27 Sep Quiet Firing: Is It The Real Toxic Workplace Trend?
One of the most viral workplace trends that we are seeing in today’s workforce is the “quiet quitting” trend. Quiet quitting is the trend that gained a ton of traction on social media and claimed that employees that are currently in the workforce are doing the bare minimum work instead of going above and beyond in their position. While many business experts are at odds about whether or not quiet quitting is a legitimate thing, another workplace trend has come to light that has to do with managers and bosses instead of workers. This trend is being called “quiet firing” and focuses around the type of culture that bosses and managers are creating in their workplace. In this article, we’ll discuss what quiet firing is and how it may actually correlate with quiet quitting, as well as how to avoid being the leader who quietly fires quality employees.
Quiet Quitting vs. Quiet Firing
Over the summer of 2022 when business leaders and experts alike were panicking over the trend of quiet quitters in the workplace, some thought that it was time to take a look at the same type of trend that is happening within management. The trend known as quiet firing entails managers and leaders who actively deny raises, promotions, and advancement opportunities in the workplace with the end goal being to force unwanted employees to quit their job. This can involve poor performance reviews despite a good track record of work or denying a certain employee for promotions by using phrases like “you’re too valuable in your current position”, but then denying that employee a pay raise despite them being a productive worker.
By doing so, the manager is exemplifying a leadership style that is passive-aggressive and can lead to a damage in the reputation of the organization and have a negative effect on future hiring and retaining quality workers. With company culture and organizational culture being so important to job seekers in today’s market, companies have to be aware of their management practices and employee morale instead of blaming employees and saying that they are quietly quitting when they may just be suffering from having poor managers.
In some cases, managers are avoiding having the tough conversation about performance issues with employees who are struggling. Instead of taking the time to have these difficult conversations with the worker about why they could be struggling, managers are ignoring them completely and not taking the opportunity to help the employee grow. Mental health is such a large reason for employee struggles in the workplace and instead of having a conversation about their performance, they will turn blame on employees and not look at their leadership style as a reason for the poor performance.
In terms of quiet quitting, this workplace trend is more about employees taking more control over their work life balance and setting healthy boundaries with their work. The days of working ungodly amount of overtime just for a chance at leadership opportunities have come and gone. Employees are not asking for anything outlandish, but want to have a healthier career and not feel the pressure or stress that comes with overworking themselves. Is it selfish? Business leaders seem to think so, but it isn’t from the employee point of view. More workers are practicing a rejection of hustle culture, where they have to essentially work their normal job and then work multiple side jobs in order to make ends meet.
How Can Leaders Support Their Teams During These Trends?
Being an effective leader during the time of quiet firing and quiet quitters can help create a better workplace culture and bring better opportunities for employees. Here are some of the best ways leaders can break these trends.
Get Personal With Your Team
Building one-on-one relationships with managers and employees through direct conversation can help grow your workplace culture. Learning and understanding their personal goals, career progression goals, what challenges they face, and their long-term ambitions can build a more authentic relationship and will make them feel like they can really come to you when they need you.
Be More Aware of the Workload
As a leader, you must act as an ally or an advocate for your team of workers. Saying no or shelving projects that are outside of your team’s capacity is a way to show them that you understand their workload. Additionally, getting the resources they need to finish certain projects efficiently is a way to show them that you understand. Don’t pile on project after project; allow your team some time to breathe.
Be An Example
The main aspect of the quiet quitting trend is that employees were setting healthy boundaries within their position. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to set an example. Setting boundaries at work is important. For example, if you’re a leader and you don’t respond to every email you receive every hour, or work later than usual every night, or work during the weekend, why is it so important for your team of employees to do so? It’s a time to take a step back and look at your company culture and how you view the work life balance of your employees.
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