I wrote a blog about quiet quitting back in August, so my ears perked up when I read about MORE quiet workplace trends: quiet promotion, quiet hiring and quiet firing. It’s really feeling like a library in here. What exactly do these new workplace terms mean, and how can employers better support employees through workplace shifts?

Quiet Promotion  

Quiet promotion is when an employee’s workload increases “without the title change or additional compensation that comes with a formal promotion,” according to Kelli Mason, co-founder of JobSage.

She adds, “Oftentimes quiet promotions are unintentional, as an employee may naturally take on more responsibilities as they become more comfortable in their role or the company grows. Other times, some may take advantage of their employees, and, if they see employees will take on more and more work without complaint, they’ll continue to pile it on.”

According to the Foundation’s 2022 workplace wellness survey report, 65% of employers cite stress as an issue impacting workforce productivity. Employees are at risk for burnout if they are taking on large workloads (especially without compensation or acknowledgment for the additional duties). Treating employees fairly and recognizing contributions should always be a best practice for employers. 

Quiet Hiring

Gartner research expert Emily Rose McRae said that “quiet hiring often comes in two different forms: internal and external.”

McRae explained, “Internal quiet hiring means current employees might temporarily move to other roles or take on different assignments within the organization. External quiet hiring means hiring short-term contractors to keep the business running without taking on more full-time employees.”

The job market is cooling off and more organizations are holding off on hiring—Quiet hiring is helping to fill in the gaps. Internal quiet hiring can help elevate employees looking for more growth and challenge but, like quiet promoting, finding the right balance to support employees is important. 

Quiet Firing

Quiet firing happens when managers aren’t supporting employees enough through coaching and career development. The end result is that the employee gets pushed out of an organization.

Ben Wigert, director of research and strategy, workplace management at Gallup, writes, “Employees who have at least one meaningful conversation each week with their manager are nearly four times as likely to be engaged at work.” Managers should “routinely discuss goal progress and give performance feedback.”

Wiger adds, “Not all conversations have to be about performance goals. Just talking to team members about their current priorities and providing ongoing coaching are great ways to connect daily efforts with their goals.”

As this hush comes over many workplaces, it’s important to remember that all employees need to feel valued, appreciated and appropriately compensated for their efforts. While providing employees with new opportunities can be a win-win, guiding and supporting employees will help build engagement and improve retention efforts.  

Anne Patterson
Associate Director of PR & Communications

The latest from Talking Benefits:

Anne Patterson

Marketing Communications Manager Favorite Foundation Product: Foundation Community. It’s like LinkedIn but only for Foundation members. They can post questions, share best practices, etc—all with fellow members who also live and breathe employee benefits. Benefits-related Topics That Interest Her Most: Workplace wellness (especially mental health), diversity, equity and inclusion, behavioral decision making, family-friendly benefits, payroll audits. Personal Insight: When she’s not busy analyzing the inner workings of her toddler’s brain (does anyone actually know?!), Anne finds joy in home renovation and décor, haiku writing, watching Jeopardy, creating charcuterie boards, and bicycling.

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