Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
HUMAN RESOURCES / JUL. 25, 2016
version 5, draft 5

4 Signs Your Best Employees Are about to Walk Out the Door

Are you about to lose one of your employees? Are there any signs you could look out for and keep them from leaving? Read on and learn what you can do.

Good employees are a rare commodity; great employees are treasures. The problem with both good and great employees is that if they are unhappy and they recognize their true value, they’ll probably skip out on you before you can even say: “Please don’t leave me!” Recognizing the signs of a disengaged employee can help you amend a situation and, hopefully, keep that star employee.

See Also: Employee Engagement: What Keeps Employees Motivated [Infographic]

1. Behavioral Changes

Bored woman at work
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A huge indication that an employee is considering leaving is an abrupt shift in their behavior and mentality regarding their current position. If they were gregarious individuals and they suddenly start keeping to themselves, this might indicate a growing resentment with the company culture or complete and utter detachment from both the job and the people associated with the position. This will be a reoccurring piece of advice, but if you see this type of behavior, arrange a meeting and have a genuine conversation about what might be vexing your employee, potentially driving them to seek employment elsewhere. If you truly appreciate this employee, then you will make an honest effort to retain them. Tell them that you are personally concerned with their behavioral change and extend an offer of help if they require it. Start with something to the affect, “I noticed that you haven’t quite been yourself lately and I really appreciate you. Is there anything bothering you, something that I could perhaps help you out with?”

2. On Fleek Effect

Man at job interview
Shutterstock

If you’re unfamiliar with the term “on fleek”, it’s one that millennials use to describe something that is on point, so if you notice that your employee or employees are showing up to work on fleek, then there might be a little bit more to the situation than just simply looking good and dressing well. Your employee might be using lunch breaks to go to interviews, or even before or after work, thus the snazzy outfits. Sure, we all like to dress up a bit once in a while – it breaks up the routine and makes us feel good – but I think that most of us can tell when someone is in interview-appropriate clothing. I mean, honestly, who wears a blazer in August? This is one of the items on the list that will be an exception – it’s not like you can walk up to them and say, “Hey, I noticed you’re dressing up nicer than usual. Is there something you want to tell me?” You’ll have to be a little more diplomatic with this conversation, by setting up a meeting and then starting with something like: “I’m a little concerned that you aren’t engaged enough here at work; is there anything I can help you out with? Is there a problem you have which I can help resolve?” If the offer is genuinely proposed, then this will help you gauge if your star employee is already looking for a job or considering it.

3. Personal Changes

Pregnant woman at work
Shutterstock

If your employee frequently talks about disruptions in his personal life, this is a good indication they might be heading for the door. An increased financial need, a better work-life balance, or a shorter commute might all contribute to your employee hitting the bricks. Can you keep an employee like that? Sure you can – you’ll have to compromise quite a bit, but if you’re truly motivated to keep them happy, then you’ll find a way. Let’s go with a pleasant scenario: the birth of a new child. Although a happy event in anyone’s life, it can be extremely disruptive to both home and work life. New parents will be sleep-deprived, stressed, and financially strained. One easy and simple way to help your employee deal with this is to allow them to work for a certain period of time from home if their set of responsibilities allows it. This will help your employee have a better work-life balance, save money, and save valuable time on commuting. With one simple compromise, you’ve assessed and amended the three things that might have made a great employee leave!

4. Shift In Conflict Management

Coworkers arguing
Shutterstock

If you see a fundamental shift in the way your favorite employee approaches and attempts to resolve conflict, then you might want to investigate further. If your star employee usually used diplomacy for conflict resolution and has recently devolved into raising their voice and gesturing widely, this might be an indication of frustration. If, on the other hand, your star employee would never back down from a conflict, especially if they were in the right, but have recently adopted a defeatist’s mentality and they don’t bother resolving conflicts, then this might be an indication that they are already checked out. These are all indications that your best employee might be planning their great escape. Approaching this type of situation, of course, is much easier because it’s essentially a HR problem, especially if their conflict management is creating friction amongst their co-workers or inhibiting productivity and communication.

See Also: 4 Ways to Retain Your Best Employees

What did you do to keep a star employee from leaving? Tell us in the comments section below!

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