Put simply, quiet firing is where a manager removes their support and allegiance to a particular individual. This results in that person receiving limited growth and development opportunities to the point that they feel they have no other option but to leave the organisation.
The quiet firing trend could be for many reasons, such as a personal misalignment with each other’s values, or even a skills deficit on behalf of the manager who is not able to effectively manage certain situations.
This often results in that person leaving the organisation, having effectively been dismissed without any of the official or legal processes being followed. Many unfair dismissal cases derive from the proximate cause of ineffective management causing multiple repercussions across the organisation.
The relationship may have broken down to the point where a working partnership is maintained on a superficial level in terms of delivery of required tasks and responsibility. However, beneath the surface the manager is quietly forcing a person into a state of disengagement to the point where they start looking for an alternative future.
Here are three areas of focus for you to consider as a leader of an organisation
Listen to what your people are saying
Quiet firing creates and compounds a culture of disengagement throughout the team and beyond. While a manager’s intent may be to disengage with a certain person the result can often spread like wildfire to the rest of the team. Colleagues will share their frustration with each other and, as a result, the level of trust between manager and team begins to erode. Staff engagement should be regularly assessed. What are your people saying and how are they feeling?
Frontline managers require the skills and support to have solution focused conversations with their people. Clarifying and aligning each other’s expectations needs to be encouraged on a regular basis with both parties using the principles of collaboration and active listening. Where any misalignment is identified, the manager should have the support to address any issues early enough to plot a new course of action.
If an individual is feeling that they are being unfairly treated, is there enough transparency of where they can turn to for support in your processes? Building transparent relationships with HR business partners should be a priority to develop a culture of trust and total inclusivity.
To find out more about my approach to talent culture, let’s continue the conversation by emailing me firstname.lastname@example.org with ALIGNED Talent in the subject to find out more.