Call it what you like, but “quiet firing,” has been around for decades and is unfortunately common practice amongst employers. Quiet firing, a.k.a “constructive dismissal,” or, “performance management,” has caused an uproar in response to the viral “quiet quitting” movement. A hasty clap back at a movement that is misunderstood and does not actually imply the resignation of your employee. Recent reports show that over 75% of employees have witnessed or experienced quiet firing during their career and it doesn’t seem as though dismissal of the practice is in our near future.

What is “Quiet Firing”?

Quiet firing is when an employer knowingly uses tactics that leave the employee feeling so isolated, undervalued, and overworked that they eventually seek alternate employment, all without the employer having to open the checkbook. It’s a passive-aggressive attempt at what should have been the professional termination of an employee made by someone who, evidently should not be in a role of superiority. Signs of quiet firing are as follows:

  • Dismissal of their request for growth or feedback
  • Removal of job responsibilities or being given an unachievable workload
  • Exclusion from meetings, conversations, and/or team-building exercises
  • Lack of recognition or promotion
  • Assigning projects that are consistently beneath an employee’s skillset


Why Are Employers “Quiet Firing”?

Quiet firing is performed by an employer seeking to refrain from the discomfort of firing someone outright. Their end goal being that the employer finds alternate employment without the employer having to offer severance or compensate for unemployment. Quiet firing is, in most cases,  not “quiet” at all. The exclusion and isolation of the employee are increasingly evident amongst fellow employees and will indefinitely affect the culture set forth in your workplace.


A common trait amongst successful superiors is leading by example, and we live in a time where employees and employers are divided, each going lengths to meet the demands of the other. What message are you sending when deliberately making an employee feel so unappreciated that they have no choice but to leave? A cryptic and impertinent culture will be the indefinite result of such practices and expecting employees to give their loyalty in return is absurd.


How Should I Address Quiet Firing?

In short, you should likely seek alternate employment. If you’re noticing signs that your employer is trying to weed you out, it seems insensible to continue employment with them and it might be in everybody’s best interest to search elsewhere. If you’re unsure of the signs, ask for a meeting, and if they are quiet firing you, they’ll likely avoid it. The ball is in your court, and since they’re waiting for you to take action, you’ve got nothing but time. In an attempt to save face, keep it professional and upbeat as we never recommend burning bridges.


Quiet firing is not condoned and, if not addressed, could lead to a less productive, negative work environment that even your “A” players will not want to be a part of. Employees want to be a part of a winning team that cultivates trust, loyalty, and honesty where their superiors lead by example and don’t “quietly fire” people.


For more information, please reach out to us at (518) 275-4816.