In an ideal workplace situation, your best employees would stay with your company indefinitely, and only the mediocre or truly awful ones would leave. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. Here are some red flags that may show your top employees are looking to leave your company, along with what you can do about it, if anything.
1. Becoming casual about work quality.
An employee who started out with good work habits but is now exhibiting poor ones already has one foot out the door in most cases. If you take the time now to reconnect with the employee and find out what's wrong, you may be able to reverse this trend and hold on to them for a while longer (as well as get better work from them again).
2. Detachment from the group.
If an employee that was engaged and participating in work life suddenly starts to become isolated and prefer to be alone, it can be a sign that they are looking to move on or have already started the process. In particular, if they are suddenly taking a lot of private, personal calls during work, it may signal that they are talking to recruiters or interviewing elsewhere. Addressing the situation early on could resolve the issue so that the employee will not follow through on leaving.
3. LinkedIn activity.
Suddenly updating LinkedIn could signal plans to move on from the current job. After all, prospective employers check LinkedIn, so it must be updated if there is interest in other jobs. The best tactic here might be to find out if the employee is feeling challenged enough with their current projects and see if you can provide more interesting projects if the employee seems interested.
4. Reluctant to commit to long-term projects.
If an employee is planning to leave the company within a few weeks or maybe a month, they won't want to get involved in anything long-term that they will feel compelled to finish before leaving. The best thing to do here is to ask why they are reluctant to take on anything long-term and hope that they will be honest about their intentions. It could also be a good time to offer them an incentive to stay, such as a raise and/or new responsibility.
5. Has a good friend who left the company.
If the person's closest friend at the company leaves, it is more likely that they will want to leave as well. You may want to make special efforts to encourage new relationships to develop at work to prevent a feeling of total disengagement from the job. Take the left-behind employee out for lunch or coffee and try to deepen the connection.
6. Has conflicts with other employees or supervisors.
Open conflict is a clear sign that the investment in the job has waned, or at the very least, the employee is moving away from engagement and satisfaction. It is definitely time to take steps to resolve the conflict and cool things down so that everyone feels comfortable again and things can proceed in an orderly way.
In some cases, intervention will allow you to hold onto a top employee rather than see them move on, but sometimes your best efforts will still result in needing to fill a position with new talent. GDH can help with this process through a variety of recruiting services or an end-to-end full service recruiting process.