Ways ‘Quiet Promotion’ can hinder a company’s engagement strategy

After ‘Quiet Quitting’, ‘Quiet Firing’ and ‘Quiet hiring’ another workplace HR buzzword is trending.

Just when we thought we had overcome the hype of ‘quiet quitting’, ‘quiet hiring’ and ‘quiet firing’, there is another HR buzzword that is trending at work. ‘Quiet Promoting’ is the new fad which is being felt by the employees at the workplace. ‘Quiet Promoting’ is exactly the opposite of ‘Quiet Quitting’.

While ‘Quiet Quitting’ is an act an employee puts up where he/she does not go beyond its key area responsibilities, unless they are paid extra for the same. ‘Quiet Promoting’ is an act by the employer where an employee is overwhelmed with extra and advance level responsibilities without a pay raise or a promotion. 

“Quiet Promoting’ is not a global phenomenon. It is mainly trending in the US and is being felt by the American workforce. An American Job search website, Job Sage, did a survey which says that ‘Quiet Promoting’ is on a rise in the US. 78% of Americans feel that they have been experiencing ‘Quiet Promotion’ in their current role. 

What can be the reason for the rise in ‘Quiet Promoting’?

The Job Sage survey also has extra data points which can put some light on why the American workforce is seeing a rise in ‘Quite Promotion’ in their respective roles. The survey reveals that 67% of employees have absorbed extra responsibilities since a co-worker who worked above them has left the company. Recently we have seen a lot of big brands who have been laying off people in huge numbers. These cost cutting measures can result in overload of work at existing employees. So heavy mass layoffs in the US can be one of the reasons for the rise of the ‘Quiet Promotion’ movement. 

Another reason for the rise can be the existing toxic leaders and managers. The survey says that 73% of employees were suffering from ‘Quiet Promotion’ because their managers had asked them to take extra work and higher responsibilities. 

How can ‘Quiet Promotion’ be harmful for employers?

If ‘Quiet Promotion’ is rising in your organisation, it can really harm the cultural fabric and lead to a toxic environment in the company.

Burnout in employees – Extra work and responsibilities on employees can lead to a possible burnout. Too much work can hamper the mental wellbeing of employees and this can result in bad performance and worse, it can impact the productivity of employees which can lead to huge costs to the organisation. 

Increase in attrition – A burnout situation can actually lead to unwanted attrition in the company where the organisation can lose good talent. Everyone knows the value of losing good talent in the company. Further, this puts an extra pressure on the talent acquisition team to recruit more people. 

Less engaged employees – Just imagine how one would feel, if he/she is given extra workload and responsibilities without even rewarding and recognising that effort. This will really put off the employee and will feel less motivated to carry the repeated overloaded tasks every day. This way, the less engaged employee will start looking for job opportunities outside which gives higher salary and better position. 

Potential talent quits – If in any case the employer is trying to give more responsibilities to the employee for the sake of developing the talent, the employee should be communicated the same. But if the employee feels exploited, he will quit. This way, the organisation can lose a high potential talent to a competitor which can certainly give a competitive advantage to the rival companies. 

Hampers company culture– There needs to be a fine line between employee development and exploitation. If the company is just trying to reduce costs by taking advantage of employees under the guise of talent development, it reflects unfavorably on the company’s brand and undermines its work culture.

Is ‘Quiet Promotion’ really detrimental?

An employee can also misread the intention of his manager. If your manager is assigning you more tasks than others, it could mean he trusts you more and is preparing you for further opportunities. But these intentions should be well communicated in advance with the employee. 

But if the manager is just trying to squeeze more work out of the employee with less pay and recognition, the employee will figure out the same in no time and will start looking out for other opportunities. 

It is better that HR professionals and leaders should catch the signs of ‘Quiet Promotion’ well in advance and take action on the same as quickly as possible as it can really put a dent to the employee engagement strategy of the company. 

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Kartikay Kashyap is a former journalist and a feature writer who carries more than 3 years of experience in covering HR and employer-employee relationship issues amongst the corporate in India for digital and print media. Currently, he is part of the content and marketing team at Advantage Club as a senior content writer.