The latest ‘quiet’ workplace trend is ‘cutting’—diminishing someone’s role so they quit on their own—and 77% of employees say they’ve seen it

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Good morning. Over the past few years, workplaces have come to terms with quiet quitting, quiet hiring, and quiet firing—and the latest of these dynamics, quiet cutting, appears to be on the rise.

What exactly does quiet cutting mean? “It happens when employers cut back on an employee's workload, responsibilities, role, or compensation,” Monster career expert Vicki Salemi told me. “It's essentially pushing them out the door—their downgraded role prompts them to quit on their own.”

The job search website just released a survey that finds 77% of workers have witnessed quiet cutting, with 58% saying they've personally been affected by it. The findings are based on a nationwide survey of 2,869 U.S. workers across industries.

A big reason for the surge in quiet cutting, Salemi explained, is that employees who quit, compared with those who are laid off, aren't eligible for the same severance-related benefits.

So who makes the call on when to lean into quiet cutting—managers or bosses higher up the food chain? It probably varies firm to firm, Salemi told me. Also, quiet cutting may be less of a directive and more just a result of managers taking cues from “an already existing toxic environment that tends to operate in passive-aggressive ways.”

Employee performance issues should be addressed directly, and organizational goals and metrics should be made clear—even if certain workers need to be put on performance improvement plans, Salemi added. “Quiet cutting is just not the right thing to do, plain and simple."

CFOs continue to tell me about concerns they have over attracting and retaining talent, as well as training current employees. Monster’s survey also showed that many employees have complaints about opportunities for growth—over the last year, for example, 59% of respondents reported a lack of opportunity for upward mobility, while about a third said they didn’t receive an expected bonus.

Quiet cutting could further upset employees already on edge, and it's something CFOs should monitor closely. “Trust and morale can plummet, which can negatively impact employee engagement and productivity, which ultimately hits the company's bottom line,” Salemi said.

Monster’s data shows that 71% of workers who've witnessed or directly experienced quiet cutting indicated they no longer wanted a long-term role at their company, while 79% lost trust in the firm and 79% no longer felt company loyalty.

“When employees start leaving, it's going to cost companies big bucks to replace those workers,” Salemi said. “And it can be even more challenging to recruit and hire when word gets out that this is not a great place to work and people keep leaving.”

Have a good weekend.

Sheryl Estrada

María Soledad Davila Calero curated the Leaderboard and Overheard sections of today’s newsletter.

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