Quiet firing: What does it mean and what can we do?

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    Are you ‘quiet firing’ your staff? If you don’t follow up on objectives, fail to give feedback, or forget to acknowledge their hard work and contributions, then the answer – unfortunately – is yes. 

    Even if your actions are not deliberate, the result is the same. Your talented people will leave. When you neglect the fundamentals of performance management, you risk losing your staff and their skills.

    And that risk is real. In a recent LinkedIn poll, 48% of respondents said they’d witnessed a person being quietly fired at work. A worrying 38% had experienced it themselves. 

    QUIET FIRING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT CAN WE DO?

    Where are organisations going wrong?

    Most of the blame sits with poor management practices. Quiet firing is often unintentional, but it happens when managers make some common mistakes:

    • Not giving regular feedback. 
    • Constantly postponing catch-ups.
    • Being under-prepared for appraisals and one-to-ones. 
    • Failing to give relevant business information first-hand. 
    • Not giving opportunities to develop via new projects or training.

    It’s quite a list, but these ‘red flag’ behaviours are happening in the workplace – very possibly in your own. 

    3 stats you must not ignore

    As our illustration shows, 8 out of 10 managers do not follow up regularly on objectives. A massive 65% of employees would like more feedback than they currently receive. And Gallup reports that 40% of employees receive recognition only once or twice a year.

    QUIET FIRING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN AND WHAT CAN WE DO?

    With competition increasing between companies to attract and retain top talent, it’s time to act.

    How to turn the trend

    The good news is there’s a simple way to fix the problem of quiet firing – create transparency. Allow your people to be clear about their career aspirations, and create visibility on the opportunities you have to offer. 

    Managers can play a key role here, by making sure their team members get the relevant information they need and the opportunities to grow. 

    When managers support their people to be ambitious and continue developing, it becomes an effective retention and engagement tool.

    A new way of working

    To avoid quiet firing, you need to create an environment that supports frequent check-ins and continuous performance management. Establish ways of working that ensure your managers have regular conversations with staff built around objectives, feedback and growth opportunities. The benefits are substantial:

    • You keep your best people!
    • Employees are more engaged.

    The result is a more empowered, enabled and activated workforce, and a more robust, resilient business.

    Don’t let quiet firing damage your organisation’s reputation. Take steps to create a positive and productive workplace, and everyone will reap the rewards.

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    Alice

    TRANCHANT

    Co-Founder & COO

    I always found a way to get or to create for myselfs jobs where I could achieve my life’s purpose: connecting with people and helping them grow (while growing myself).

    After studying general management and HR in Lyon, I joined Solvay where I had several rich & diverse HR experiences. I worked in Lyon, Brussels and Paris, to finally come back to Brussels and accept the challenge of creating and managing Solvay’s Digital Studio flagship.

    Being an intrapreneur leading an innovation incubator, taking part of creating a new ways of working platform that transformed the company culture and HR woke up my inner intrapreneur and made me jump into co-founding huapii!

    Today at huapii I use my HR and change experience to make the workplace a developing and empowering place to be.