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You know that vocal employee who shares every achievement, even if it’s a regular aspect of their job? That’s a loud laborer. Besides the fact that they often aren’t as productive as they make themselves sound, they may also be the hole in a sinking ship, slowly dragging down their team.

You’ve heard the latest buzzwords: quiet quitting, loud quitting, lazy girl jobs, and loud laborers. While having a loud laborer on your team doesn’t necessarily sound like a bad thing, they tend to be less productive than their coworkers and lower company morale. 

What Is a Loud Laborer?

Coined by André Spicer, a loud laborer is an employee who openly brags about their work and achievements despite the fact that they’re doing little to nothing. They may be doing the bare minimum required of their role but talking about it so loudly and often that their bosses give them praise and recognition. 

These employees may lack self-confidence (needing more praise or encouragement) or simply want attention. On the other hand, they may be narcissistic and overly confident.

Even if they are the best at what they do, bragging about it isn’t good for team morale.

What’s the Issue With Loud Laborers?

Loud laborers tend to value compliments and visibility more than the quality of work that they put out.

Now, you may be wondering- isn’t confidence a good thing? Yes, it is. A confident worker who does their job exceptionally is fantastic. They deserve praise and should toot their own horn once in a while. A confident worker may shine a light or seek attention for exceptionally well-done projects, parts of which may not be in their job description. Loud laborers, however, seek attention for completing their everyday job duties. 

loud laborer seeking attention with the rest of their team behind them

Studies show that too much self-promotion (especially with dismal output) affects the team. If leaders aren’t paying attention, they’ll likely praise and validate this person while the rest of the team, who does most of the work, sits in the shadows. Loud laborers often create unhealthy competition instead of collaboration. 

What to Do if You Have an Employee Who Is a Loud Laborer

Recognize Effort and Results

Don’t be fooled by the loud laborer. Just because they brag about finishing a project or connecting with X amount of clients doesn’t mean they actually did. Yes, trusting your team is essential, but before considering who to promote, put on an important assignment, or give a raise to, look at their recent contributions. 

Don’t forget to compare their output with employees who may be less vocal about their achievements. 

Have a Conversation With the Loud Laborer About How Their Attitude May Be Affecting the Team

Your loud laborer clearly likes to talk. Review their recent work. Whether it’s impressive or subpar, have a chat with them. Explain how their bragging may be hurting team morale. 

Use a Task Manager

By using a task manager, you can keep track of your employees’ progress in real-time. Task managers make it easier for you to see who completes projects on time, needs to make edits, and excels in their position. 

Understand Different Working Styles

It’s essential for you, as a leader, and your employees to know which working style they emulate. Recognizing how each employee thrives is vital to building a successful team. Depending on their personality, employees will generally fall into one of the four following categories:

  • Logical – A logical worker is typically concentrated and dependable. They tackle problems head-on and don’t tend to plan in advance.
  • Supportive – Supportive employees tend to love collaboration. They are empathetic and great relationship builders.
  • Detail-orientated – Unlike the logical worker, the detail-orientated worker plans and analyzes each task before beginning. They provide stability and organization but are sometimes slow to get a project moving. 
  • Idea-orientated – These types of workers see the big picture and inspire others. They usually have a lot of energy and view obstacles as new opportunities. 

A loud laborer can fall into any of these categories. However, by recognizing which type of working style each of your employees uses, you can learn how to motivate them, respect their loud or quiet moments, and better understand their struggles. 

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Determined to simultaneously work and travel, Sami has been working remotely since 2015. She has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of this world but wouldn't change her experiences for anything. She's thrilled to see companies offering more remote and hybrid roles and supports anyone who chooses to make the change.

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