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    62% of white-collar workers admit to 'rage applying' - survey

    Since the start of the year, there has been a surge in 'rage applying', where white-collar professionals apply to multiple new jobs in response to a particularly bad day at work.

    Just under two-thirds of professionals have confessed to engaging in this trend, with a spike in activity following New Year appraisals. This is according to a recent poll carried out by the staffing firm Robert Walters in its Salary Survey covering 2,000 South African professionals.

    Of those who admitted to rage applying in the past six months, almost half (38%) stated that they had applied to multiple new roles within a short space of time.

    Toxic workplaces to blame

    The leading issue provoking rage appliers is a toxic workplace culture, with over half (51%) of professionals stating that this was the primary reason they took to the keyboard to apply for new jobs.

    Over a fifth of workers (22%) blamed an unmanageable workload, followed by 19% who stated that poor work-life balance continues to be an issue.

    Just 8% of professionals reported that a disagreement with management led to them rage applying in the past six months.

    Caley Hill, senior consultant at Robert Walters South Africa, comments: “At large, it continues to be a candidate-driven market, with more jobs than people available to fill the vacancies. Therefore, ‘rage applying’ is something that employers cannot afford to let happen.

    “Interestingly, the aspects of pay or progression are not the issues that are creating this knee-jerk reaction, but the work environment itself, something which is well within the control of the employer."

    “Toxic workplace culture can very much be invisible but the knock-on effect to employees’ happiness is significant. Consequences include the detrimental effect to staff members’ mental wellbeing, physical safety in the workplace, productivity levels, ideas generation, and innovation.”

    “As a result, we are seeing increasingly more ‘culture match’ discussions in the hiring process, where both the company and prospective employee are vocal about what kind of worker or workplace they are looking for respectively.”

    Problems with the culture

    According to Robert Walters, working in an inspiring company culture and with equally inspiring leaders is one of the things that attract professionals to a job opportunity, ahead of flexible work and enhanced benefits packages.

    Hill provides a few top tips on how to improve a toxic work environment:

    1. Put it high on your management’s agenda – ensure that managers are well aware that the team morale and a positive work environment are core responsibilities of theirs. Business leaders should regularly raise these matters in management meetings, and ask managers about what types of activities or initiatives have taken place to encourage inclusivity.
    2. Launch anonymous feedback surveys – this is a fairly basic initiative that simply not enough employers do. Find out how your employees actually feel, and ask open-ended questions on culture in order to gain extra insight. Take time to read and understand the answers to get a steer on what is actually going wrong, and allow this to guide the manner in which you action the points raised.
    3. Invest time and money – culture does not come for free. The workplace is made up of a group of people brought together because of their varying skill-sets and not necessarily because they would make good friends. As such, companies need to put more effort into helping to create a respectful, friendly, social, and inclusive environment as these things often don’t result by chance.

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