Rage Quitting Explained And How to Prevent It

Rage Quitting Explained And How to Prevent It


As the great resignation continues, more American workers are prioritizing their mental health over how things look on their resumes and rage quitting. Rage quitting is an unfortunate hallmark of toxic workplaces when an employee quits on the spot. Employers are already struggling with retention rates amidst an unprecedented Great Resignation. Because rehiring standout talent is already challenging, companies must keep an honest and active inventory of their culture and team and management dynamics.

What is Rage Quitting, and why is it happening?

Fortune gave a few examples of “rage quitters,” including a twenty-something who had relocated to New York for a new job. Four months in, she struggled with her boss’s cutthroat management style, and he force muted her on a Zoom call when she explained why she disagreed with him. She immediately drafted her resignation letter. And it isn’t shocking since the number one reason for rage quitting is poor management, followed by a toxic manager, unbearable work stress, and toxic coworkers.

A recent Skynova survey dug into the stats on how many employees leave with an unplanned exit strategy. 60% of the respondents who rage-quit landed a new job with a salary boost—an average of $7,200. Even though 41% of rage-quitters immediately regretted the impulse move and tried to get their position back—those who did return to their previous position were frequently able to use their rage-quit to drive a significant salary increase.

Over the last year, rage-quitters jumped ship due to burnout, work stress, and employers that seemed to disregard their mental health. More than half of survey respondents reported better mental health after leaving their toxic job, with 43% sharing reduced stress levels.

More than ever, the current talent market is a job seeker’s market. There are currently an eye-popping 5 million more open positions than unemployed Americans. Saying the current labor market is tight is a massive understatement. Rehiring is a journey and an expensive one. When retaining standout talent, it’s probably easier for management to make things right with the current team than rehiring.

  1. Reconsider requiring a return to the office.

It’s true. There’s a level of comradery that’s tough to Zoom or Slack your way to, and many executives are finding empty offices demoralizing. However, their workforces don’t. 64% of workers would rather find another job than return to work for their current one in a physical location. American workers have learned how to balance their personal and professional lives with less time commuting to and from an office. And it’s worth noting that 77% of workers observed their productivity increased working from home.

  1. Coach your managers for smoother communications.

Again, poor management is the number one reason for rage quitting or quitting in general. Everyone knows that your manager can make or break a job. Unfortunately, in many organizations, one of the growing pains of scaling quickly and promoting from within is that you may have several managers in your ranks who lack formal leadership training. Having an annual track for new managers and one for veteran supervisors is an excellent way to help educate internal leaders on the changing needs and expectations in a millennial-dominated workforce. Bringing in an outside expert (unbiased by company politics) can help empower a better understanding of how managers can create an engaging and safe work environment while prioritizing their teams’ mental health and wellbeing.

  1. Be receptive to current and past employee feedback.

Whether you’re a hiring manager taking feedback directly from your team, a Human Resources manager receiving feedback from teammates at large, or even receiving less-than-stellar input about your company on Glassdoor or another job review site, be open to learning and growing from the feedback. Drinking the Kool-Aid isn’t going to help you retain your workforce. When a past or current team member brings up an issue, whether or not you agree with their perspective, it takes courage for them to do so. No one is ever rushing to provide constructive feedback. Most of us avoid confrontation as often as possible, especially in our careers. So, when team members (past and present) voice concerns and problems, listen.

  1. Keep the focus on culture.

While employee appreciation events and values are essential, the way your employees feel about your organization is what truly embodies your company culture. If there are excessive stress levels business-wide or issues with work-life balance, you aren’t investing wisely in your culture. Hire and promote managers who respect professional boundaries, are open to feedback, and don’t expect employees to return emails in the middle of the night. The Devil Wears Prada (i.e., cutthroat management) isn’t a good look for anyone, and while culture is how your team members feel about your company, the tone is usually set from the top down.

Ready to recommit to employee retention?

Our working culture and best practices for hiring and retaining employees are changing in irreversible ways. Staffing Strong’s talent experts are inundated with current talent market challenges and playing them to your business advantage. Let’s connect to discuss your hiring goals.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Vega is the Founder and President at Staffing Strong and the Past President of the Phoenix American Marketing Association. Since 1999, she’s made her career about supporting her clients in building meaningful careers and partnering with businesses in finding quality hires. In her free time, Evelyn sits on various advisory boards and enjoys practicing on her drum set!

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