Shortly after “Quiet Quitting” took headlines by storm, “Quiet Firing” showed up in its wake. The former takes the side of the employee, where various factors such as COVID-related stress, burnout, and economic woes take their toll on the workforce leading them to choose to be less productive. The latter is the business side, where productivity is stifled from the top-down in order to make a person so miserable they willingly leave. But if employees are quietly quitting, why shouldn’t management participate in quietly firing these difficult workers?
Well, here’s what 11 business operations experts and workplace leaders had to say on why you shouldn’t (or maybe should) encourage management to hop on this trend.
- No, Quiet Firing is a Sign of Neglect and Unaccountability
- No, It Shows Your Brand in a Bad Light
- No, It’s Not Professional
- No, It’s a One-Way Ticket to a Toxic Work Environment
- No, It’s a New Term for an Old Workplace Headache
- Yes and No, It Depends on the Manager and the Situation
- No, Bad Managers Quit When the Going is Tough
- No, It Promotes a Toxic and Hostile Workplace Culture
- No, It’s Pointless and Inefficient
- No, Because It’s Anything but Quiet
- No, There Are Long Lasting Consequences Beyond That Role
No, Quiet Firing is a Sign of Neglect and Unaccountability
Engaging in quiet firing is a cowardly move since you’re pushing your employees to quit because you don’t want to improve the situation in any way, shape, or form. Rather than taking accountability for an employee’s professional and personal well-being, quiet firing encourages employers to shirk their responsibility and neglect their workforce. This can be detrimental to the growth of an organization because you aren’t offering any valuable feedback to help your employees become better versions of themselves—you’d rather just have them leave.
Harry Morton, Lower Street
No, It Shows Your Brand in a Bad Light
Employers should never assume that everything they do at the workplace stays within the walls of their organization. Employees talk to their peers even outside the company, and disgruntled employees magnify every little detail to show the brand in a bad light. And quiet firing is one practice that never fails to catch the wrong kind of attention. Employees are quick to catch on to any such tactic that managers or leaders may attempt to pass off at the workplace, resulting in feelings of disappointment and anger that are sure to spill out and on to the company’s brand image.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
No, It’s Not Professional
Employers should not engage in quiet firing because neglecting employees while keeping them on payroll is not only unprofessional, it’s a waste of resources. Those who do not work should not be paid, but neither should employees be left to uncertainty as to whether their boss is upset with them for a valid reason or just avoiding them.
It’s important to document any performance issues and inform employees of their unsatisfactory results as soon as they are detected in order to be fair to them and avoid an expensive termination later on. Keeping employees who aren’t performing well is just bad business practice.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase Tool
No, It’s a One-Way Ticket to a Toxic Work Environment
One reason why employers should not engage in “quiet firing” is because this practice can create a toxic work environment for other employees if they witness one of their coworkers being treated poorly. It can also cause morale issues in the workplace as other employees will learn not to respect the manager who is doing the quiet firing. Management needs to address any performance issues with employees and document performance. If an employee does not improve after that, then management can start the termination process.
Lindsey Hight, Sporting Smiles
No, It’s a New Term for an Old Workplace Headache
Quiet firing is a new term, but an old concept. It has always been frowned upon—and for good reason. A boss who has an employee who’s lagging in performance needs to address it directly and effectively. If that employee has a mind of their own and doesn’t improve, it falls on the boss to take appropriate action, no matter how uncomfortable it is.
You can’t hope that a problem goes away. Hoping that the employee is so miserable that they quit is not a good look for any boss. Not only that, but any time an employee feels like they’re being set up to fail, you can usually expect the threat of a lawsuit to follow their departure. That’s a headache nobody wants. So just be honest and be assertive. Notify someone that their employment is being terminated for cause. You’re always better off that way—and so is the employee, whether they realize it or not.
Trevor Ford, Yotta
Yes and No, It Depends on the Manager and the Situation
It remains a question of whether employers should or shouldn’t engage in quiet firing. The answer depends on the ground you use to make decisions. Those managers who feel they need to get the point across to employees who are barely doing the work to just get by feel justified in doing so. It does make business sense because you don’t want to reward workers who do just meet the minimum requirement, who don’t show up regularly to work, or who take other actions that fall into the realm of “quiet quitting”. However, some managers may feel it’s wrong if they take a moral stance since these are employees who are technically doing their jobs, so they shouldn’t be punished.
Steve Mascarin, Taunton Village Dental
No, Bad Managers Quit When the Going is Tough
Employers absolutely shouldn’t engage in “quiet firing”. While “quiet quitting” has caught on as a way for people to create healthy boundaries and establish an equitable work-life balance, quiet firing is the result of bad management. Proactive, assertive and successful leaders don’t have any need to quietly fire an employee.
If an employee is failing to perform or maintain productivity levels, management should have the bravery and know-how to intervene. Quiet firing is basically a manager giving up on employee engagement because the realities of managing the team are too difficult.
Sara Alshamsi, Big Heart Toys
No, It Promotes a Toxic and Hostile Workplace Culture
Quiet quitting is undeniably affecting managers and other employees alike. However, if leaders decide to combat it with quiet firing, they run a serious risk of creating a hostile company culture. A workplace where there are passive-aggressive games being played is a workplace that can quickly become toxic. Furthermore, it could adversely affect the employees who are still trying their best to succeed and reduce overall employee morale.
Dillon Hammond, Achieve TMS East
No, It’s Pointless and Inefficient
No; this is a waste of everyone’s time. Employers who do this are essentially hamstringing their employees’ careers by not making it clear that they have no long-term growth potential at that company. This is unfair to the employee, who may have wanted to pursue a role elsewhere if they were aware.
It’s also a waste of the employer’s time to keep around a worker who is not rising enough in their tasks to grow in your company. It’s a sign of weakness in your own leadership if you can’t have hard conversations about productivity and growth. Quiet firing is never the right move.
Vimla Black Gupta, Ourself
No, Because It’s Anything but Quiet
Quiet firing, despite the presence of the word “quiet” in the term, is never a low-key affair. The practice immediately catches the attention of not just the employee being subjected to it but also the rest of the workforce, which is never a good thing. It has an adverse impact on overall employee morale, gives the wrong impression of the leadership’s intentions, and portrays an approach that lacks both conviction and courage. A straightforward approach to firing, on the other hand, although direct and difficult, at least conveys honesty and nerve, two traits every employee will appreciate.
David Northup, InShapeMD
No, There Are Long Lasting Consequences Beyond That Role
In modern work culture, quiet firing not only serves as breathing ground for a toxic work environment, but it also demotivates employees and in turn, affects their mental health. Employees will begin to lack the confidence and self-esteem to commence work in a new job because their previous one forced them to leave. Quiet firing not only has short-term consequences, but may also impair an employee’s future job efficiency.
Guy Sharp, Andorra Guides