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Employers’ new quiet cutting attitude: ‘You’re lucky to have a job’

Remember quiet quitting? We’ve graduated to employers quiet CUTTING. Let’s discuss this new era in the workforce.

employers are quiet cutting their staff

Who remembers the phrase “quiet quitting“? It was quite controversial, with some generations translating the phenomenon as laziness spreading, and other generations translating it as giving work 100% (instead of 110%) then going home.

Now, employers are returning the favor with “quiet cutting.”

What is quiet cutting?

Quiet cutting is the side effect of the workforce reduction, which we’re seeing especially widespread in the tech sector.

This side effect of downsizing the teams is putting more work on existing staff. It’s normal in this type of economy for this to happen, but what isn’t normal is that we continue to hear stories from employees that feel they are being given unreasonable amounts of work, impossible for any single human to accomplish, purposely putting their job at risk.

Quiet cutting is not just adding too many hats to too many people, it is also making enough people miserable enough to quit by sneakily changing metrics they must meet, putting employees on PIPs (personal improvement plans) for extremely minor reasons, and those PIPs extend for years or in some cases, infinitely.

We are also hearing of teams being “reorganized” in a way that completely changes a person’s job description, job title, and pay.

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The response from employers? A new attitude of “you’re lucky to have a job,” reminiscent of turn of the century American factory owners.

The pendulum has swung extremely quickly from employers begging for candidates in a newly remote world to this battleground that is completely in favor of employers.

If you are an employer:

Please remember that you are currently in a fantastic position to find extremely impressive candidates, but the pendulum will swing once again, eventually resting in the middle. Your behavior now will be remembered later.

If you don’t engage in quiet cutting, that alone will help you to stand out as a quality employer in the future. Don’t just think about today.

It may feel good for there to be a little payback, and let’s be honest, candidates were kind of snooty for a while, but resist the urge, stay the course, and you won’t be begging for workers when the economy resurges in the future and you’re increasing headcount.

If you are an employee:

If you’re job searching or having difficulty as an employee, it might not be you, it could be the market. Many employers are quiet cutting, making work straight up miserable, or interview processes so intense that it drives people away (err, weeds people out).

It may be tempting to hit up Glassdoor and tell everyone what ails you, but we advise you to avoid that while still employed, lest your job be even less secure. But do act as a whistleblower if you feel called to, by speaking in facts (not emotion), so future employees see how an employer behaved during this era.

Employers, please be good to your people as best you can.

Employees, please be good to your employers as best you can.

Remember: The pendulum WILL swing once more.

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Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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