Staffing Kansas City

How the “Act Your Wage” Trend Could Impact the Workplace in 2024

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An end-of-2023 trend shows signs of creating noticeable disruption into 2024. You’ve heard of “Quiet Quitting”, but have you heard of “Act Your Wage”? The “Act Your Wage” trend is the newest way employees are showing their dissatisfaction with overwork to combat job burnout. A survey last year found that thirty-eight percent of employees felt burned out by hard to manage workloads.

Pushing back against overwhelming workloads or an underwhelming work environment is nothing new, but the vocalness with which employees are doing so continues to grow. Since the pandemic, employees have been questioning where they stand in terms of work satisfaction and in their relationship with their employer. The latest, the “Act Your Wage” trend finds employees reassessing just how much their contributions are worth to their employer.

Acknowledging the Source

Discontent and burnout lie at the root of many of these trends. Although it may be convenient to see the pandemic as the originator of these issues, the problem goes back much farther, way back. Work is inherently about earning and learning. When this ratio gets out of balance, people will naturally push back. One recent example is employers who pushed for a return to the office immediately and the subsequent pushback by employees who sought better work-life balance.

Yet, we continue to treat work as a simple exchange of time/effort for money, but this is more complex than a basic exchange. There are many reasons why people work and there are just as many reasons businesses want to make the most of what they have. An imbalance in the terms demonstrates itself in trends such as “Quiet Quitting,” “Coffee Badging” “Loud Laborers” and “Act Your Wage.” However, most employers will point out that being part of a team will sometimes require going above and beyond your job description and not doing so can have adverse consequences for your career.


Another element that’s often ignored is these trends don’t represent all employees, although they receive plenty of social media attention. It’s easy to forget that the workplace has always had employees who work hard to go above and beyond and there are those who are content with doing the bare minimum. It’s simply human nature.

When the roots run deep, there’s a good chance discontent will continue to simmer until it is addressed. Employers who wish to get ahead of any issues need to be clear about where they stand with their employees. The last couple of years have demonstrated that sweeping actions are rarely beneficial and often cause more harm than good.

Before casting a broad stroke, take a clear look at your workforce and the contributions of your employees. This simple act can go a long way in creating understanding and subsequent goodwill that has the potential to benefit the entire organization.