Recruiting Tips

Quiet Quitting vs. Quiet Firing: Which One Should Employers Embrace?

Honestly, we have not even recovered from quiet quitting, and now we have quiet firing sparking conversations and debates about healthy workplace cultures. 

Quiet firing is being looked at as an easy mechanism to make quiet quitters leave their jobs voluntarily by using passive-aggressive tactics. 

Instead of seeing this new phenomenon as a counterattack to quiet quitting, HR should see this as a call to improve employee engagement and communication for a positive workplace.

Outrightly quiet firing unwanted employees will only promote “a culture of quiet quitting.” This is just going to become another vicious circle. So, if employers really want to address this issue, they must first understand the implications of quiet firing.

Is ‘Quiet Firing’ the Solution to ‘Quiet Quitting’?

Nearly 1 in 3 managers admit to quiet firing, and at least 83% of workers have seen or faced it themselves in the workplace! 

HR and talent teams should be well aware that with the Great Resignation and the economic downturn, sourcing newer candidates has become increasingly difficult. In this scenario, if quiet firing is left unchecked, it will severely impact workplace culture and employee retention. 

It needs to be identified and controlled right now! Let’s begin by taking a look at signs of quiet firing.

What are the Signs of Quiet Firing?

quiet firing

Quiet firing culture doesn’t always stem from a single symptom. It includes a combination of different actions, including:

  • Tasks being reassigned to other employees
  • Withholding feedback from employees
  • Assigning tasks that are beneath an employee’s job description or skill set while others continue to grow and learn
  • Lack of communication or check-ins

Some other signs of quiet firing include a change in work attitude, a lack of positive feedback, and overlooking employees. 

The root cause behind these actions is that leaders are unprepared to address performance issues and lack transparency. 

So, instead of ignoring the quiet quitters of an organization, employers must learn to understand the “why” behind this employee behavior.  

Learn from Quiet Quitting Instead of Resorting to Quiet Firing

If leaders resort to quiet firing, it’s a clear sign of weak leadership. Instead of getting into the ‘ignore’ mode, leaders can embrace the learnings from quiet quitting and take steps to build a conducive work environment.

Here are some quick pointers on how managers and leaders can prevent quiet firing from being normalized in the workplace.   

1. Practice Healthy Communication 

Quiet firing is usually the path taken by managers to avoid difficult conversations with employees. Lack of direct and clear communication results in further disengagement.

If a culture of regular check-ins and transparent feedback is not established, employees don’t get the chance to improve and learn from their peers. 

Creating a safe environment for open communication can make employees feel comfortable reaching out to team members, their managers, and leaders. This would help them identify work performance bottlenecks and take corrective action.

2. Encourage Transparency  

quiet-quitting

Being honest and upfront may not come naturally to everyone, but if you really want to keep everyone on the same page, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone. 

If you feel there are gaps in employee performance, you must address them right there and then instead of sidelining them. 

Don’t let others make assumptions. Instead, make your team aware of their strengths and underlying issues to keep them engaged and informed. 

3. It’s Okay to be Informal! 

It’s okay to let your guard down sometimes. After all, we’re humans.

Employees are more than just their job titles. Life outside of work can often compete with workplace priorities. Conducting informational discussions or even real-life meet-ups can go a long way in understanding your team members personally.    

By getting to know your team members informally, you’ll create more meaningful relationships that contribute to positive work culture. This way, you’ll become partners instead of adversaries when challenges arise. 

Key Takeaways

Quiet firing is definitely not a response to quiet quitting!

If there is anything the HR space can take away from quiet firing and quiet quitting, it is the need for healthy workplace communication. 

So, instead of resorting to passive-aggressive behavior, leaders must create a meaningful and open organizational culture where no one has to resort to quiet quitting or quiet firing. 

It is super important to have that talk, over a coffee or otherwise, and to be honest about how you feel about your work, team, and workplace. 

What are your suggestions on curbing quiet firing? Let us know in the comments below. 

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