Management Tips

Quiet Quitting Unleashes Quiet Firing

Shot of a stressed out young woman working in a demanding career

By now, the term “quiet quitting” has taken on a strong impact at the forefront of workplaces. However, employers are unleashing “quiet firing” to counteract employees from doing the bare minimum.

What is quiet quitting?

When workers refuse to do more than meeting expectations laid out in their initial job description, that is quiet quitting. They are less invested, disengaged, and no longer go above and beyond what is required of them. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown many quiet quitters, as deteriorating mental health impacts employees.

This is happening so often because of burnout backlash. Dissatisfied and fatigued employees need breaks, and sometimes feel uncomfortable or unsafe seeking it from superiors. This is what results in quiet quitting, as they redefine healthy boundaries to establish a better work-life balance. However, employers struggle with tying up the loose ends employees leave behind.

What about quiet firing?

The process of quiet firing works just as stealthily as quiet quitting. Managers essentially “freeze out” employees; driving them to feel incompetent to where they literally quit. It can look like a combination of things in the workplace, such as:

    • Avoiding one-on-one conversations
    • Refusal to provide feedback
    • Neglecting to share important information needed for the job
    • Not being offered promotions or raises, or other employees bypassing them to receive those benefits.

Many employees (astounding 83% of respondents) have actually seen or experienced quiet firing in the workplace firsthand, according to a LinkedIn News Poll.

When the automatic response to quiet quitting is quiet firing, it adds further disconnect between employers and employees. An environment that uses quiet quitting will most likely result in more quiet quitting.

Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at Adzuna, states that “an employee who is quiet quitting shouldn’t trigger an employer to start quiet firing them.” In fact, the contrary should happen; this is the time for employers to reach out and connect with their employees.

How can you prevent quiet quitting or quiet firing?

It starts with simply opening the floor to having safe conversations. If you are an employer and feel your employees are quiet quitting, do not unleash with the quiet firing approach. Meet each other halfway and resolve that disconnect healthily. Our blog on Tips to Reduce Burnout is also a great resource.

At AEG, we’re here to help clients and candidates build great, long-lasting relationships with one another. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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