10 Warning Signs Your Employees Are About To Quit

Posted on April 16, 2016 by

Every employee you take on will think about quitting at one time or another. Some of them will decide to stay with your company while others will seek greener pastures. While losing valuable members of your team is inevitable, it’s important to know when a person is most likely to quit. Knowing this allows you to either step in and minimize whatever is causing them to lean toward this decision, or be prepared to hire a replacement. So let’s talk about some of those warning signs so you can be better prepared in the employee management landscape.

Looking At Different Jobs 

Chances are that if you have noticed one of your employees is an intelligent, hardworking, go-getter then others have as well. Especially if this person is in the crucial 3-6 year period of working with your company. The reason being is that this is usually the time when a person is starting to have a real grip on their career but haven’t yet been promoted to meet their skill level. This provides an opportunity for other companies to sweep in and offer a similar or better position as your employee currently has, but with much better pay. This can be a difficult problem to deal with since even if you were to offer them a pay raise it most likely would not be as much as another company is willing to offer. So in this case the best you can do is to try and make the person want to stay through comradery and a pleasant work environment. 

Quick To Go Home 

If you have an employee who is clocking out perfectly on time everyday of the week, one of two things is happening. Either they are excellent at their work but are also not being given enough work(this is talked about further below) or they want to be at work for as little time as possible. This is an incredibly difficult problem to solve because their reasons for leaving early could be any number of things. What I would suggest in this case is to simply talk to your employee and ask them why they are leaving early, in a non-confrontational way. If it is because they have too little work then great, give them more! If not then you will need to listen and try to help them with their issue. 

Low Effort 

Similar to the case above, however in this case even when they are at work they don’t want to be there. Everything they do will be slow and subpar. If this is something you spot in a new hire then bad luck on that one. If you see this in a previously hard working and accomplished employee then it’s most likely a fixable issue. Again the best advice I would give is to just attempt to talk out the problem. Sometimes it really can be things as simple as, “I moved further away and now I don’t have time to drive home for lunch.” Comforts like this can greatly effect a persons work enthusiasm. 

Outward Unhappiness 

People do not naturally want to express their unhappiness in the workplace. So when you do hear about this happening then you know it’s something serious. Usually in this case the employee will discuss their problems with their peers. So it can be more beneficial to ask their coworkers why this employee is unhappy and try to deal with it in the shadows. It is always good to avoid confrontation but if you have to talk directly to this employee then try to do so in as caring a way as possible.

Looking Out For #1 

This type of employee can be characterized by their levels of jealousy towards their peers, and even their betters. This jealousy stems from their ego, which causes them to believe that they deserve more than they have perhaps earned. Even in the case of this such employee working hard enough to normally earn a promotion, sometimes another person has just worked harder. At the end of the day you can only promote so many people and if you skip over this employee then they will not forget it. This can quickly reach a similar point to what we saw above, with the employee getting contacted by other companies. In this scenario things are really not going in your favor. Having just been passed over on a promotion, thus feeling neglected or worse a perceived animosity, and now being offered a better position elsewhere, they will quickly take it. In truth, you will most likely have a hard time managing a situation like this. A person like this wants to better their career more than their company. What you can do is make them feel that this company is what will better their career. You can do this by getting them invested into more aspects of your company, and by nature making them feel more appreciated and connected.

Personal Issues 

These things happen in life and are most often out of the control of your employees. Sometimes they are in the control of your employees but as a boss it is not your job to manage anyone’s personal life. In any case most people do recognize their personal life as being more important than their jobs. Because of this sometimes people will be “forced” to quit because of an issue and nothing can be done about it. This does bring up a very touchy situation though of trying to convince people to leave their personal lives at the door. Sometimes this will work but I would more often suggest that you listen to your employee to learn when these issues are impacting them, then being prepared to either help them however you can or to replace them if needed. 

Excessive Time Off 

If one of your employees has already decided to quit then one thing they might do is spend all their paid time off just before quitting. The part of me that sympathizes with the worker says that they have earned it and should get to use it. The part of me that sympathizes with the business says work has to get done and people not working doesn’t get it done. Either way the important thing to know is just that this might mean a person is ready to leave and to be prepared for it. 

No Challenge 

As we mentioned a bit earlier, sometimes employees will clock out early because they have finished all their work. This does sound like a good thing but if they finished their work an hour or two early and were sitting at their desk bored the whole time, it gets bad fast. While not every employee is going to be truly passionate about their work they usually at least want to be doing something. And if they are in a situation like this where they are not getting to work then they may look elsewhere for a more challenging job. So what can you do? Put them to work! 

Problem With Superiors 

If you caught on to the theme of this article then you know that one of the most important things you can do as an employer is listen to your employees. If you are not receptive to your employees then things will quickly go down hill for them and you. So get out there, learn and interact with your employees, and be a better business because of it

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