We first saw the start of a dramatic shift in employment trends with the Great Resignation and "quiet quitting." Now, rage applying has exploded across TikTok, boasting a new way to land jobs.
Frustration with work, being overlooked for promotions, and being paid inadequately has caused this trend to go viral. It's being promoted as a way of rebellion to get back at bosses by sending out resumes aggressively to multiple companies in order to locate new employment opportunities and get better compensation.
Gen Z and Millennials are no longer keeping quiet and are now harnessing the power of TikTok to speak out about their less-than-ideal workplace experiences. With inflation rates now hovering at 8.7%, ambitious job seekers are more determined to find new prospects that can provide them with higher salaries in the face of rising costs.
How did rage applying emerge?
In December, Redweez made a Tiktok video about her newfound success of obtaining an extra $25,000 in salary due to "rage-applying," The clip spread like wildfire and brought on a wave of other users who wanted to follow Redweez's footsteps.
Redweez, a Canadian millennial in social media marketing, shared with her followers what she did to get a better job with excellent compensation. After becoming frustrated at work, she applied to 15 different jobs. She was elated when one gave her a significant raise of $25,000.
Her video has gone viral with over 2.5 million views and 64k shares, and since then, the idea of "rage-applying" has been all over the internet. Many of the videos on TikTok feature individuals who have been discontent with their job and submitted multiple applications. Allegedly, after just a few days or weeks, they are presented with numerous offers from companies willing to provide them with a better salary.
What's driving employers to make these "too good to be true" job offers?
With the ever-evolving nature of work, companies are making the employee experience a top priority. According to a 2021 Employee Experience survey, 95% of employers in the Philippines have made it clear that enhancing their employees' experience will be a critical asset for companies during the next three years – up from just 65% before the pandemic.
Most participants agreed that a positive employee experience plays an essential role in engagement (89%), productivity (88%), overall business performance (88%), and employee well-being (87%).
Despite the negative connotation of "rage" and "quitting," internet users have reclaimed these terms to demonstrate their commitment to not settling for toxic work environments or poor management. They are now using them to express triumph in leaving such places, finding better positions, and advocating for healthier atmospheres.
Is Quiet Quitting Different From Rage Applying?
Quiet quitting involves simply doing the absolute minimum required at your job without going beyond that or continuing to work after hours. Rage applying, however, is the newest workplace term that refers to hastily sending off resumes and applications for new jobs on an impulse of frustration from your current one.
Some users have labeled this phenomenon on social media as the new "quiet quitting." Yet not all agree with the definition of the term. Essentially, Quiet quitting is "I'm going to do what you only pay me for," while Rage applying is "I'm going to do better if you pay me more."
Reasons why rage applying occurs
- Demand for Higher Pay Due to Inflation
The pandemic has caused a surge in inflation, making it increasingly difficult for Gen Z and millennials to afford housing and other necessities. This has caused more than half of young Filipinos to miss payments on bills and loans. As a result, they are now carefully limiting their purchases of nonessentials as a precaution against the rising costs.
- Work-Life Integration
Work-life integration is imperative for employees to balance their professional and personal life. It promotes healthier relationships with family, friends, and coworkers and significantly boosts employee performance in the workplace for optimal productivity. Work-life integration does not identify 'work' and 'life' as two separate entities but instead sees them as one that needs to have a harmonious balance.
Nowadays, employers are expecting more from their employees and demanding greater results. This has made it difficult for people to attain a sense of balance as the pressure to succeed continues to mount. This leads to stress which can affect an employee's physical and mental health.
- Toxic Work Culture
Toxic work culture is frequently cited as the primary reason for employees quitting. It can manifest in many ways, including but not limited to bullying, harassment, or a lack of transparency between employers and staff.
- Opportunities for Career Growth
Professionals strive to progress within a company, and losing their chance at growth opportunities is one of the prime motives why people leave. To make employees feel valued, employers must recognize hard work and give due recognition, like bonuses and pay raises. Moreover, an outlined career path will allow employees to envision staying with the organization for years.
