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Quiet Promotion, Quiet Hiring, Quiet Firing: More Workplace Trends

In a blog post I penned back in August, I touched on the concept of “quiet quitting.” Recently, I stumbled upon more workplace trends embracing the quiet approach: quiet promotion, quiet hiring, and quiet firing. The office atmosphere seems to be getting as tranquil as a library. But what exactly do these terms signify, and how can employers navigate these shifts to better support their employees?

Quiet Promotion

Quiet promotion occurs when an employee’s workload increases without the formal recognition or additional compensation typically associated with a promotion. Kelli Mason, co-founder of JobSage, explains, “Oftentimes quiet promotions happen unintentionally as employees naturally assume more responsibilities as they become more comfortable in their roles or as the company expands. However, there are instances where employers take advantage of their employees. If they observe that employees are willing to shoulder more work without complaint, they may continue to pile on tasks.”

According to the Foundation’s 2022 workplace wellness survey report, 65% of employers identify stress as a significant issue affecting workforce productivity. Employees face the risk of burnout when they take on heavy workloads, especially without compensation or acknowledgment for the additional responsibilities. It’s essential for employers to treat their employees fairly and acknowledge their contributions to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work environment.

Quiet Hiring

Quiet hiring manifests in two main forms: internal and external. Internal quiet hiring involves current employees temporarily transitioning to different roles or taking on new assignments within the organization. External quiet hiring refers to hiring short-term contractors to fulfill business needs without adding more full-time employees.

With the job market cooling off and many organizations delaying hiring, quiet hiring has emerged as a strategy to bridge staffing gaps. Internal quiet hiring can offer growth opportunities and challenges to employees seeking advancement. However, like quiet promotion, striking a balance to support employees adequately is crucial.

Quiet Firing

Quiet firing occurs when managers fail to provide sufficient support to employees through coaching and career development, ultimately leading to the employee’s departure from the organization.

Ben Wigert, director of research and strategy, workplace management at Gallup, emphasizes the importance of regular communication between managers and employees. He notes, “Employees who engage in meaningful conversations with their managers at least once a week are nearly four times as likely to be engaged at work.” Managers should routinely discuss progress toward goals and provide performance feedback.

Wigert suggests that conversations with team members need not focus solely on performance goals. Engaging with employees about their current priorities and offering ongoing coaching are effective ways to align daily efforts with overarching goals.

As this quiet trend pervades workplaces, it’s crucial to ensure that all employees feel valued, appreciated, and adequately compensated for their contributions. While providing new opportunities to employees can be mutually beneficial, guiding and supporting them is essential for fostering engagement and improving retention efforts.