What’s All the Noise About Quiet Quitting and Quiet Firing?

In some contexts quiet is a good thing, but when it comes to employment status, keep the lines open and conversations going strong. Here’s what you need to know to prevent quiet quitting and avoid quiet firing.

What is quiet quitting?

Quiet quitting generally refers to the behavior of employees who don’t formally quit a job but do the bare minimum to stay employed. Less often it’s used to describe the act of leaving a job without giving notice.

The phrase has been around for a while, but lately quiet quitting has been in the news more frequently. Many attribute the increase in quiet quitting to changes in attitudes about work during the pandemic and its aftermath.

Causes of quiet quitting

There are various factors that contribute to quiet quitting, but one of the most common is disengagement, which in turn occurs for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples:

  • Lack of opportunities for advancement
  • Feeling unappreciated
  • Comparatively low wages
  • Long and/or unpredictable working hours
  • Ongoing friction with business management

The costs of quiet quitting

Costs start adding up before disengaged employees leave, because they aren’t going above and beyond to contribute to the overall success of the business. Once they do leave, the business faces the costs of hiring and training and may experience lower productivity rates during the transition process.

Investing in increasing and maintaining employee engagement can help avoid or reduce the high costs of disengaged employees and employee turnover.

What is quiet firing?

On the flip side of the coin, quiet firing is when employers prompt employees to quit without directly firing them. Some of the tactics are obvious, like not giving raises or reviews, leaving the employee out of meetings, and avoiding casual interaction. Sometimes an employer isn’t intentionally trying to make the employee quit, but is avoiding dealing with an employee who isn’t working out.

The costs of quiet firing

Keeping a nonperforming employee on the payroll creates a negative impact on the business’s culture and lowers overall productivity.

The solution is to address the situation directly. Engage the employee in conversation to gain a full understanding of the situation, work out a plan for improvement, and monitor progress. If things don’t get better, then it’s probably time to let the employee go.


Keeping conversations going with employees can prevent costly misunderstandings that result in losses for your business.

If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk:

Schedule Meeting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *