Research from Rethinkly – a visualisation platform which helps businesses resolve communication challenges in the workplace – unveils that, in tandem with this growing trend, 28% of Gen Z employees feel like they have no voice in the workplace. Whilst it can be fun to engage with the content on social media platforms such as TikTok, videos like these are indicative of a much more ominous trend of corporations failing to address unhealthy workplace cultures, leading to employees feeling the need to publicly voice their grievances. 

Years into what many touted to be ‘The Great Resignation’, young workers are still quitting their jobs in droves. And whilst many are opting for traditional methods of sending official resignation emails to bosses, younger workers are taking on a new tactic: live quitting on social media. Sometimes tense, often funny and always compelling, these short video clips attract thousands – sometimes millions – of views.

Millennials and Gen Z watched the generation before them struggle in corporate jobs during the 2008 economic crash, and many of these young people are mired in student debt with low-paying jobs themselves. On top of having their early work experiences shaped by Covid-19, with many young workers having never stepped foot inside an office, research shows that 91% of 18-to-24 year olds report being stressed at work on a daily basis. On top of this, reports show that Gen Z are increasingly prioritising mental health over other job perks, such as salary and holiday time. Trends such as taking to social media to publicly quit a job is suggestive of a generation frustrated with corporations that don’t prioritse wellbeing within their culture – and should be a call to action for corporations to address ‘toxic workplace culture’ before reaching a boiling point. 

As these toxic workplace cultures are now being brought to the forefront, companies must consider the sorts of tools and processes they have in place to ensure people have safe spaces by which to address concerns in a healthy way before getting to the stage where someone would consider taking to social media. Trends like these are symptomatic of unpleasant employee experiences, and whilst it could look like a lighthearted funny viral moment – the reality behind the trend is anything but. 

Rethinkly co-founder, Andrew Jackson, commented on the need for corporations to address unhealthy workplace culture before reaching a boiling point:  “In light of the recent rise of young people quitting their jobs and talking negatively about them on social media, it has never been more important for organisations create the best working environment possible to prevent this from happening. Ultimately, this behaviour is most likely the result of a negative company culture in which mutual respect and communication have completely broken down.

“Companies must consider all of the tools and processes they have in place to ensure employees have safe spaces to air concerns in a healthy way before reaching this point. Of course, there may be instances whereby complaints are unjustified, and employees should also think carefully before going down this route as it could affect their future career prospects.”

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