Alienation is a natural outcome of systemic accretion: the ongoing increase of small tasks and assignments that seem individually manageable but taken together become impossible. It’s easy to see how this could contribute to disengagement and burnout. Institutions that engage in habitual systemic accretion may be unintentionally “quiet firing” their people by giving them work that is designed to leave them feeling undervalued and unwanted. The solution? Leaders can rebuild the connection between people’s purpose and their work.