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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Be Quiet: Quitting and Firing Face Off

In the absence of intentional and mindful decisions regarding employment, many critical conversations are left unspoken. Supporting the greater good of both the individual and the organization means asking difficult questions, keeping an open mind, and avoiding a safe (comfortable) way of working. Overcoming quiet quitting and firing (aka ghosting, disengagement, etc.) may save reputations and be the task a career professional cannot approach quietly. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Johnny Cohen from Unsplash

FOCUS ON: What Is Quiet Quitting and Why Is It Happening?

Workers who put in the minimal amount of effort to remain employed are said to be quietly quitting. Most likely there is not an active decision or action to resign, but there is a loss of the “above and beyond” work ethic. Viewed as disengagement that is quiet, there are a convergence of factors that could explain its occurrence: an unfruitful work-first mentality of past generations; a detachment of identity from professional titles; burnout; and of course, covid. Read more from Built In.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: How Talented People Can Return to Joyful Engagement

Identifying the disconnect is the first step to addressing the gap in high performers’ awareness around disengagement. Coaches can ask about joy, attention levels, and fear. Coaching tools, such as the Wheel of Life, may help with this exploration. Issues of ownership, expectations and resiliency raise questions to be addressed. One goal is to achieve mindful engagement which can increase joy. Read more from Career Convergence.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Helping Leaders Be Effective Against Quiet Quitting

To re-prioritize engagement or reduce the chance of employees quitting and staying at work, leaders can be helped to see their options. Increasing energy through inspiration, motivating by being purpose-driven, seeking re-training and addressing flexible work challenges are as important as focusing on well-being and not giving in to generational stereotypes. Read more from Forbes.


Employees may be thinking of quiet quitting as "work/life balance," "reverse hustle," "workforce disassociation," "morale-adjusted productivity" or "turtling"—keeping to themselves and slowly moving along. One attorney even jokingly called it "bare-minimum Monday" or "full-coast Friday" but it is no joke. SHRM recommends an examination of the causes and if there is might be something “under the surface” such as harassment. Read more about shifting the narrative from this SHRM speaker.

JOB SEARCHING: Quiet Hiring Combats Talent Shortage

The external form of quiet hiring may mean hiring short term contractors, promoting from within, or not posting job openings. Internally, companies are upskilling employees or offering rotational programs and short-term redeployment as a form of quiet hiring. These options may help workers discover new interests while reducing the occurrence of quiet quitting. However workers may need to be prepared to increase their advocacy and negotiation new compensation packages. Read more about this 2023 trend.

TOP TEN: Signs of Quiet Firing

When management creates work conditions that are less than ideal for the purpose of leading the employee to the conclusion they must quit, the employer is said to be quietly firing the employee. This passive-aggressive approach involves subtle signs such as stalled advancement, poor raises, unpleasant duties, micromanagement, slowed growth, and lack of support. Read all ten signs of quiet firing.


“Age wrinkles the body; quitting wrinkles the soul.” ~ Douglas MacArthur
“Quiet is the new loud.” ~ Joe Robitail


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