You know that feeling when you come home in the evening after a bad day at work, and want to 'avenge' yourself by applying for multiple jobs at the same time? That’s what 'rage applying' is all about. This phenomenon is not new, but a recent poll from staffing specialist Walters People reveals that this trend has spiked since New Year appraisals. 

Almost one in three employees admitted that they have already applied for a new job in recent months, the main reason being a toxic work culture (47%).  Özlem Simsek, managing director at Walters People, explains this worrying trend.  

Toxic workplace to blame

The leading issue provoking rage-appliers is a toxic workplace culture. A recent poll by staffing specialist Walters People shows that 47% of Belgian employees decided to apply ‘en masse’ for a new job in the past few months for just that reason.  

Almost one in three (31%) workers blamed a poor work-life balance. For one in five, missing out on a promotion or pay rise turned out to be the main reason for sending out multiple job applications - out of revenge.  

Özlem Simsek explains: "It continues to be a candidate-driven market, with more jobs than people available. So 'rage applying' is really something that most employers cannot afford to happen. Interestingly, it is not so much issues relating to salary or promotion that are creating this knee-jerk reaction, but the work environment itself, something well withing the control of the employer. A toxic work culture can very much be invisible, but the knock-on effect to employee happiness is significant, from staff’s mental and physical safety in the workplace to productivity levels, ideas generation and innovation.” 

What makes a work culture toxic? 

A toxic work environment is a workplace characterized by negativism and a general sense of dysfunction. Office cliques and gossip are the main cause of a toxic workplace for 44% of employees, according to Walters People's poll. A non-inclusive environment comes in second place (28%), but a strong hierarchical structure also appears to be a cause of a toxic work environment for one in five employees.  

Özlem: "If employees today do not feel comfortable with the corporate culture in their organisation, they are more likely to seek their happiness elsewhere. Jobs are plentiful, so why wouldn't they take the plunge? It is therefore important to pay attention to a 'culture match' in the hiring process, where both employer and prospective employee are vocal about what kind of worker or workplace they are looking for." 

3 tips 

How can organisations improve, or better yet, avoid a toxic work environment? Özlem shares 3 tips:   

Tip 1: Put it high on your management’s agenda 

Ensure that managers are well aware that team morale and a positive work environment is a core responsibility. Business leaders should raise this in management meetings often, as well as asking managers what type of activities/initiatives have taken place in the last month to encourage inclusivity.

Tip 2: Launch anonymous feedback surveys

A basic initiative that simply not enough employers do! Find out how your employees actually feel and ask open-ended questions on culture. Take time to read all these comments to get a steer on what is going wrong.

Tip 3: Invest time and money

Culture does not come for free. The fact is the workplace is made up of a set of people bought together because of their varying skill sets – not because they would necessarily make good friends. As such, companies need to put more effort into helping to create a friendly, social and inclusive environment – these things often don’t happen by chance.


Want to know more?

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