Quality employees are hard to come by. Retaining them can be equally tricky.
Employee acquisition and retention are often two of the most challenging aspects of running a business. With all the effort put into recruiting, training, and advancing an employee’s career, the last thing you want is to find out they’re leaving you without warning.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the signs that an employee is about to be leaving. By knowing the signs, you may have a better chance at keeping them — or at least get a leg up on replacing them.
Let’s take a look.
1. Unexpected Absences and Appointments
Have you noticed a change in attendance? Is your employee beginning to call in more often, or have unexpected appointments that are routinely taking them away from work for a half-day or more?
Typically, an increase in call-ins and unexpected absences are signs of burnout. They’re also a sign that they are interviewing for jobs at other businesses.
If you notice a drastic change, it’s a good sign they’ll be leaving soon.
2. Performance is Tailing Off
When an employee begins to “check out” from their job, it’s often because they plan on heading to a new employer.
Once an employee decides to change employers, they start to care less about their job with you. This can be especially obvious in some of your top performers.
If they just went from rock star to below-average seemingly overnight, be ready for a resignation letter.
3. They Start Using Up Vacation Time Early in the Year
Most employees don’t have a ton of vacation time to use. For long-term employees, it’s typical to save their vacation time for summer or later in the year.
When they’re planning on leaving soon, however, you’ll often see them using up allotted vacation time very early in the year.
This is a red flag to keep your eye on.
4. They’ve Expressed a Lot of Frustrations
During their last employee evaluation, did they talk a lot about aspects of the job that were frustrating them? Was it evident that they weren’t experiencing a lot of job satisfaction? How did you address the concerns?
Some employees will be very vocal about perceived problems when they’re not happy at the job. You can use this information to improve your employee’s experience and ensure a better chance at retention.
On the other hand:
5. They’ve Completely Shut Down
Other employees will say absolutely nothing when they’re frustrated. They’ll shut down and keep to themselves.
If you have an employee that was very vocal during their last employee evaluation, but now says next to nothing about how things are going for them, there’s a good chance they have one foot out the door.
Drastic changes in behavior are a sign to look out for. It’s the same in every relationship, including an employee/employer relationship.
Looking for the Signs
Now you know some of the most common signs that your employee might be leaving you soon.
It might not be too late to retain them. Talk to your employee and see what you can do to improve their experience. After all, it’s probably easier than starting over with someone new.