Here’s Everything to Know About Quiet Firing, An Issue More Serious Than Quiet Quitting

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While most of us have probably heard of quiet quitting, a trend that’s come up across the world,

But if quiet quitting still sounds like leaving your office in the middle of the night in complete silence after secretly slipping your resignation letter onto your manager’s desk, you couldn’t be more wrong.


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Seriously though, here’s all you need to know about “quiet quitting” if you still haven’t gotten the hang of it yet:

Basically, it’s… work, just with boundaries and without the hustle culture, which increases employees’ work-life balance.

However, although this new TikTok phenomenon (that for once, doesn’t involve dancing or lip-syncing) has made its way around the globe and is gradually gaining more acceptance, there’s this new term that all employees (and employers) should look out for:

Quiet firing.

And for the bosses, no, it’s obviously not about firing your employees in complete silence lah.

You can also watch this video to know more about quiet firing:


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Basically Quiet Quitting, But From the Employer’s Perspective

Now that we’ve understood quiet quitting, here’s what “quiet firing” is all about: it’s technically also about “quitting”, except that the actions are taken by the employer instead.

And if you’re already confused, here’s a simpler, TL;DR version: Quiet firing takes when employers use various methods to try and “prevent” an employee’s success in their job on purpose.

So basically when your boss “pagros” (passive-aggressive) you lah.

But apart from the pagro-ing from your boss, some actions that constitute quiet firing include preventing employees from receiving promotions or raises, trying to exclude them from being able to take part in special projects, forcing employees to adhere to impossible, unrealistic standards and more.

And here’s a TikTok video that shows how “quiet firing” works:

@saraisthreads #greenscreen Your tactics don’t work on me, Susan. 😂 #fyp #work #working #corporate #corporatelife #corporatetiktok #corporateamerica #corporatehumor #office #officelife #manager #managersbelike #career #quietquitting #quietfiring ♬ original sound – Sarai Marie

This tweet also gives other examples of how “quiet firing” may look like in the office:

And as some of you might have figured out by now, quiet firing may lead to employees starting to quiet quit, or quiet firing might start taking place due to employers noticing that their employees are quiet quitting.

But here’s why quiet firing is even a thing in the first place.

Quiet Firing “Unsuccessful” Employees

When speaking to technology news website ZDNET, Annie Rosencrans, HiBob’s Director of People and Culture cited a few reasons behind why some employers may try to employ quiet firing as a means of treating their employees.

The director of the Human Resources (HR) firm explained that managers may quiet quit in order to “create distance and disengage” with specific people whom they are working with if they deem the coworker as “unsuccessful”.


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Instead of notifying the coworker directly, this way of dealing with them allows the possibility of the person quitting by themselves instead of actually being fired.

Might Happen More Often if You Have a Manager Who’s Not Confident

Apart from that, Rosencrans added that managers who lack confidence or are busy may end up quiet firing their employees more. (You didn’t hear that from me OK, it’s from the expert.)

For the former, managers who are less confident may be unable to engage with the employees effectively and try to help them improve, which will lead to them disengaging so that the employee has a higher chance of quitting the job by themselves.

As for the latter, it’s technically the same idea, just that instead of not having enough confidence, these managers usually lack the “time, patience or emotional capacity” to deal with employees’ job performance, leading to them disengaging in some form as well.

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Importance of Feedback

As for how “quiet firing” can be prevented, Rosencrans said that companies can try to include “progressive feedback” in their company culture in order to allow their staff to better understand what they need to improve on at work.


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Of course, the feedback shouldn’t just be “you suck” reworded in a dozen ways, so these feedback sessions should also be held often and should also provide employees with concrete steps and ways to improve.

In return, this will allow superiors to get to know their employees’ needs and requirements better, creating a more productive work environment for all.

Additionally, Rosencrans added that feedback is especially important in a hybrid or remote working environment since there are fewer interactions between employers and employees, which may lead to some issues left unnoticed by both parties.

Apart from feedback, other ways to improve the current situation surrounding quiet firing include transparent and frequent communication, offering employees the relevant opportunities to improve their skills, offering them support within their work environment.

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Featured Image: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com


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