Employee low engagement isn’t a new thing, but this issue has gained traction recently as many employees started sharing their Quiet Quitting experiences on social media. Quiet Quitting may not be the most appropriate term for this newest workplace trend. Because employees aren’t actually quitting. They simply refuse to succumb to hustle culture and work more than needed to keep their jobs.
This attitude is understandable with work-related stress and anxiety higher than ever, blurred lines between work and private life accompanied by the serious risk of burnout, employees want to preserve the fragile work/life balance and stay healthy.
On the other hand, some managers fear that this behavior may affect productivity and overall business performance. So they reach out for quiet firing, a sneaky, passive-aggressive strategy, hoping to tackle the issue of quiet quitting.
Quiet firing is also a well-known tactic and some research shows that 1 in 3 managers use this passive-aggressive approach to make employees uncomfortable at work, hoping that quiet quitters will eventually get tired of maltreatment and leave. A Linkedin survey found that 83% of participants stated that they’ve experienced or seen it in a workplace.
Quiet firing reflects poor management. Not only that you won’t solve the employee lower engagement problem, but it can also make things worse, inciting employees to start quietly quitting and destroying your brand image.
Before we show you more effective and people-focused strategies to better manage quiet quitters, let’s see what quiet firing looks like so that you can acknowledge and avoid doing it.
The Signs of Quiet Firing
Quiet firing is a managerial practice that involves a number of discriminatory actions toward employees. Managers using this strategy tend to
- Pass over employees for pay raises or promotions even though they’re highly productive and committed to work.
- Deny employees their long-awaited feedback on a significant project or overall performance.
- Give employees tasks that are beneath their expertise and experience so that they can’t develop and thrive professionally like their colleagues.
- Cancel 1-1 meetings consistently.
- Assign employees to unpopular shifts or give them fewer work hours.
- Keep them out of the loop regarding significant company projects and goals.
These malpractices will affect interpersonal relationships within teams, incite conflicts, and may drive employees to quiet quitting.
If you want to better understand the reasons for quiet quitting you need to implement a more personal and compassionate approach to this phenomenon, finding ways to make your quiet quitters more satisfied and engaged in their work again.
Here are several steps you can take to achieve this goal.
Learn How to Deal With Difficult Situations
Only poor, incompetent managers restore to quiet firing practices. Because they don’t have the soft skills needed for tackling low engagement. Or they don’t want to have uncomfortable conversations with employees.
But, since dealing with unpleasant situations is a part of your job, you need to learn how to handle these. HR professionals will gladly show you how to conduct difficult conversations so that you stay highly professional while conveying clear messages.
Meet your Employees
You work with humans, not robots. And your employees have lives outside their work. They have families, friends hobbies, and struggles. And if they can’t dedicate enough time to the people and things they love because of work overload, it may affect their productivity and engagement.
So get to know your employees, listen to their needs regarding flexible work opportunities or paid time off, and do your best to meet them. By doing this you’ll create trustworthy relationships, turning your employees into loyal partners, instead of bitter enemies.
Offer Detailed Feedback Often
Employees nowadays want to be informed about their performance and efficiency. If you keep them in the dark about how well they do their job, they may feel incompetent and be less engaged in their work. This is why you need to offer specific, objective feedback whenever you get the chance. Luckily, apps like employee tracker can be of great help in creating well-informed, actionable feedback.
This software for employee monitoring will record every minute your employees spend at work, tracking the time spent on various tasks and projects, labeling it as productive, unproductive, or idle. This data will paint a clearer picture of employees’ day-to-day performance, giving you the chance to recognize stellar achievements and provide additional support when needed.
This approach will show that employees’ work is valued and appreciated, and that you’re always ready to support them to overcome potential roadblocks and fulfill their potential.