What is Quiet Firing? 6 Signs You Are Being “Quiet Fired” From Your Job

Massive layoffs and some unpleasant sackings later, senior leadership realized that firing workers in bulk isn’t a good approach. Firing makes the workplace atmosphere awkward and creates a sense of discomfort for the remaining employees. You take the brunt from the media and the wrath of other workers and face a hard time in recruitment if word gets around about your dismissals.
LinkedIn Poll - Quiet Firing - 6 Signs You Are Being 'Quiet Fired' From Your Job
To get around this, Corporate introduced quiet firing. Quiet firing refers to a practice where the management follows a passive-aggressive approach that forces employees to quit instead of terminating them outright. According to a LinkedIn poll, 35% of workers feel quiet firing is real and have faced it at some point. Are you on the brink of getting “Quiet Fired?” Read on to know more.

What is Quiet Firing?

Quiet Firing is a practice where organizations send unwanted employees out without conflict or resistance. They make it difficult for employees to continue in their current roles, forcing them to voluntarily resign. A harsh environment with multiple hurdles makes it challenging for employees to extend their stay.

Employers won’t let you know about your irrelevance. The signs are so subtle workers won’t even see it happening till it hits their threshold. Employers use this to their advantage. As they are rarely accused of any wrongdoing, any fault, if it were to come up, goes on the employee for quitting and being unable to cope with the pressure.

6 Signs of Quiet Firing

1. Stalled Promotions and increments: Workers expecting a raise or hoping to get promoted will not find themselves on the list. Despite the commitment, loyalty, years of quality service, etc., your managers will shun you for someone else. If your work is graded, expect to witness a lower grade supported by unreasonable excuses – anything to stop you from getting ahead.
If you confront the decision-makers, expect to hear vague promises that lack merit. Your time in the office will suddenly start to feel worthless. Despite the hard work, the upper management will withhold your upgrade and deny requests for renegotiating the compensation package. In some cases, they might entertain a minuscule increment way below the industry standards.

2. Unpleasant work or overburdened with work: Expect to receive excessive work, causing fatigue, ruining health, and warranting overtime to see closures. Consistent overload of time-sensitive and challenging assignments causes burnout that manifests into performance issues that deplete work output and create more friction with the managers. Your personal life will suffer as a result.

There may be times when you’re relegated to doing trivial and mundane tasks, way below your designation. Consistently getting dull, worthless, and dreadful work that doesn’t motivate gets you disinterested and diminishes your dedication. Employees don’t sign up for wasteful jobs – developers won’t want to do menial data entry tasks, forcing them to feel discontented and call it quits.

3. Exclusion from critical events: Isolation is another way to make it known that you are no longer wanted in the organization. Activities, presentations, meetings, and even fun get-togethers will all happen without you. Subtle cold-shouldering and jilting will become commonplace. Most co-workers will be civil but may slowly alienate you from social events like lunches and after-hours rendezvous.

Employees will be moved away from the team area to minimize their interactions with other colleagues. After a while, you’ll lose the bond and find it harder to preserve the relationships, seeing as exchanges become more efforted and work-related. The camaraderie will dissolve, conversations will shorten, and the employee will lose a sense of belonging – leading to quitting.

4. Lack of acknowledgment, feedback, and rewards: You have done your part, but the manager isn’t acknowledging your effort – something that happened earlier. Managers don’t engage in 1:1 performance review sessions, cease recognizing contributions, and refuse to entertain in-depth coaching. They might sit with you for a while, but that won’t result in anything constructive.

Once you are marked as an employee to be fired, your superiors will also not value your work results for honors, certification, and cash prizes. Don’t expect to see any “Star of the month” or “Cloud9 Collaborator” awards coming your way. From communication breakdown to fewer rewards – your office time will soon feel unappreciated and demotivating.

5. Mistreatment that borderlines abuse: If your superiors give you a hard time, even though that was not always the case could mean an underlying plot to boot you out. Peers and Seniors are pretty cordial otherwise. Thus, suddenly if it shifts to condescending remarks and unwarranted insults, then expect it to mean that the company is scheming to show you the door.

Uncivilized behavior is a sign that your team doesn’t want you around. Your value isn’t worth anything- no wonder you get the cold shoulder. Distant employees who throw a barrage of criticism and/or insult you in a group point to the obvious that the company is thinking of severing ties with you.

6. Fewer training and opportunities to excel: Employees about to get quiet fired will see a dip in academic-centric openings to get ahead in their careers. Sponsored certifications and free access to online academic portals to help upskill will end. You will either not qualify or not get approached for a chance to further your qualifications.

Learnings like this help to get an edge, but if you become a liability to the company, they stop investing in you. The goal is to empower employees that have a future. Anyone who is deemed redundant will not be considered for growth. No company wants to drain its dollars for workers they want out. Companies that cease this abruptly without any plausible reasons throw all kinds of red flags.

What can you do if you are being Quiet Fired?

• Talk to your coworkers independently and see if they point to anything
• Reach out to your manager and discuss if you are on the chopping block
• Discuss lateral movement within the organization
• Bring up remuneration, communication, and performance topics
• Discuss other avenues/possibilities to mitigate the situation

Conclusion – Quiet Firing

Today Corporates will do everything to avoid conflict & confrontation and instead use manipulation to drive workers out – a less taxing way to dump employees. If quiet quitting was the employee’s way of giving the bare minimum, then quiet firing is the employer’s way of getting back and showing who controls the workplace dynamics.

Not all quiet firing is unwarranted; some result from a worker’s performance issues involving communication, quality, productivity, unprofessionalism, and other aspects. If this is the case, enterprises can seek competent, skilled, and expert resources from BorderlessMind. Our trained and experienced candidates will become the most reliable assets for your critical projects.

One Comment

1 thought on “What is Quiet Firing? 6 Signs You Are Being “Quiet Fired” From Your Job”

  1. Hi Chetan,
    This has been going on for a long time. I used to work in the newspaper industry over a decade ago and this was being done back then every day. They would use all kinds of tactics to get the older – most years at the company out. From harassing messages to piling on the workload day after day. It did work for some. It is sad that there is not a better way of doing all this on both sides if people could just be honest and humane about it.

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