Social media platforms have been teeming with memes, stories and “quiet quit” posts lately, and FOX Business has been talking about it extensively.
It is then that the employees do the bare minimum at work, performing only the assigned tasks and not a little more.
Now a new trend is emerging related to the dynamics of the office, and it is called “silent fire”.
What is silent fire?
Here’s the concept of “silent fire” in a nutshell: Employers can intentionally make their employees’ daily working life more difficult in the hope that these people will eventually quit.
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Peter “PJ” Jackson, CEO of Bluescape in San Francisco, said, “‘Silent Fire’ is when employers actively seek to make working conditions miserable or divest time, resources or opportunities from their employees, ultimately pushing [those] workers to resign instead of firing them outright “.
The reasons for “silent fire” can range from simply not liking someone to a host of other reasons, according to labor experts.
“I’ve seen managers” silently lay off “their staff,” Stacie Haller, career expert at ResumeBuilder, based in Boston, told FOX Business.
“They do this for many reasons,” he continued.
This includes “them [own] conflictual behavior, “he said.” But many managers do it so that the employee leaves and therefore the company doesn’t have to pay for unemployment. ”
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He also said that managers could pursue a “silent layoff” for perception-related reasons.
He said bosses “may want to give the impression that they are giving the employee a chance to be more involved” or give the impression that they are giving the person a workable performance plan. Yet “ultimately they want the employee to leave the position,” Haller said.
A manager can take away a leadership role in meetings, change or deny work or remote hours and promotions and raises, he said – and “generally [the employee] not feel part of the team “.
How can “silent fire” harm American businesses?
Haller believes that silent dismissal can harm companies and their reputation if employees are dismissed passively-aggressively.
As nearly all industries have been affected by the Grand Resignations or layoffs, a passive-aggressive mindset can cost US companies resources and money.
“Employees are looking for direct and honest communication with their managers and having a culture of passive aggression hurts all concerned,” he said.
“Other employees may worry, not fully understand the situation and [this] it can create anxiety in the organization “.
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Additionally, since nearly all industries have been affected by the Grand Resignations or layoffs, a passive-aggressive mindset can cost US companies resources and money.
“It’s no secret that hiring and training are expensive, both in terms of cost and time,” said Jackson of San Francisco.
“Companies are trying to be strategic where they are acquiring resources,” he also said.
“The organizations and leaders who can” hack “these points will not only save on the cost of attracting talent and developing skills, but will be established to better compete at the industry level.”
How can employees fight the problem?
If workers believe they are the target of a “silent fire” situation, they should consider asking their managers for a meeting to get to the root of the problem.
“An employer who has a people-centered mindset will make it a priority to listen to their employees and ensure that everyone feels supported and happy at work.”
“If employees notice they are falling into the trap of being silently fired, I highly recommend starting a face-to-face conversation with their boss or manager before things get worse,” Leslie Tarnacki, senior vice president of human resources at WorkForce Software at Bloomfield Hills, Michigan told FOX Business.
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This meeting should be “preferably in person if they are in the office, but on Zoom if they are still remote,” said Tarnacki.
Having these discussions, Tarnacki said, could allow employees to put everything on the table.
They can express how they felt, convey their concerns, discuss their workload (whether it is too much or too little), and share any concerns related to burnout or other issues.
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Employees can also discuss their worth and why they feel they deserve a promotion or pay raise and more.
(The timing of some of these discussions is critical, as many large companies have a specific time of year for managers to discuss or entertain promotions, raises, or bonuses, the labor experts note.)
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“It is important to remember that employers who have a people-centered mindset will make it a priority to listen to their employees and ensure that everyone in the organization feels supported and happy at work,” said Tarnacki.