Are You Being Quiet Fired?

As companies face tightening budgets, many may be considering trimming their workforce. But of course, outright layoffs are expensive and risky. That’s why some have turned to a subtler strategy: quiet firing, or intentionally creating a hostile work environment that encourages people to leave “voluntarily.” Here are the signs.

Changes related to work responsibilities:
• Reassigning important job responsibilities to other employees
• Demoting an employee, or changing their job description
• Not assigning promising new opportunities
• Setting up unreasonable performance targets
• Giving an employee responsibilities that are undesirable or misaligned with their role
• Preventing an employee from receiving a well-deserved promotion

Changes related to compensation:
• Pay cuts
• Preventing an employee from earning more by taking on extra work or overtime
• Not providing expected yearly bonuses or raises

Changes related to working conditions:
• Changing work hours or regular shifts
• Increasing workloads to unreasonable or unmanageable levels
• Forcing an employee to relocate
• Taking away “perks” such as an office or parking spot

Changes related to supervisor communication:
• Not discussing career trajectories or providing performance feedback
• Evaluating an employee unfairly, providing excessively harsh feedback, or constantly criticizing their work
• “Ghosting,” or repeatedly cancelling meetings
• Not providing critical information related to an employee’s work and responsibilities
• Not giving an employee credit for their work, or even worse, giving the credit to others

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