Are you worried that one of your star employees is about to jump ship? Studies show that about 3 million Americans quit their job each month — so your fears are not unwarranted.
If you want to retain your best employees, you need to know how to recognize the signs that they’re about to quit. Even if you’re too late to persuade them to stay, at least you’ll be prepared for the fact that you need to start recruiting again.
1. Taking more time off than usual
An employee who plans to quit is likely to take more time off than usual. They might use vacation time to attend job interviews or induction days with other companies, since these will usually take place during working hours.
If they’ve got lots of vacation time left, they might try to ‘use it up’ before they quit. Finally, if they’re quitting because of a negative work environment, they might try to avoid coming in as much as possible before quitting — this could also include taking sick days.
2. Being reluctant to commit to long-term projects
Did your favorite employee seem uncertain the last time you asked them to get on board with a new long-term project? Employees who are planning to quit know that it’s not a good time to take on huge new commitments — but they probably won’t want to tell you why.
If a staff member is usually keen to take on extra responsibilities and suddenly shows resistance, it’s a clear warning sign that they’ll be leaving soon.
3. Getting more active on LinkedIn
Research shows that 92% of recruiters use social media to find high-quality candidates — and your employees probably know this. That’s why a sudden flurry of activity on LinkedIn can mean that one of your staff members is thinking about leaving.
They might start updating their work history, connecting with people from other companies, or adding additional skills to their profile. Not everyone who updates their LinkedIn page is looking for a new job, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on the site.
4. Avoiding work social events
Work social events are often planned a long time in advance, and employees who have their eyes on other companies might not been keen to commit. Got a staff member who’s reluctant to book a place at the Christmas party in July? It might be because they know they’ll be long gone by then. Employees may also avoid outings like work drinks or meals because they want to avoid awkward questions from managers and coworkers.
5. Going through a major life change
Major life changes in other areas of an employee’s life can trigger a change of career. If a member of staff has recently moved house, got married or divorced, or had a child, they’re more likely to quit for a new job.
This could be because their life change has altered their financial status, because they need different working hours than before, or simply because they’re more open to change. For example, a new parent might need a bigger wage to support their growing family, and more flexible hours to work around childcare.
A small change to the way you assign shifts or use your employee scheduling software could be all takes to persuade an employee to stay.
Knowing when one of your employees is about to quit is essential if you want to keep your business running smoothly. By looking out for the signs above, you’ll be able to identify potential issues and rectify them, improve your retention strategy for the future, and start recruiting as early as possible.