Are you quiet firing an employee without realizing it?
There’s a lot of talk about quiet quitting right now, but have you ever heard of quiet firing? It’s a phenomenon that may be intentional or unconscious, when a manager would like to eliminate an employee from their company without firing them directly. It typically involves the manager creating an unfavorable environment with the hope that the employee will resign on their own. An employer may apply quiet firing in a variety of ways, but usually, it is by providing the worker with only the barest of necessities while withholding support or encouragement. The expectation is the employee will either grow frustrated or they will realize they are no longer wanted in the company and they’ll quit. While some astute employees may understand the unspoken message that they should quit, others may not realize what is happening, or they may have checked out themselves so they just don’t care. Others may want to quit but fear starting over in a new workplace, and so they simply hang in there without any satisfaction until forced to do otherwise. This approach may be a success or a failure depending on the nature and character of the employee. Either way, quiet firing is, in my opinion, a weakness on the part of the manager.
A Risky Tactic
Managers who engage in quiet firing, may ultimately up losing their better employees as well. The lack of employee engagement and decreased employee morale are often contagious and dangerous side effects of this approach. Quiet firing mostly occurs in jobs that offer appreciation, rewards, and support and so employee engagement and motivation might be harmed when it is noticed by other employees that they are being withheld (and it will be noticed).
The Proper Approach
Employees are important to an organization, and it will be detrimental to the company if anyone believes that they are being quietly fired. Management must ensure that the workplace is welcoming and rewarding to everyone and not become lazy or complacent in their approach to dealing with employee issues. The leadership in a given company should clearly state the organization’s goals; they should ensure that all the employees are treated equally and recognize and reward efforts. Companies also need to communicate with the employees in case they decide to fire them, and they should ensure that the employees are aware of why they are being fired.
Brush Up those Skills
If you find yourself reverting to the quiet firing method, that may be an indicator that you are lacking in some management skills that you need to acquire. Growing your leadership toolbox is a never-ending process and there are much more effective ways of tackling the poor performance of an employee than quiet firing or disengagement. The hands-off neglect of an employee with the intention or wish that they quit is not an approach a true leader would engage in. Success in building a successful team occurs when you engage with employees in a direct and thoughtful manner and address issues head-on.
Have you ever found yourself being on the receiving end of a quiet firing? How did it make you feel? What was the outcome?
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Anjela Mangrum is the founder of Mangrum Solutions, a manufacturing executive search firm dedicated to advancing the careers of operations and supply chain leaders throughout the US. If you need help hiring a transformational leader for your organization or if you are looking for your next career step, reach out to us today at 513.753.3813 or by clicking here.