Replacing employees is a drag, especially long-time veterans you respected and liked. It’s like having to start dating again after leaving a long-term relationship.

Employee departures (and breakups for that matter) are worse when they come by surprise. Not only do you have to conduct the expensive process of recruitment and training, but the unexpected nature of their decision to leave can also cause additional headaches as well.

You might not be able to prevent a worker from quitting altogether, but there are ways to anticipate the departure, letting you soften the blow somewhat. Here are seven signs an employee might be getting ready to hand in their two-week notice:

Complains More

Your employee used to have a can-do attitude and a resilient spirit. Lately, they spout nothing but complaints and negativity. It might be a sign they’ve soured on the job and will soon be looking for the door.

Won’t Discuss the Long Term

You keep bringing up the prospect of promotions or likely projects set to begin next year. Your employee gets dodgy and vague. A lack of commitment to the long term can indicate one eye toward the exit. They don’t want to talk about the future, because they envision their future somewhere else.

Seems Checked Out

Your office superstar (once first in line for overtime, never missed a day unless there was a family tragedy) begins to slack off. They arrive just on time in the morning and leave as soon as they can in the evening. They start maximizing all their vacation days. They may have concluded the extra effort won’t do them any good in a position they’ve already decided to leave.

Suffered Recent Disappointment

Long-time veterans typically don’t leave on a whim. Usually, there is some cause – a precipitating event. Maybe they got passed over for promotion, or perhaps they failed to secure the full raise they had lobbied for. When setbacks like this occur, you should keep an eye on the employee to see whether they start displaying some of the other signals of impending departure.

Dwindling Output

A decline in productivity can provide another red flag, as your once hyper-efficient employee now takes their time with every assignment. It suggests they are no longer interested in impressing you and might be looking elsewhere for future career advancement.

Don’t Respond to Feedback

Ideally, employees should improve over time, shaped by your constructive feedback. As such, a worker who has stopped taking your notes to heart may not be interested in a long career at the company. Like dwindling output, it signals a lack of desire to impress, and points to a potential desire to find another opportunity somewhere else.

Socially Isolated at Work

Work isn’t just about money and output. It’s also about people. A high-functioning team will include a social aspect. An employee who stays aloof from that, or starts to pull back after previously connecting with their colleagues, may not feel a strong attachment to either the position or their co-workers.

You aren’t going to keep every employee, no matter how supportive you are or how enticing the opportunities are at your company. People will leave. Partnering with a top-flight recruiting firm, like PrideStaff, can take some of the sting out of these departures.

PrideStaff will help you fill positions quickly with qualified, creative workers who are ready to contribute to your firm’s long-term growth. Contact our PrideStaff Bend recruiters today to learn more.


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