Employee Well-Being

Quiet Firing vs. Quiet Quitting: Why Both Are Equally Bad

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Quiet firing and quiet quitting are the latest hot topics on social media and news sources, with both being popular topics of daily conversations among American workers. But what are quiet firing and quiet quitting, the signs, and what can be done about them? Here, we cover what companies need to know to reduce both of these problems.

First, quiet firing. Quiet firing is when employers or individuals in a position of authority, such as management, mistreat workers, so they quit. Instead of providing proper protocols of performance reviews with corrective action plans for the worker, they choose to bully them or use unfair work practices versus firing them. Here are some of the signs of quiet firing an employee:

  • A lack of coaching or feedback
  • No raises (for years)
  • Overlooked for promotions
  • Frequently left out of meetings
  • Unreasonable performance plans
  • Management is unavailable to the employee
  • Job expectations and workload change without the employee’s input

Quiet quitting is when an employee ‘checks out of doing their job but still collects a paycheck over time or while they look for another job. In some cases, quiet firing can lead to quiet quitting. Here are some of the signs of quiet quitting:

  • Performing to minimum standards
  • A lack of interest in their work 
  • Not participating in group work projects
  • Withdrawing from other employees
  • Not talking at meetings

Both quiet firing and quiet quitting may mask much deeper problems that employers must work toward resolving. For example, quiet firing can signal a lack of policies and procedures, no management training, no HR compliance, no protocols for helping failing employee correct their performance, and so on. Quiet quitting can signal one of a number of issues such as mental health issues, or disengagement due to poor performance or being overlooked for a raise or promotion. For these reasons, both employers must address this problem so that their company is a healthy working environment- for everyone, and employees need to feel comfortable discussing their issues with their manager.

When it comes to employees that appear to be quiet quitting, managers and HR must review the situation, approach the employee with concern, provide actionable corrective measures, or help the employee find the support they may need.

To fix these problems, employers must train their managers to be effective and compassionate leaders who lead by example and provide employees with the tools and guidance to perform well in their jobs. Employers must also rely on HR professionals to help implement policies and training and help create both a positive work environment that rewards, promotes, and celebrates the achievements of its employees , and a culture of performance-based accountability  Lastly, companies need to create an environment where employees feel comfortable and safe bringing up their concerns with management.

Partnering with a PEO like AspenHR can help your company overcome quiet firing and quiet quitting through our white-glove HR service model. We providing the following services so you can focus on what truly matters- your success: 

  • Company culture and employee engagement strategies
  • Guidance on HR compliance matters
  • Behavioral and talent assessment
  • Job descriptions for core positions
  • Talent optimization tools
  • Performance management program design
  • Manager and employee training including:
    • Discipline and terminations
    • Recognizing and avoiding workplace harassment and discrimination, including sexual harassment
    • Interviewing and hiring
    • Additional training modules available to fit client needs/industry

Reach out to the AspenHR team to learn more.


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