Never mind quiet quitting, experts say it's time to talk about quiet firing

Never mind quiet quitting, experts say it's time to talk about quiet firing

Quiet quitting is the modern term given to an age-old workplace issue in which demotivated staff stop striving for success, instead going through the motions and doing only what they have to do to get through the working day. It has become an internet phenomenon with many people advising that it allows staff to avoid burnout but still keep their job. Essentially, the process of quiet quitting results in staff who are dissatisfied at work carrying out their core job description but not going "the extra mile".


This behaviour tends to be demonstrated by staff whose morale and confidence has been eroded. This may be due to issues in the workplace, such as unreasonable expectations of performance, inability to progress, lack of managerial support or failure to adequately compensate them for high levels of performance. It affects staff who do not want to change jobs, either for reasons of convenience or because they are not convinced that there is a better job out there for them, but equally have grown so disillusioned with their organisation that they no longer feel driven to perform and instead they end up coasting.


Of course, many of the reasons that staff begin quiet quitting relate back to their work environment, coupled with the support that they are offered. Those staff should consider whether their manager is actually trying to encourage them to leave by quiet firing them. Quiet firing is when a manager decides that they no longer want that member of staff on their team, but have no reasonable reason to fire them. Instead, they make their work experience sufficiently uncomfortable that the member of staff often leaves of their own accord.


Quiet firing is a subverted style of bullying, often resulting in a member of staff being excluded from team meetings or development opportunities by their manager. The same manager also fails to support them in achieving their objectives, setting unachievable targets or simply not being "there" when that member of staff needs them. All of this leads to the member of staff feeling underappreciated and can result in them questioning their own abilities.


This toxic culture is usually responsible for staff quiet quitting and it is a disastrous outcome for the business. When the trust between staff and management is eroded, business suffers. Unsupported staff often don't feel capable of making decisions, or do not want to make them for fear of reprisals which often results in management doing more, fostering a sense of resentment which intensifies this unhealthy cycle.


Breaking this cycle is challenging but critical, not only for staff retention and to achieve business objectives but also to attract future candidates. A business with a toxic culture and high staff turnover will not present an attractive option to job hunters.


From the very top of the organisation, managers need to focus on employee retention. This means accepting and addressing issues clearly and in a supportive manner. They need to set realistic expectations and provide a fair and balanced workload which allows staff to thrive. They must provide regular open and honest staff appraisals offering two-way discussions about workload, ambitions and plans in order to help staff to develop their careers whilst benefiting the business. Managers should be rewarded for maintaining a positive and productive team which would incentivise them to nurture and support their staff, helping them to join new projects, expand their skill set and take on new clients.


A strong company culture is one in which managers are rewarded for the efforts of their team. Equally, their team are rewarded for achieving realistic expectations whilst being offered the opportunities that they crave leads. All of this leads to an environment in which success is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is great for business as it improves communication, retention and recruitment.


If this sounds an environment from which your business would benefit, djr can help you to instil the building blocks and develop precisely this kind of positive culture, to fuel efficiency within your business. We can support you in creating an HR process that allows for difficult conversations to be had with the result being an understanding and inclusive employee support environment.


Please contact djr to discover more.