No matter how great a company is, or how fun the company culture is, turnover is inevitable. People leave companies for different reasons, and it is your job to spot unhappy employees before they decide to relocate, especially your top talent. Employee turnover is a major concern and for a good reason. It can be frustrating, time-consuming, and not to mention, expensive. When you hire a new employee, you have to onboard them, buy the necessary equipment, train them, and so on. This is why supervisors and managers have to be aware of the signs that show an employee is about to quit. If you are not paying attention to those signs, a situation like that can catch you at a bad time and leave you in a tight spot. Knowing the warning signs will help you spot those unhappy employees and do what is necessary to make them happy and stop them from quitting.
Having a performance evaluation can help you identify patterns that show if an employee’s productivity is decreasing. This is one of the most obvious signs that is easy to spot.
If you can generally rely on an employee to maintain a high standard of work, a sudden drop in performance can be alarming. If an employee is constantly coming in late, leaving early, or seems more distracted than usual, then they are probably not as invested in their job as they used to be when they started. It is important to know that these are signs of burnout, and burnout is one of the main reasons employees can become unhappy with their jobs. Don’t worry, burnout is something you can avoid, and you can read more about that here.
Dressing Up and Requesting More Time Off
Depending on your industry and your company culture, a dress code has probably been established. Whether it is casual, business-casual, or a full suit, change of ----can alert you that an employee is looking for other options. This would be a sign that person has an interview that day. Remember, never jump to conclusions. That person may have an event later that day and didn’t want to go home to get dressed, or maybe they just felt like dressing up that morning. Before you jump to any conclusions, make sure that is not the only sign that may suggest that person is exploring other options. If you are really curious, then do your research. It’s unfortunate to think about, but studies show employees looking for other employment often do so during company time. They may be making calls to competitors, sending out emails, searching for job postings, or even interviewing during their lunch breaks. There are ways to track internet usage, so you can see exactly what employees search during the day, so if you really think someone is looking elsewhere you can do so. Remember, in the end, the most simple way to find out if someone is looking elsewhere is by simply asking them. If you’ve created a culture of openness and encouragement, this doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. Employees should be given nothing but support when they move jobs, whether they’re simply moving to a different department or changing jobs altogether.
A negative attitude is usually tied to burnout. If you notice that an employee no longer interacts with you or their colleagues like they used to, or that they no longer provide any input to the department and allow their work quality slip, there is a good chance that the employee is no longer happy at their job. This negativity may be caused by personal stress, but also recognize that it may be caused by a change within the company or even a change in employee’s expectations. It is a good idea to set time aside to talk to these employees and find out if there is anything that you can do to help them. Maybe they need something new to work on or perhaps they may need to move to a different department. Whatever it is that you can do to help, try to make it happen. You do not want top talent to leave your company. After all, top talent has become hard to find because the competition is increasing at a rapid rate. Read here to learn about what companies must do to keep top talent.
Other signs to look for are the following:
- They become less social at work
- They lose interest in training programs
- They hesitate to commit to long-term projects
- They become more active on LinkedIn
- They want to attend more conferences and workshops
- They take longer lunch breaks
- They become secretive
- You’ve got a bad feeling
That last one is important. Science has proven that “trusting your gut” is a real thing and not just a metaphor. If you suspect that someone is planning on quitting, there is a good chance that you are not wrong. This is where prevention comes in. Although turnover is inevitable, there are ways you can avoid it. Remember that your employees are what keep the company going, so having happy employees means increased productivity, which means success. Show appreciation, have an open-door policy, provide sufficient training, conduct performance reviews, offer them benefits, and so on. And remember, all the preventative measures in the world won’t keep all your employees forever. When you receive a resignation letter, make a point to congratulate the employee on their success and be supportive. After all, we’ve all gotten to where we are by the support from others.
Even though keeping top talent should be a priority, letting employees go when they become a liability can be in your best interest. Therefore, if after spotting the previous signs you conclude that an employee is, in fact, thinking about quitting, asking them to leave sooner than later may be the best option. This will allow you to minimize conflict and plan for their replacement without disrupting your company’s overall workflow.