Firing employees is common in many companies, and the reasons can vary. Some managers let workers go because of poor work performance, some due to legal issues, and some for serious misconduct.
Getting fired can affect and damage an employee’s career path. However, a new workplace trend is emerging—quiet firing. Now, what exactly is it?
Quiet firing is the counterpart of quiet quitting. This is when managers indirectly encourage employees to leave through denied promotions and pay raises, a lack of support and growth opportunities, unfair treatment, and other reasons that make work conditions subpar. It’s a sign of poor management and a toxic work environment.
4 Reasons for Quiet Firing
Here are four reasons why companies resort to quiet firing:
1. Undefined employee potential
If managers see that an employee is underperforming or not as promising as others, they may invest less time and effort into coaching or developing that employee. As a result, the employee feels neglected, harming motivation and productivity.
2. Cutting down on expenses
Whether eliminating a transition plan or avoiding severance pay, some companies resort to quiet firing to minimize overall expenses. Since hiring is costly, companies make efforts to delay recruiting fees. They save more money for sustainability but at the price of added employee stress.
Higher-paid employees also fall victim to quiet firing and are replaced with less-experienced hires. This only pulls down the company’s productivity, translating to more financial losses.
3. Avoiding difficult situations with employees
While some managers butt heads with their employees, others prefer keeping things under the radar. Sometimes, managers quietly fire employees to avoid having difficult conversations with them. They usually do this by giving employees reasons to want to leave the company. This way, managers avoid looking bad or creating unnecessary attention.
4. Inexperienced managers
Managers are tasked with supporting their respective teams. However, if they have insufficient experience and are unsure what to do, they feel overwhelmed and forced to quiet fire.
Managers must undergo training in strong leadership to equip them with optimal management methods. They must learn the best leadership practices to eliminate quiet firing, foster healthy relationships with their employees, and provide proper guidance, especially in challenging situations.
Why is Quiet Firing a Bad Idea?
Quiet firing leads to severe consequences for employees, managers, and companies as a whole. Firstly, quiet firing can harm your employer brand. Rather than directly discuss performance issues with employees, managers treat them poorly or stop managing them, purposely leading them to fail.
Today, news about what’s happening within your company can leak out easily through social media or other means. When top talents get wind of the quiet firing, they may be less inclined to work with you.
Secondly, quiet firing promotes a culture of distrust. When trust is broken, it lowers employees’ self-esteem, leaving them demotivated and making it difficult to work with others.
How HR can Prevent Quiet Firing
Employees are vital for companies. HR managers and professionals must look after and shield them from fits of abuse to keep them safe and productive at work. Here are five tips HR managers and professionals can follow to combat quiet firing:
1. Set and communicate clear expectations
Practice open and honest communication with your employees. Let them know what they’re doing right, what areas need to be improved on, and what they should maintain. Business leaders must also set clear and reasonable expectations for employees to progress successfully without running the risk of burnout.
2. Conduct regular “stay interviews”
Make it a point to hold stay interviews with your employees. The purpose of these interviews is to help you understand how your employees are doing overall. Typical questions include:
- What compels you to continue working for the company?
- What do you like and don’t like about your role?
- What can be done to improve your experiences with the company?
- What are your future career plans and goals?
Stay interviews empower your employees to be heard and make them feel valued. They provide a safe space to discuss their feelings about their jobs and the workplace. Companies have also found that stay interviews help minimize turnovers as they build more trust and validate your employees’ needs and concerns.
3. Train managers to engage
Implement training programs for managers to prepare them for leadership responsibilities. They must be equipped with the appropriate tools that allow for effective management routines, such as providing feedback, mentoring sessions, and supporting goal completion.
According to a survey, 2 out of 5 employees resign due to poor management. With this in mind, it’s essential to manage your employees well to keep them on the right track and provide them with opportunities to develop further.
4. Create opportunities for feedback
Feedback is necessary for your employees to assess themselves. Update them on what they’re doing well, what areas are lacking, and their overall progression. Evaluating employees’ performance is a proven way to keep them engaged, make them feel valued, and improve their performance.
5. Create a supportive workplace culture
The thought of work is stressful enough, so you must cultivate a supportive workplace culture. Build a mentoring system. Reinforce mental health support. Provide thorough training for promoted employees. A toxic work environment only adds unnecessary stress and problems, so go the extra mile in forming a harmonious workplace.
Take Early Action to Protect Your Employees
The workplace can be cruel. Managers and bosses are growing deceptive in getting rid of employees, so security measures must be implemented. Don’t let quiet firing ruin your company’s reputation as a top employer or your employees’ career path and morale.
Manila Recruitment is a top Philippine-based recruitment firm specializing in talent sourcing and headhunting. Partnering with over 450 multinationals, corporations, and startups, our firm is about recruiting the best talents and forming core teams.
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