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5 Signs Your Employee Is About To Quit

They say knowledge is power. And knowing your employees is extremely powerful! Why? Knowing when they are happy or sad, stressed or under-challenged, looking for their next promotion or planning to quit will help you to be proactive and limit any potential issues. And you may just prevent a high performing employee from hitting the road.

So what behaviors are indicative of an employee who is about to put in their notice? Here are five signs to watch for.

They’ve lost interest

Your employee may have been a go-getter but now they’ve slacked off a bit. That twinkle in their eye has dimmed and they aren’t jumping at new project opportunities like they used to. While others are discussing their annual targets and how to reach next quarter’s goals, this employee is completely disinterested, perhaps even avoiding the conversations altogether. If your employee is showing a lack of interest in things they previously would have been excited about, this can be a tell-tale sign they have one foot out the door.

Their work quality and/or quantity has declined

They used to be the first one in, last one out. They were super productive, had a careful eye and always turned their work in on time, or early. Now they’re missing deadlines, late to meetings and submitting subpar reports. This isn’t necessarily a sign they are going to quit, but it IS a sign they aren’t happy. If your once top performing employee is now slacking off, it’s time to have a chat and find out what’s causing it.

They stop participating/Their engagement dips

Your once highly engaged, proactive and eager employee is now keeping quiet. They aren’t sharing their input at the team meeting, or they’ve stopped contributing to discussions in general. This is a sign that something bigger is going on. Take an active interest in them. Don’t call them out in front of others, but in a one-on-one meeting, let them know you’ve noticed a change in their behavior and ask if there is anything going on that could be causing it. Let them know you genuinely care and want to help them enjoy their work again.

Their attitude has changed

Sweet Suzie used to be so nice and helpful, always had a cheerful demeanor and was a joy to have in the office. Now she’s criticizing company policy, scoffing at new procedures, and picking fights with her coworkers. Clearly something is off. Changes in attitude, whether big or small, can be a clear indicator that there is an underlying issue. It may or may not be work related, but it’s your responsibility to find out. Ignoring attitude changes can be detrimental to the entire team, as well as the company.

They start using a lot of PTO

There is nothing wrong with taking time off. In fact, most employers encourage their employees to use their paid leave for time to reenergize and refresh. But when you see a sudden increase in half-days or unscheduled time off requests, this can be a sign that they are taking interviews, or just no longer care about their job. Regardless of the reason, too many missed days in a short period of time can cause work to pile up and unnecessary strain on the rest of the team, which can snowball into morale issues. If you’re employee misses more than 3 days in a month, bring it up at the earliest opportunity.

No one expects you to be a behavior specialist, but being observant, taking an active interest in and truly knowing your employees are all part of being a good boss. The key is to take note of these signs before it’s too late. Be proactive and don’t make assumptions. Meet with your employees regularly and listen to them! Some of what they are dealing with may not be work related at all. But if an issue is found, create an action plan, and follow through. Let them know you are there for them and you want them to be successful.

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