When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

For business leaders in 2023, it’s vital to remember that if you’re facing staff walkouts it’s already too late to put in place toxic workplace mitigation strategies – that HR ship has sailed.

The magic behind effective staff retention lies in knowing the signs that your workforce is slipping into dysfunction, and making efforts to mitigate any disenfranchisement way ahead of the tipping point from working productively – and happily – to rage quitting, rage applying and rage walkouts.

What is rage quitting? 

As per BetterUp:

 “Rage quitting is exactly what the name implies: becoming so angry or frustrated that you abandon a situation entirely, leaving before resolution.

In the workplace, this usually involves quitting your job at the last minute without giving the customary two weeks’ notice. But it can also manifest through smaller outbursts, such as storming out of a meeting due to frustration or walking away from a conversation with a condescending colleague”.

So, in theory to Rage Quit is to finally let out what was once held in – a building up of frustrations, anger and stress, that then leads to a rapid exit 

Rage quitting, and rage applying, in the post-COVID era. 

To say that rage quitting has gone through something of a renaissance would be trivialising how effective it’s been for employees looking for a better workplace deal in the post-COVID world. 

Rage quitting is, in effect, leverage, and has been repackaged as “rage applying” where workers, sick to death of poor conditions or a slow-moving and ineffective management system know full well they aren’t going to really quit, but make a show of quitting to leverage better conditions, pay or benefits by applying to new jobs on a whim. 

If they don’t get those concessions from their current employer, they have a new job waiting, often with better pay, benefits, perks and conditions.

This has been a remarkably effective employee strategy, especially in niche industries where specific talent is in high demand. Indeed, this has in some cases helped “Gen Z and millennials land $30,000 raises”.

So what can you do to stave off rage quitting?

Utilise empathy, honesty, and communicativeness.

  • Although it seems a little crass to have to keep banging this drum, empathy and open channels of communication are the most powerful rage-quitting weapons in your arsenal because they create the foundation for an open culture of feedback. 
  • When one of the main driving factors behind rage quitting is a job not meeting the financial, cultural or career expectations of a worker, simply having a line for staff to make their feelings heard encourages trust and more effective, personalised reactions to staff unhappiness.

Tech to the semi-rescue. 

  • Here at Rectec, we like to think we understand the power of good HR tech – and in regards to Rage Quitting we believe tech augments but doesn’t replace, effective people management – you cannot expect tech to improve poor workplace morale!
  • So rather than leaning on the digital world for a solution to workplace dysfunction, use curated HR tech platforms – like performance management tools, video and chat tools and even anonymised feedback apps – to create a culture of connection between peers and management and a benchmark for open lines of comms to encourage feedback. 

Wellness and mental health prioritisation.

  • As we and many others have mentioned before, HR teams will be put under immense pressure in 2023 to maintain productivity and engagement levels in the face of recession, inflation and the ongoing cost of living crisis.
  • But to focus on KPIs and deliverables is to completely miss the point of what actually drives workers to be productive in the first place – happiness, purpose, connection of labour to company outcomes, a feeling of value, a feeling of trust and appreciation, workplace friendships, and the chance to build a career free of bias. 
  • Leaders need to make sure they prioritise workplace wellness and mental health support to guarantee employees feel that sense of value, care and trust. In short, leaders and HR teams need to prioritise the happiness of their people above all else. 

A quick, responsive process is what you need to attract and engage the best talent.

At Rectec we help organisations to find the best Applicant Tracking System or best Recruitment CRM to suit your needs, accompanied by our unique complementary technology marketplace, to help you build the perfect recruitment tech stack for your business.