect of employee demands should a loud-quitting employee get what they want.

When an employee applies to multiple jobs out of frustration because of something that happened at their current job, it’s referred to as “rage applying.” The accessibility of the job market with online job marketplaces means workers have more access to information on vacant roles than ever before. On these job sites applying to many jobs in minutes can be relatively easy

Combined with the need for talent retention and finding quality job candidates, these trends can make life increasingly difficult for leadership. Some managers may find themselves in a situation where they’re walking on eggshells around particular employees. But delicate situations such as this can be avoided by properly communicating management style and expectations to the employee from the outset.  

With layoffs increasing in some sectors, employees may start to do more “job cushioning,” a term that describes a worker keeping tabs on job boards in search of a better opportunity. Workers who took a chance and left an established job during the pandemic may seek to become a “boomerang employee” — one who attempts to be or is rehired by a company they previously left. In the current economy, these people may have been the victim of the “last-in, first out” method of handling layoffs at their new company. Proceed with caution when weighing the decision to invite them back on board

The Newest Organizational Trends

Employees aren’t the only ones whose actions and frustrations in a historically tight labor market have earned nicknames. Although retaining quality employees is not a new challenge, keeping them regardless of the company’s performance has been called “labor hoarding.” This tactic doesn’t seem sound from a financial perspective, but according to Inc. it has gained traction, even among smaller businesses

Getting rid of employees for no good reason is also questionable, but the term “copycat layoffs”  is being used to describe when a company cuts headcount just because a competitor did.

If uncertainty about jobs mounts, we may see more remote and hybrid employees adopting “Bare Minimum Monday’s.” Although popularly seen as an instance of self-care, “bare minimum” or any other productivity-dampening initiatives, may eventually harm the efforts of those pushing for widespread acceptance and implementation of increased hybrid work or four-day work weeks.  

Indeed, with return-to-office initiatives taking place in many companies, we may see the end of other pandemic-era work trends. “Zoom Towns” — rural areas propped up by an influx of remote workers — resulted from many workers betting the fully-remote work environment would be long-term. Now, some of them are experiencing both buyer’s remorse and financial hardship due to their decisions.  

Not-So-Great Trends

While the Great Resignation took the labor market by storm during the pandemic, only small ripples are found in today’s labor market. That may be evidence that executives are offering better pay, benefits, and work environments.

But it is also the result of some Great Resignation participants second-guessing their decision to quit their jobs — the “great regret.” This condition is particularly acute if the worker has had difficulty finding an equal or adequate replacement position.

Of course, the happiest people in all this are the employees whose jobs and career moves have been successful. They leveraged the tight labor market during the pandemic to find better, higher-paying jobs and became part of the “great reshuffle.”