10 Indications That Your Boss Might Be Engaging In Quiet Firing

It refers to employers demoralizing workers to the point that they want to quit. If you're wondering whether your boss is guilty of quiet firing, here are ten red flags.
10 Signs Your Boss Is Guilty Of Quiet Firing

The phrase “quiet quitting” began by taking over TikTok and then made headlines worldwide. Interestingly, the term—which took off after a TikTok video went viral—doesn’t have anything to do with quitting. Instead, it refers to abandoning the notion that you must go above and beyond at work to be happy. While you’re still performing your duties, this trend acknowledges that work isn’t your life. Whether you agree with the concept or not, it has certainly sparked controversy, with everyone from Arianna Huffington to Kevin O’ Leary weighing in. Now the trend is receiving backlash, and a new term is gaining traction. It’s called “quiet firing.”

Quiet firing refers to a phenomenon in which employers demoralize unwanted workers to the point that they decide to quit. Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Adzuna, defines it as “employers treating their staff in such a way it forces them to leave instead of directly laying them off.” But, he adds, “This term may simply just be a new moniker for a toxic work environment and workplace bullying.” Nevertheless, the practice is so prevalent that in a recent LinkedIn News poll, over 80% of the over 20,000 respondents admitted to facing it themselves or seeing it firsthand at work.

Whether the actions are intentional or not, the concept isn’t new and could benefit the employer. After all, if an employee leaves voluntarily, they are not entitled to unemployment compensation or a severance package. So, if you’re wondering whether your boss may be guilty of quiet firing, here are some key signs to watch for:

Sudden reduction in work hours

One of the clearest signals you’re experiencing quiet firing is when your boss starts delegating your tasks to subordinates or reducing your work hours. When that happens without some type of explanation, it might be time to leave your current job.

Consistent assignment of undesirable tasks

While every workplace includes some less favorable tasks, always receiving tasks that no one else wishes to handle could be a warning sign.

Unmanageable workload

When your workload becomes overwhelmingly burdensome, it might signify that your boss is attempting to provoke frustration and burnout. These issues cause you to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

Exclusion from vital conversations

Have you experienced a sudden exclusion from meetings you used to regularly attend? Were you previously included in email correspondence, but now notice your absence from distribution lists? Being omitted from crucial conversations in your company may raise a significant red flag.

Avoidance by your boss

If your boss begins deliberately avoiding you in conjunction with other signs, it may be indicative of quiet firing.

Alteration of job title or description

It is normal for employers to modify job descriptions in line with organizational needs. Making substantial changes without obtaining employee input or support could be a sign worth noting.

Requests for comprehensive documentation

A request to meticulously document everything pertaining to your job could be indicative of quiet firing.

Undermined career growth

A manager is responsible for facilitating their team’s success. If your manager consistently overlooks your professional goals and deflects or delays career advancement requests, it might suggest a form of quiet firing.

Absence of positive feedback

Consistent negative comments and an absence of positive feedback can be demoralizing, hinting at the possibility of quiet firing.

Unjustified poor performance reviews

Receiving below-average or negative performance reviews, despite documented achievements and requests for a raise or promotion, may compel you to explore alternative opportunities.

The phenomena of silent resignation and quiet firing are not novel concepts. They have, however, been exacerbated by the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. If you are confronted with several of these warning signs concurrently, this indicates either poor management or passive-aggressive behavior. In either scenario, placing trust in your instincts is advisable. If you suspect that you may be a victim of quiet firing, it may be time to update your resume and seek a company that genuinely appreciates your contributions.

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