The WSJ just had an interesting story on “quiet firing” — so let’s discuss. Are you seeing evidence of possible quiet firing in your workplace? In general, do you feel like layoffs or firings may be in the cards at your company?
I’ve watched with obvious interest all of the return-to-office discussions amongst the commenters, including the fact that people who took wholly remote jobs are now being forced to return to the office several days a week. According to the WSJ, that’s part of the quiet firing that’s going on — a general campaign to encourage people to quit.
Here’s the opening to the article (gift link):
Companies are shedding some workers without imposing layoffs.
Amid a wave of job cuts hitting U.S. white-collar workers, a number of employers are taking other approaches to manage their workforces. Some are adding new restrictions on remote work, stepping up scrutiny in performance reviews or requiring staffers to relocate across the country to keep their jobs.
The moves, though not labeled as layoffs, can at times have a similar effect in thinning a company’s ranks, human-resources specialists and corporate advisers say. It is also a sign that bosses at white-collar firms are back in charge after struggling to retain workers in recent years amid a tight labor market.
I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but it seems kind of classic. (Wasn’t it even a plotline in Office Space?) Indeed, the people quoted in the WSJ note that this has been going on for years:
Companies have long had ways to push employees out without firing them. Reorganizing teams, requiring employees to report to new bosses or making them take on new projects can all prompt staffers to look elsewhere for work, said Roberta Matuson, an executive coach and adviser to businesses on human-resources issues.
Some employers prefer a corporate restructuring to a layoff because it means they don’t have to single out individuals.
So let’s discuss: Are you seeing new corporate policies that seem unfriendly and designed to push you out? Is it working — are people quitting? For those of you who are seeing layoffs, was there a period of quiet firing before the layoffs? In general, what are signs of impending layoffs that you’ve noticed in the past?