Warning Signs an Employee is On the Way Out!

It’s the scenario every hiring manager dreads. You just spent the last two months screening applicants, sitting in an interview room, discussing options with your management team and department heads…and now you’re stellar employee that you just spent countless hours hiring and onboarding is on his way out the door. And the cycle continues! Back to the drawing board…but what if you could avoid that? What if you could spot the warning signs before that stellar employee walks out the door? What if you could make changes to their schedule, pay, challenges, tasks, or work environment to encourage him to stay with your company? Here are a few tips from our friends at @HRMorning to warn you that a stellar employee is on her way out!

  1. The employee has become increasing reserved and quiet.
  2. The employee tunes out in meetings and stops offering constructive contributions to the team.
  3. The employee is reluctant to commit to long-term projects.
  4. The employee shows little to no interest in opportunities for advancement within the organization.
  5. The employee seems to care less whether his or her performance will affect the next performance review…because frankly, he or she doesn’t plan to stick around that long anyway.
  6. The employee avoids interaction with his or her boss, as well as other members of management.
  7. The employee does the bare minimum (at best) and does not go beyond the call of duty in any way, shape, or form. Ever.
  8. The employee is less interested in training programs.
  9. The employee stops making suggestions for new ways of doing things in the office.
  10. The employee’s productivity level goes WAY down, but he or she could care less.

There are some others that didn’t make the list, according to the study conducted by Tim Gardner, an associate professor in business at Utah State University. These include:

  1. The employee is suddenly having lots of doctor’s appointment, taking more vacation than usual, or calling in sick more often.
  2. The employee is continuously late or leaves early.
  3. The employee fails to return phone calls and emails regularly.

Any one or two of these are cause for concern, but when an employee is suddenly exhibiting several of these characteristics, it’s definitely time to take notice! Is this an employee that you want to stick around? Then think about what you can do as a manager to change his or her opinion of the company. Are they lacking in challenging tasks? Wanting to take more training courses? Unhappy with their work space or requesting a flexible work schedule? Whatever the case may be, it’s worth the time to sit down and discuss the employee’s engagement, happiness with his or her current position, and ways that you can improve their overall interest in continuing to be employed by your organization. Before you let an employee walk out the door, think about the time it will take (manpower, money, and time are huge costs in the recruitment process!) to get another qualified person on board. And decide whether or not it’s worth an investment now to keep this employee on the job!