7 signs that your employees are about to hit the road

Employees who are about to leave the company usually broadcast their intentions with subtle signals. It is worth knowing what some of these are and, if possible, persuading the employee to stay. Sometimes, employees will leave for valid reasons: to travel, to pursue their life’s passion, to study or for a change of environment. But more often than not, a little probing will reveal some underlying problems in their lives: unhappiness in the home, infidelity, a drinking or drug problem… It takes some goading and persistence to get to the bottom of these situations, but it is always worth it.

Time and money have gone into hiring the right employee for your firm. Mindflash notes several signs that might be noticeable before a high-performing employee hands in their notice, and it is imperative not to miss them, because “even if they’re looking around, it’s not a sure thing that they’re ready to leave you just yet.”

Talking to your employee before the decision may help sway them toward staying.

1. Slacking Off

An employee who begins to slack off, miss deadlines and turn in sloppy work may very well be disenchanted with the work, and is already starting to form an exit plan. A friendly sit-down meeting to ask questions and find out how to resolve the problem may help prevent full-blown disengagement.

2. Dressing Up

Most office dress codes are rather casual, but if you notice that an employee that has begun showing up the past two weeks in dress slacks and sporting an occasional tie – or otherwise dressing above and beyond what you usually require – there’s a strong possibility they’re going on interviews with other firms.

3. Hiding Out

When a usually straight-arrow employee is taking a high number of personal calls in empty conference rooms, covering their mouth when talking on the phone, or just generally acting furtively… it may be a sign that they are talking to another firm. While one or two incidents isn’t a cause for alarm, continued behaviour like this should start to raise some concerns.

4. Slowing Down

When punctuality, focus and hard work go out the door, it could be a sign your employee might be looking for a new gig. The complaining and change in work ethic are meant to clue you in that they are unhappy with their current employee-employer situation and feel they can find a better job.

5. Faking Illness

When your best employee is taking more sick days than usual, but doesn’t show the slightest inkling of having ever been sick, or when they’re leaving early or coming in late, it could be a sign that they increasingly disengaged and preparing to leave for a new job – especially if they are trying to milk out the rest of their sick leave for fear it will go unused.

6. Changing Up

Big life events such as divorce, marriage, illness, death and birth can all be a warning of an imminent departure. It may be worthwhile to sit down and talk about your employee’s future plans, as well as to setting up some short- and long-term solutions to any emergency events that might come up.

7. Pulling Back

When your most outgoing employee becomes increasingly silent and isolated, it could be yet another sign that they are not happy with their current position. Although personalities vary from person to person, you can still use general social activity as a litmus test for an employee’s job satisfaction.

Talking to your employee before the decision may help sway them toward staying.