How to Prevent Rage Quitting in Your Business

The cessation of anger occurs. We love it in movies where the hero does “You can’t fire me, I quit!” Rants and storms. It’s not cool when one of your employees does it, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers found out Sunday.

Antonio Brown took off his football jerseys and shirt and left the field shirtless. (Fortunately, he left his pants on.) Coach Bruce Aryan said Brown was no longer a member of the team. While NFL players aren’t employees at will, so quitting or voluntary quitting is more complicated than most employees, it’s safe to say they don’t plan to have him back any time soon.

It can happen in your business, but it doesn’t have to. Of course, you can’t prevent it 100 percent, but there’s a lot you can do. Here are four things you need to do.

1. Watch out for bad behavior

Antonio Brown came up with a record of bad behavior, including sexual assault, battery charges, vaccination record falsification, and burglary. When your employee behaves poorly out of the field (or out of the office), expect them to eventually show up at work.

Washington Post Sportswriter Adam Kilgore wrote that even after all of the above and multiple suspensions, “The Aryans and the Waalkaners welcomed Brown back because they thought they needed him to defend the Super Bowl.”

Deal with problems in the moment, even if it means losing someone who closes sales or wins football matches. You don’t want a tantrum. If you pay attention, you may be able to avoid bad behavior.

2. Listen to employee complaints

People (generally speaking) don’t get bored and get stuck in the middle of a project (or game) because of one bad thing. It is generally an accumulation of problems and frustrations. If your employees complain about how bad things are and you’ve been ignored, prepare for someone to quit. Even if you don’t agree with what your employees say, listen to them and consider their concerns. This is a situation where you can either be right or have employees, but not both.

If you’re constantly undermining employees to please a customer, changing schedules without notice, or anything else employees are complaining about, expect some angry resignation.

And another red flag? When your employees complain about nothing. why? Because that means they know you’re not listening. There is no perfect job. No manager goes through the day without errors. If no one points out any problem, it does not mean that you are perfect. It’s that it’s simmering silently.

3. Don’t be a fool

While this goes along with listening, one big step and a jerk can be enough. Take this viral post, originally on Reddit (it has since been deleted, hence the screenshots from Facebook).

Request the original holiday poster in advance. An emergency situation arose for the client, and his manager demanded that he cancel his leave. To make matters worse, the manager reported that HR refused to allow him to postpone the leave period. I have left work. The company begged him to return but they weren’t willing to pay more for his time. In the end, the client company hired him for twice the price he asked for to carry out the project.

There are many areas this company could have improved to prevent this from happening, but the act of saying “sorry, it’s your fault for leaving your vacation time until the end of the year” puts this employee on edge. Don’t stick to the rules so hard that your employees are leaving.

4. Make mental health an absolute priority

Simone Biles has stepped aside during this summer’s Olympics, citing the emotional stress of competition. Tennis player Naomi Osaki has withdrawn from the French Open due to mental health reasons as well. They knew that when paying another day it was too much and they set aside for a moment – but not forever.

This does not mean that Brown ignored his mental health – he has not made any statements regarding his mental health. But ignoring mental health carries risks. Biles, who has an estimated net worth of $16 million, and Osaki, who has an estimated net worth of $45 million, can walk away without risking poverty. Your employees are not likely to enjoy the same luxury. They should know that mental health care is real health care, and you, as the employer, should make sure they have mental health care available.

Whether it’s through your traditional insurance, employee assistance program, or direct treatment support, your company can help people before they reach their breaking point.

The bottom line: Be a better manager and a better human, and your employees will be less inclined to walk out in the middle of a presentation, run to Reddit to complain, or be stripped in the middle of a game. Make mental health care a priority — for you and your employees.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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