We talked about “quiet quitting” and now we have “Quiet Firing.” Why all the quiet? Maybe we should make some noise.
Quiet firing refers to a phenomenon in which employers demoralize unwanted workers to the point that they decide to quit. Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Adzuna, defines it as “employers treating their staff in such a way it forces them to leave instead of directly laying them off. He adds, “This is a term that is simply a new moniker for a toxic work environment and workplace bullying.” Nevertheless, the practice is so prevalent that in a recent LinkedIn News poll, over 80% of the over 200,000 respondents admitted to facing it themselves or seeing it firsthand at work.
Just as quiet quitting is a new HR buzzword that went viral from a TikTok video, quiet firing has now sparked controversy and is gaining traction while receiving backlash. Whether the actions are intentional or not, the concept is not new.
Some key signs your employer may be guilty of quiet firing.
- Delegating your tasks to subordinates and reducing your work hours.
- Your duties grow to the point that you can’t keep up anymore.
- You are left out of meetings you used to attend.
- You are asked to document everything connected to your job.
- You are continually criticized with no positive input.
- You go above and beyond and have documented incredible achievements. You still receive poor or even negative performance reviews.
Both quiet quitting and quiet firing have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Expectations by both employer and employee have changed. Miscommunication between employer and employee, and generational differences in life balance. This all requires a verbal discussion, not silence. Be proactive and let your employer know that you understand that if you quit it benefits them. You would not likely be entitled to unemployment compensation or a severance package.
The list above is just some possible red flags. If you find yourself experiencing a number of these red flags simultaneously, it may indicate just bad management or passive behavior. Ask for a one-on-one with your boss or HR department. Don’t be quiet. Quiet firing can only happen when you don’t speak up.
Quiet firing is undoubtedly clever wordplay. In the LinkedIn News poll, 13% said they believe quiet firing “is not a thing.”
What are your thoughts on quiet firing? Buzz word? Clever wordplay? Another WOKE word? A way to gain followers on TikTok? Is it a real thing?