5 Signs Your Employees Are Looking To Leave

5 min read

By Jamie Thatcher

Managing Director

Whilst staff turnover in any business is inevitable, it is best to keep it as low as possible. Hiring costs, decreases in productivity and low morale are all by-products of losing one of your top employees.

Some resignations come completely out of the blue for managers who had no idea their employee was considering a move, however more often than not there are signs which signal that a member of staff is heading for the door, some of which you may have already noticed in your star performers.

But is there anything you can do about it? Once you realise that you might be about to lose a valued employee, what are your options?

We take a look at the top five signs indicating someone is about to leave their job, and what you can do to try and prevent it.

1. No Interest In Progression

Professionals will naturally want to progress in their career and grasp any opportunity to do so. When an employee isn’t challenged in their role they will quickly lose interest and feel as though they are stagnating. A good employer will offer opportunities for progression to hard working employees. But what if they aren’t interested?

Turning down the offer of a new challenge and a step up in their career is a clear sign that the employee is no longer invested in your company. They may have actively turned down the opportunity to take on more responsibility or to get involved in a new project, or they may show indifference when these prospects are mentioned. Both are warning signs.

What can you do?

The only solution is to offer them something which they currently feel they have to go elsewhere to get. Linear progression may not be of interest to them but moving to a new department or function within the business could be the change they need.

Alternatively, you could offer external training to go alongside the new opportunity. The chance to get a qualification which they are unlikely to get as a new starter in another company may sway them to continue their career with you.

2. Less Vocal About Opinions

When someone is completely engaged and bought into a company, they want to do everything they can to make it a great place to work. This means that they will readily offer their opinions on ways to improve both their own role and the company as a whole.

If an employee becomes less vocal in their views, and less forward about offering suggestions for improvement, it could be that they are already thinking about their next opportunity.

This is not to say they won’t be vocal at all, they will probably be spending a lot of time complaining. However, there is a big difference between complaining and offering constructive feedback.

What can you do?

Instead of waiting for an employee to share their opinions, invite them to a one-on-one with you to give some feedback. If someone is not engaged enough with the company to offer their opinions voluntarily, inviting feedback might encourage them to open up their problems so you can take steps to address them.

3. Regular Absences And Time Off

If someone is actively searching for a new role they will inevitably need to take time off to attend interviews. Whilst you are not able to delve too deep if someone suddenly has a lot of ‘appointments’ they need to attend (they could be genuine after all), it could be a warning sign that they’re heading for the door.

Similarly, if an employee is booking a lot of holiday days at short notice, there is a chance they want to have a break in preparation for starting a new role, or simply don’t want to be in the office.

What can you do?

Clamping down and refusing to grant holiday days for these employees is not the answer. This will only confirm to them why they want to leave.

Instead, try offering them some down time. If they’ve done a really great job recently or completed a project, giving them the afternoon off as a ‘well done’ could be the bit of relaxation they need to make coming into the office less stressful.

4. They’ve Recently Gone Through A Big Change

A big life change such as a house move or a new baby can mean employees no longer have the same schedules or priorities as they did previously. If an employee has relocated further from the office or have a reason to suddenly want to spend less time at work or commuting, a new job could be the easy answer for them.

Alternatively, big changes within your organisation could be something which prompt employees to leave. A restructuring, expansion, or even a new CEO can make employees feel displaced and unsure about their future at the company. If they’ve lost some responsibility, people can often feel like they’re being slowly pushed out of their role.

What can you do?

If there is some uncertainty around a change in your business, employees simply need reassurance. They need to know that they can still do their job and that the changes won’t negatively affect them. When changes happen, it is good to involve employees in the decisions as this will make them feel less unsettled and more in control.

If it is a personal change employees are going through, it’s important to be flexible. To feel valued, employees need to know that you are willing to make changes to fit around them. This could mean offering them the chance to work from home, making their hours more flexible or slightly changing their responsibilities (perhaps meaning they travel less often or work solely from one location). If you do this, your business suddenly becomes a viable option for them again.

5. Less Socialising

If an employee was previously leading the charge on company social events but now declines invitations on a regular basis, they are probably starting to feel guilt around the fact that they’re looking to leave.

The people you work with are a huge part of any job – you spend eight hours a day sitting with them, and probably see them more than your own partner! If someone seems less interested in engaging with the people they work with this is probably because they don’t see them as colleagues for much longer.

What can you do?

You can’t force anyone to socialise with colleagues outside of work, but if you hold team building days and events in work time your employees might realise what they really love about their team and your company in general. It will also give them the opportunity to work out any of the issues they have with individuals or even management.

In Conclusion

You can never be 100% certain that one of your employees is on the verge of resigning, but if you look out for these key signs, you have a better chance of then making positive changes to keep them.

CSG work with a range of global clients ensuring they have the best talent for the long-term development of their business. To find out more about how CSG can help you with your recruitment needs, contact clients@csgtalent.com.