Have you ever felt frustrated with a team member’s performance? Did you wish they would just seek employment elsewhere so that you could fill their role with someone new? You may not be alone. “Quiet Firing” has been part of a growing conversation among leaders across industries. However, quiet firing may lead to more harm than good for your business. Read below to learn more about this phenomenon and how you can avoid quiet firing your team.
What is quiet firing?
Quiet firing is a practice that employers and managers can consciously or unconsciously implement when working with a disengaged employee. Gallup states, “Quiet firing describes how managers fail to adequately provide coaching, support, and career development for an employee, which results in pushing the employee out of an organization.”
What’s the big deal? If an unmotivated employee decides to leave the company, good riddance, right? Not necessarily. Quiet firing a tough employee may initially feel like a relief, but it negatively impacts your company’s bottom line. Hiring and onboarding a replacement takes time and resources. When other team members see their colleagues struggle to receive support, it can lead to lower morale within your company. Finally, when the disgruntled team member chooses to leave, they may share their negative experience at the business and tarnish your reputation as an employer of choice in the community.
How can you avoid accidentally quiet firing your team?
SHRM suggests creating an open line of communication between managers and team members. This can be done through regular check-ins designed for both parties to express their thoughts on what is going well at work and what areas they have concerns about. This time should be spent discussing goals, priorities, career growth, and action steps for success. Creating a space to express concerns can help managers better understand how to support their team and how the team can meet performance expectations.
While opening a line for honest dialog about performance can help avoid quiet firing, it is important to recognize that conversation without action won’t get you very far. Making time to recognize your team members for their successes, especially when they achieved a goal established in a performance review can help encourage their continued growth. Ben Wigert, the Director of Research and Strategy for Workplace Management at Gallup, writes, “The most powerful recognition is timely, specific, and authentic. Don’t underestimate the value of a thank you, high five, or congratulatory comments in the hallway.” These small acts of positive praise are simple ways for managers to reconnect with their team and reenergize potentially frustrated employees.
Quiet firing is often unintentional and results from something we are all short on— time. However, when leadership is not able to make the time to stay engaged with the team, it can negatively impact your company’s bottom line. By carving out small chunks of time to learn about your team’s frustrations, discuss performance goals, and offer positive recognition, you can help build up a team of motivated ‘A’ players who are eager to succeed.
If you are interested in learning more ways to support employee retention, attract job seekers to your business, and access new talent pipelines, stay tuned for information about our quarterly employer workshop webinars!