Quiet quitting and quiet firing are like two ends of a rope. The former is an employee’s reaction or perhaps a subtle way of saying ‘no’ to the grind culture. The latter is a managerial tactic to make an underperforming employee quit without making it obvious. Both quiet quitting and quiet firing are products of a toxic culture, an unsupportive work environment, and disengagement.

In this article, we will discuss signs, causes, and preventive strategies of quiet quitting and quiet firing.

Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting is an employee’s tendency to do the bare minimum at their job and not want to make an extra effort. It’s an individual’s quiet response to a toxic organizational culture.

Signs of Quiet Quitting

Employees with behaviors of quiet quitting will show the following signs:

  1. Stick to their pre-defined job description
  2. Refuse to take up additional duties and projects
  3. Skip non-mandatory meetings and training
  4. Turn down tasks out of their domain
  5. Remain quiet and distant in team discussions

Causes of Quiet Quitting

The following are the main causes of quiet quitting:

  1. Burnout due to workload and micromanagement
  2. Poor work and life balance
  3. Lack of manager support
  4. Lack of communication
  5. Lack of manager feedback

Preventive Strategies

Below are a few ways to help employees and leaders prevent or deal with quiet quitting:

  1. Managers must maintain a reasonable workload and should not burden employees with irrational expectations and deadlines
  2. Communicate openly and try to know about individual needs and challenges
  3. Establish and follow boundaries for a healthy work and life balance. It is unfair to expect team members to stay available for off-work calls and emails
  4. Employees must speak out their concerns to their managers. Many times this lack of communication makes matters worse
  5. Employees should reach out to friends at work rather than feeling alone

Quiet Firing

Quiet firing is a passive-aggressive approach to employee performance management. Instead of openly addressing performance lack, proposing an improvement plan, or simply terminating, managers make it unbearable for an employee to stay. As a result the employee willingly quits from their job.

Signs of Quiet Firing

Following are the signs that an employee is subject to quiet firing:

  1. Managers will handover key assignments to someone else
  2. Establishing unfair performance expectations and goals
  3. Denial from a well-deserved promotion
  4. Assignment of tasks unrelated to one’s role
  5. Lack of coaching, mentoring, and development opportunities

Causes of Quiet Firing

The following are the main causes of quiet quitting:

  1. The manager is unable to effectively communicate with the employee
  2. The organization wants to avoid financial and legal requirements
  3. The company does not want to attract negative publicity
  4. Some managers quiet fire out of personal conflict and grudges
  5. Quiet firing is practiced as a means of cost-saving

Preventive Strategies

Below are a few ways employees can apply if they feel they are being quiet fired:

  1. Communicate with your manager honestly and openly
  2. Start learning about your company policy about raises and promotions
  3. Increase your awareness about organizational employee harassment and safety policies
  4. Document and record any mistreatment that you face
  5. Seek help from a therapist or a counselor and take care of your mental health

Final Thoughts

Quiet quitting and quiet firing are different behaviors with a common underlying trigger: toxic work culture. Employees who quiet quit display signs of disengagement and denial. Similarly, managers who quiet fire are cold and indifferent. It’s important to be mindful of the signs and take necessary steps to deal and prevent quiet quitting and quiet firing.

How can métier help you?

A culture survey is effective for gauging meaningful insights into organizational culture.

We at métier ensure transparency of the survey and provide accurate results. Moreover, we will formulate custom culture interventions in line with your key values.

Reach out to hr@metierme.net for a consultation today.