Catching Rage Applying Early: Signs to Watch for Among Your Employees
- They lack a sense of responsibility towards their work: Have you ever noticed how motivation decreases when your interest fades? The same holds true for employees. When they become disillusioned with their job, deadlines will inevitably be missed, and a reluctance to commit to long-term projects can occur. As such, performance and morale begin to diminish.
- An increased absenteeism rate: Breaks are essential, but when taken to the extreme, it is cause for concern. This should be a warning sign if employees miss work hours to participate in job interviews or other activities while their productivity levels decline.
- Embracing presenteeism: When an employee is physically present yet mentally absent, this phenomenon is known as "presenteeism." You may detect a decline in their performance as they start making avoidable mistakes and missing due dates. Furthermore, the individual will be less likely to perform their required duties at work.
- Diminished passion for the organization's purpose: It's a typical occurrence that when people are no longer invested in their work, they just force themselves to get it done. Similarly, when employees become overly eager and apply for multiple jobs simultaneously, they can forget their primary duties with their current company.
- Negative attitude at the workplace: Provocation can drastically impact one's attitude, like insulting or discriminating against another employee. Before you know it, employees may find themselves in an unfavorable state of mind concerning their colleagues, bosses, and work itself - becoming irritable and disengaged from workplace conversations.
Distinguishing the signs of rage applying is not always straightforward, as they can also appear in different situations, such as employee burnout or working under a poor supervisor. Before making any assumptions, it's crucial to assess the issue properly by sending anonymous surveys and conducting one-on-one meetings. This will ensure that you have all the necessary information to decide how best to proceed.
How can companies address rage applying?
- Promote transparent and open communication: Outdated one-way communication is no longer acceptable in organizational culture. Employees have the right to be heard, and workplaces should strive to create a culture where feedback is encouraged from every level. Letting employees express their thoughts and opinions helps foster a more positive work environment.
- Understand the cause: If you know that an employee is "rage applying," it's necessary to determine the cause. Invest in one-on-one meetings with them, and consider their input through anonymous surveys so they feel comfortable voicing opinions without fear of holding back. Through this method, you can better understand what's prompting their behavior and make informed decisions.
- Appreciate their hard work and dedication: Now, you realize it is not always about giving monetary or physical rewards. Employees want to be appreciated for their work and feel valued. Of course, this doesn't mean they need a lavish gift every time; a simple "thank you" after completing a task makes all the difference.
- Give competitive salaries and bonuses: Remember that your employees are an investment, not a cost. Pay them fairly according to their performance and industry standards; they also have a life beyond the workplace with other significant responsibilities.
- Make flexible work arrangements: Every team member has a different peak in productivity; some work best at the crack of dawn, while others are most effective late at night. Grant your employees the opportunity to choose their own hours, and trust them with this task - focus instead on the results they produce. This will hold them responsible for their jobs and ensure more focused performance overall.
- Put their well-being first: In today's post-pandemic world, mental and physical health must be a priority. To ensure your employees stay healthy, motivate them to maintain an active lifestyle while respecting their boundaries. Encourage well-being in all its forms for the benefit of everyone.
Due action must be taken to minimize the increasing trend of rage applying before it becomes unmanageable. While we might read about this phenomenon daily, with appropriate implementation and policies, you can ensure that your employees remain loyal and engaged.
Rage applying has become a popular way for employees to seek higher salaries and feel empowered. While it can be an effective strategy, employers and employees should keep in mind that it's only a band-aid solution for the matter at hand.
Companies should also strive to create a people-first workplace culture that promotes open communication, appreciation, competitive salaries, flexible work arrangements, and well-being initiatives to ensure employees remain loyal and engaged.
Rage Applying reflects the temporary frustration of employees during these times. Still, with good strategies and initiatives in place, companies will be able to retain top talent while fostering a positive environment for everyone.
What can we do to help?
To know more about how Sprout Solutions can help you improve the employee experience, book a consultation here!
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