Signs an Employee Is Planning to Quit

One of the best ways to succeed in hiring and recruitment is to be prepared. If you can forecast your hiring needs, you’ll be better equipped to fill vacant positions efficiently. That involves not only studying trends to anticipate needs, but also identifying the signs that an employee may quit soon.

Obviously, your main goal is to retain strong employees. As much as possible, a company’s relevant managers and decision makers should try to keep employees happy and engaged. Constantly hiring on account of high turnover is costly.

(Tip: When filling important roles, such as that of the CEO, coordinate with an executive search firm. Its expertise will help you identify and attract candidates who are more likely to remain with your company for a long time.)

Nonetheless, employees sometimes leave. Preparing accordingly will help you find a replacement fast when this happens.

The following are key signs that an employee may quit soon. Make sure you and all managers keep an eye out for them.

Changes in Performance

This may be one of the most obvious signs this article covers, but it’s also one of the most essential of which to be aware. If a formerly strong worker’s performance has declined, there’s a good chance he or she is not as engaged as previously, which could mean that he or she is thinking of leaving the organization in the near future.

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Negative performance changes can manifest in several ways. Sometimes, an employee who used to be a team player becomes uncooperative. In other instances, he or she may begin doing the bare minimum instead of exceeding expectations. Such an employee’s overall productivity might also decrease.

Again, a manager who notices these performance issues should primarily strive to address the factors that may have resulted in disengagement. It’s often possible to correct the situation before an employee quits. However, hiring teams should still be prepared to seek a replacement if a manager mentions he or she has noticed these types of performance issues.

Lack of Interest in Advancement

Research indicates that today’s ambitious employees want to know their jobs will provide them with opportunities for advancement. They aren’t content to remain in basic roles indefinitely.

That said, there are instances when employees who used to pursue advancement stop doing so. This often occurs when they are planning on quitting. If they don’t think they’ll be with the company much longer, they don’t see the point in trying to earn a raise or promotion. Instead, they’d prefer to focus on pursuing employment elsewhere.

Lack of Long-Term Commitment

Just as workers who plan on quitting often stop pursuing advancement, they may also become less willing to commit to long-term projects or deadlines far into the future. Once again, this is simply a natural reflection of their attitudes. They don’t want to accept long-term responsibilities when they don’t plan on being with the company much longer.

Their Work Friends Are Leaving

It’s worth noting that sometimes an employee’s behavior isn’t the factor that lets you know he or she may quit in the near future. In certain instances, the behavior and decisions of work friends are more significant.

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Studies indicate that having friends at work plays a key role in engagement. When an employee’s friends begin to leave a company, he or she is more likely to do so as well. Additionally, depending on the nature of the industry, an employee’s friends might plan on recruiting him or her in their new roles.

Stops Contributing Ideas

Even when their involvement may not be entirely necessary, it’s often still a good idea to let employees participate in meetings. Studies and surveys show that giving employees opportunities to contribute can boost engagement.

Allowing employees to participate in meetings can also yield insights regarding whether they plan on staying with the company. Employees who previously contributed ideas and actively participated in discussions will usually stop doing so when they plan on quitting.

Has Earned a New Certification

It’s important to understand that none of these signs are guarantees that an employee will quit in the future. Their meanings and significance can vary depending on the nature of the situation.

For example, an employee might earn a new certification or degree to facilitate his or her advancement. However, if he or she earns a certificate that wouldn’t necessarily help him or her at your organization, or you learn that he or she earned a certificate without informing a supervisor, that individual may be looking for a job elsewhere.

Make sure all managers and other relevant company employees know to look out for these warning signs. Once more, while your main goal is to keep employees happy, there will be times when they quit. These instances are less likely to have a negative impact on the company if you prepare for them.

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