Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Signs Your Employee Is About To Quit

Unless it's something truly unexpected, such as their spouse is getting transferred or a parent fell suddenly ill and they need to move to care for them, quitting a job isn't taken lightly. It's like a breakup. Excepting extreme circumstances (like discovering your better half has a fetish you just can't abide by), you hem and haw for a long time before cutting those strings.

In some cases, you may want to "save" your employee and it might even be possible. Maybe they're unhappy with a relatively minor issue but just didn't go about fixing it or verbalizing their discomfort in the right way. In other instances, you agree that it's a good parting but also need to make the transition as easy as possible--preferably by having them train or prepare training materials for their successor. Here are the signs you're about to get a two-weeks notice and what to expect:

1. They clock in and out at exactly the right time
Unlike the more obvious signs of an employee coming in chronically late or leaving early, this can also be a red flag. Of course, this is assuming that in the past they would occasionally come in early, work late or volunteer for an extra project. If they're just doing the bare minimum, and that includes when they punch the clock, their job is no longer a priority.

2. They're not as friendly with their colleagues
Much like a personal breakup, doing "the fade" makes it easier for the person leaving. They know they'll soon no longer be comrades with these people, and if they have genuine connections it's simpler for them to start to distance themselves now. This all depends on how social they were to begin with, but an eagle-eyed manager should be able to pick up on it.

3. They just got a degree, license or other certification...
...and have barely mentioned it to you. There are certainly cases where an employee is finishing their degree or decides to pursue a new accreditation while planning to stick with their position. However, if this undertaking is largely hush hush, they're likely making themselves look better for the job hunt. Otherwise, why would they be spending all that time, money and effort just to keep the position they already have?

4. There have been major company changes lately
This one is the trickiest because you have so much other stuff going on, you might not notice cues that a certain employee is unhappy with it. Maybe there's been a lot of turnover lately (especially with management), or maybe there are new guidelines that some people might view as strict. People are creatures of habit, and what can seem like an innocent change to one might be devastating to another. There's a reason turnover begets turnover.

5. They just had a major, positive life event
From marriage to children, the big things in life that are filled with joy can also mean transition time for employees. While it's fair to ask about any changes when an employee welcomes a child home, don't overlook other big events such as publishing a book, getting engaged or trying for the Olympics. They have other things to focus on, and might not think there's enough time for their current job.

Seeing a notice coming gives you an advantage, whether you want to try to persuade and employee to stay or get ready to transition in someone new. Keep your eyes open.

Article credits to Drew Hendricks,

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