Quiet Cutting

Quiet Hiring, Quiet Quitting. Now: Quiet Cutting?

In Leadership Resources, Strategy Resources by Brandt A. HandleyLeave a Comment

We’ve talked about quiet hiring and quiet quitting. Now: quiet cutting?

Imagine waking up to an email or Slack message that says, “Hey, you’re not fired, but your job is gone.”

On the one hand, this could be a relief: you’re not fired!

On the other hand, what does that mean?

Companies including Adidas, IBM, Salesforce, and Adobe have all jumped on the “Reassignment due to restructuring” bandwagon, where they are not laying off employees, but they are giving them different jobs.

One perspective: companies don’t want to get rid of top talent in whom they have invested lots of time and money. Reassigning these employees means top talent stays but in a way that allows the company to trim costs and refocus on new strategies.

Another perspective? Companies may be waiting for employees unhappy in a new role to voluntarily quit, thus eliminating the need for the company to pay costly severance or unemployment benefits.

How to tell which is which, though? Well, one way is to look at the position you’re being offered. Is it less than pay or skill level you currently have? Would it require a relocation? Is it with a department that is rumored to be up next for elimination? If the answer to those questions is “Yes,” then you might be looking at a situation where the company is hoping you’ll leave of your own accord.

Another, more direct, way to find out is to ask your manager about the reassignment, why it’s happening, and what it might mean for the trajectory your career was on. The answer to those questions might tell you if a reassignment is truly a bid to keep you in the company, or a little more personal.

Whatever the motivation, these reassignments are happening, leaving some employees wondering if they’ll eventually get the ax, or how to get back to a position they actually want.

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