The idea is basically doing the bare minimum required at your work, without going above and beyond.
In practice, it might look like saying no to projects that aren’t part of your job description or you don’t fancy doing, leaving work on time, or refusing to answer emails and Slack messages outside of your working hours.
It could also be as simple as a mindset shift, something that’s not noticeable to anyone around you but allows you to feel less mentally and emotionally invested in your job.
But there’s another phenomenon not getting nearly enough the same attention – quiet firing. And it’s been around for a long time.
According to recruiting expert Bonnie Dilber, from Seattle, US, this act of slowly neglecting employees, and offering them less support so they quit, is rampant.
Bonnie says quiet firing can present itself in many ways, like not receiving feedback or praise, raises, or having one-to-ones frequently cancelled. It can mean being excluded from company events or coveted projects, or being kept out of the loop with the latest developments relevant to your work.
Your manager might not talk to you about your progress or career trajectory. This then leads to people quitting, which saves the company on a redundancy or severance package.
In a Linkedin post, Bonnie explained: ‘This happens ALL THE TIME.
‘It works great for companies…eventually you’ll either feel so incompetent, isolated, and unappreciated that you’ll go find a new job, and they never have to deal with a development plan or offer severance. Or your performance will slip enough due to the lack of support that they’ll be able to let you go.’
The post resonated with many others, who said incidents like this are especially evident among Black and other minority groups.
Others said they had experienced it happening to them.
One commenter wrote: ‘This happened to me. I was marginalised, gaslit, isolated, ignored and I experienced doors slamming in my face during important meetings I should have been a part of as a manager. It was traumatising and embarrassing to constantly ask what was going on.’
Bonnie asked both employees and employers to focus more on this phenomenon, as companies are operating in quiet firing without impunity.
She added: ‘Instead of worrying about “quiet quitting”, I’d encourage companies to look at their management practices and identify places where people are being “quiet fired” by poor managers who don’t want to do the work to support, train, and coach their teams.’
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