Is Quiet Firing the Reason You Can’t Retain Talent?

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Portrait-of-young-woman-typing-laptop-in-office-and-disinterested;-lying-head-on-hand-on-computer-desk-feel-boring.-Lifestyle-of-routine-employees-concept.Goodbye, Great Resignation. Hello, quiet quitting. While employee disengagement is not a new phenomenon, you’re probably familiar with the new term “quiet quitting,” where employees do the bare minimum that their jobs require. Before pointing fingers at employees who refuse to subscribe to “hustle culture,” employers should take a look at their own engagement and retention strategies and understand if they are contributing to the problem at hand with “quiet firing.”

The term quiet firing has surfaced as a response to quiet quitting. Quiet firing faults employers with pushing employees out the door without actually firing them by failing to offer employees competitive pay, comprehensive benefits or time away from work. Quiet firing has also turned the spotlight on bad managers, who neglect to provide employees with meaningful feedback and opportunities for growth.

In a market where attracting and retaining talent is a top challenge for many employers, it is more critical than ever for organizations and leaders to acknowledge and avoid quiet firing behavior. This article dives into strategies to bridge the gap between quiet quitting and quiet firing.

Find the Right Balance

Employees who struggle with feeling like they don’t have a good work-life balance are likely to experience burnout. In these cases, employees will often look for new opportunities. Be sure, as an employer or manager, that you recognize the signs of burnout and address these concerns quickly and head-on. Start by giving employees more control over their tasks, schedules and workloads, as this fosters a culture that prioritizes employee well-being. Encourage employees to take advantage of company offerings, too, such as paid time off and wellness or employee assistance programs. This leads us to our next strategy.

Evaluate Your Total Rewards Package

Compensation is just one of the many important components that makes a company a great place to work. Benefits, opportunities for professional growth, work culture and other non-monetary benefits contribute to attracting and retaining talent.

Total Compensation

Let’s start with total compensation. Total compensation includes salaries, bonuses, commissions and other monetary benefits. When seeking new talent, you must do your due diligence on competitive market compensation packages. While important for attracting new talent, it’s also critical for employers to continue to perform salary assessments of current employees to ensure salaries remain competitive with the market.

Employee Benefits

Benefits typically provided by employers, such as health, dental and vision, should be strong components of the employee benefits package. But, when speaking to total rewards, don’t forget to incorporate other benefits, like paid time off, employee wellness programs, education or training offerings, or parental leave.

Diversity & Inclusion

Inclusive work environments support creativity, equity and connection to the company. Employees who feel embraced are more likely to engage with an organization and feel a sense of well-being. Adopt inclusive practices by offering training programs to prevent discrimination and recognize cultural biases. Focus on building cultural competence so employees understand how to work and communicate with a diverse team and realize the benefits of working with one.

Empower Autonomy

Giving employees the freedom to work in a way that suits them while accomplishing their goals can empower employees and encourage engagement. Throughout the employee lifecycle, personal and professional goals change. Connect frequently with employees individually to discuss their goals, share feedback or simply just to check-in. If nothing else, take this opportunity to celebrate their wins.

Continue to promote autonomy by eliminating micromanaging. Work with your management teams to establish a company culture that promotes self-reliance and trust, while growing leadership’s skills in effective management practices.

Foster Communication, Transparency and Collaboration

Quiet firing, like quiet quitting, is ultimately a communication issue. Setting and communicating clear goals, while maintaining autonomy, fosters a culture of trust and transparency. By knowing where the team is headed and how to get there, employees feel a sense of responsibility in the success of accomplishing goals.

To further impart transparency and collaboration, create channels and best practices for open communication. Additionally, build safe forums for employees to provide feedback. Use these platforms to then listen to employees’ feedback and implement changes as appropriate. Employees are likely to not provide honest feedback, or feedback at all, if they feel unheard and may quickly disengage.

The bottom line is this: there are several strategies you can implement to maintain employee engagement and avoid falling into a culture of quiet firing or quitting. If you are in need of assistance developing or applying these strategies within your company, speak with our human capital management professionals.

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. In addition, this publication may contain certain content generated by an artificial intelligence (AI) language model. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.


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