Are Your Manufacturing Leaders Quiet Firing Their Employees

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Manufacturing Leaders Quiet Firing

Last week we focused on quiet quitting. This week our focus is reversed as we explore manufacturing leaders quiet firing.

Quiet firing does still exist in workplaces, and a few ways you can recognize it is when your leaders start to take away things from people in terms of:

  • Work schedule
  • Tasking uncomfortable assignments
  • Roadblocking training
  • Avoiding discussions about an increase in their pay, additional perks, or even recommending them for promotion

By withdrawing that support, you are not telling someone directly that they are fired, but it becomes uncomfortable to the point that they feel they have no choice but to quit.

Addressing Morale & Performance Problems

One department we focused on for a customer had a morale and a performance problem. Upon further investigation, it turned out that instead of addressing performance issues and difficult conversations, the supervisors withdrew their support in hopes that certain employees would find it distasteful and would quit. 

They were essentially quietly firing the employees. The problem is that it created two significant problems:

  1. Employees with performance issues persevered longer than the supervisors hoped they would.
  2. Good-performing employees, who were meeting expectations, were starting to become disgruntled because no one addressed the performance problems they witnessed in their coworkers.

Our recommendation was to begin training their leaders to initiate productive conversations to address these behavior and performance problems.

The Results of Those Discussions 

The good news was that many of the troublesome employees either turned things around, were terminated, or quit. The remaining employees began to see that performance was essential and that the management was willing to have this situation resolved, and there was more respect all around. 

The real question is how to avoid quiet firing and address performance problems.

Tip Number One: Clarify Expectations

Your starting point is to clarify your expectations when there is a performance or behavior issue. You must ensure that you and the team member are on the same page regarding what is expected.

Tip Number Two: Address the Behavior & Performance Issues

Having difficult conversations is not always a supervisor’s favorite task. Still, once most employees know they need to address an issue, many will make those changes to meet your expectations. But it will not happen unless you have those conversations. 

Part of our training program is to help people become more effective at having those conversations about behavior and performance issues. 

Tip Number Three: Recognize Performance

Instead of focusing solely on a bad performance, we should recognize that good performance also happens. When we discuss what is going well and who is meeting and exceeding expectations, it can help others understand that management is concerned about winning and performance and willing to acknowledge it.

It does not have to be a numerical remuneration or bonus; it just has to be a form of acknowledgment.

Further Improving Your Leadership Skills 

After you have invested in the skill sets of your front line leaders, we recommend that you continue building your organization’s capability for future growth.

Our Front Line Leadership program is an excellent way to build your front line leadership team’s skill sets and confidence level. Your training can be delivered on-site or in person if you have enough people to participate. Another option is to enroll your team in our public workshops or take part in our virtual training delivered from our state-of-the art virtual training studios.

We also have Front Line Leadership On-Demand, which allows you to register one person who can interactively learn leadership skills but do it at their own pace online. No matter how you want us to work with your team to improve their skills and performance, it begins with a conversation.

You can do that by visiting our website at From there, we can discuss what the best approach is for your company. Together we can increase the skill of your front line supervisors, team leaders, and managers.