The coronavirus pandemic spurred “The Great Resignation” as workers quit their jobs and sought new employment that would provide better pay, work-life balance, flexible scheduling, and opportunities for advancement. Now, two new terms have emerged when it comes to the workforce: quiet quitting and quiet firing.
What is Quiet Quitting?
Despite the word “quitting” in the phrase, quiet quitting does not have to do with employees leaving their jobs entirely. It is used to describe the act of doing only what is required and not going above and beyond, working oneself to exhaustion or putting in extra hours. If an employee is contracted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., those are the hours they work, and they “quiet quit” at the end of the day.
Some see this more as an act of setting boundaries. It is an attempt to achieve better work-life balance and stop putting in time that is not recognized or appreciated by employers. It is not unusual for American employees to answer phone calls and emails after work hours, on weekends, or while on vacation. Or to take work home. Many are hesitant to ask for time off and instead increase their risk of burnout.
What is Quiet Firing?
Quiet firing, on the other hand, has to do more with management. It occurs when managers create an unpleasant environment that essentially leads the employee to quitting. It could be through lack of recognition and feedback, no opportunities for growth, poor compensation, or not being heard when it comes to ideas, improvements, or the desire to get more involved. The employee may be doing everything they are asked, so management doesn’t have much basis for outright firing them, but they also do not make an environment where the employee wants to stay.
Getting Out of a Toxic Workplace
Both quiet quitting and quiet firing can be examples of a toxic workplace. Employees feel as though the demands are too great for what they are being compensated, or that they lack support from management to advance in their careers and thrive in their roles. These terms are trending on social media because so many employees can relate and are finally realizing that they are more than their jobs. They want to take back control and feel valued and respected. They want to have greater work-life balance and not feel as though they are always on the clock.
Employees are polishing up their resumes and starting their job search to find a role or company that aligns with their values and needs. Although there may not be a “Great Resignation” mass exodus, job seekers are exploring their options and getting away from toxic workplaces.
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