Quiet Firing: Understand the New Practice of ‘Firing Quietly’

The term Quiet Quitting went viral recently and spurred a debate about employees doing the bare minimum to stay in their jobs – no more, no less. However, a response to this type of behavior did not take long to (re)emerge, being baptized as Quiet Firing or, freely translating to Portuguese, Silent Dismissal.

The concept of Quiet Firing is basically create a work environment so unbearable for the worker that he or she “asks to leave”. According to experts interviewed by the The Washington Post, actions that can be used in this process include cutting promotions, cutting feedback, reducing tasks and working hours. It would not be a directly hostile environment, but extremely unsatisfactory and with no room for the employee’s professional growth.

On the company side, it would be a “non-confrontational” way of dealing with layoffs and/or low-income employees. “They can deny raises for years, fail to provide resources as demands accumulate, give feedback designed to frustrate and confuse, or grant privileges to select workers based on vague and inconsistent performance standards. Those who don’t are welcome to leave. “, explains columnist Karla L. Miller.

Credit: Reproduction |  Dreamstime.Credit: Reproduction | Dreamstime.Source: Dreamstime

Annie Rosencrans, director of people and culture at HiBob, adds that managers who lack confidence in their leadership skills or are overwhelmed may be more likely to apply the Quiet Firing. These superiors may not have the time, patience, or emotional capacity to have difficult conversations with their employees about their job performance, and they end up creating a situation where the employee is encouraged to leave of their own accord.

It’s also possible that these bosses don’t really realize that they’re silently firing. “If a manager has a lot of direct reports and is pulled in too many directions, he may be focusing his efforts on the people he sees contributing the most or having the most value,” says Rosencrans. “They may be inadvertently neglecting some team members, not giving them the attention they need to keep growing.”

It is worth clarifying that the Silent Withdrawal and the Silent Dismissal are not new practices. They have been around for decades, but they ended up “popularizing” and becoming topics of recent debate on social media.

Credit: Reproduction |  Adobe Stock.Credit: Reproduction | Adobe Stock.Source: Adobe Stock

Quiet Firing is it recommended?

There are people who believe in the effectiveness of Silent Dismissal, but most Human Resources experts are against this type of conduct.

The best way to deal with the wave of Quiet Quitting it is to review management practices, what it means to be productive and do a good job, and to identify the reasons that lead workers to adopt such behavior – both from the perspective of the company and the employee. Another point is to find objective and quantifiable ways of measuring output and the quality of work that are clear to employers and subordinates. Setting goals, creating improvement plans and regular check-ins can decrease the likelihood of “Silent Quitting” and “Silent Quitting” behaviors, according to Rosencrans.

Finally, it must be borne in mind that the Quiet Firingeven if it is a contradictory practice for many, should not be synonymous with Moral harassment at work. Repetitive and prolonged exposure to humiliating and embarrassing situations can cause real damage to health and, if the situation ends up in court, compensation in Brazil can range from R$10,000 to R$2 million.

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