Anticipating a Key Employee’s Resignation

If you could choose a single managerial superpower, what would it be?

Many managers answer this question by saying they’d like the power to see when a key employee is planning to quit.  Although no manager can predict a key employee’s resignation with total accuracy, employees who are planning to change jobs often display a group of similar behaviors and traits, including:

  • Attitude and motivation.  Has a top employee suddenly starting turning in mediocre work?  Has an employee who used to volunteer for new projects stopped raising his or her hand and performing only the tasks required?  When attitude, motivation, and productivity start to slide, chances are good the employee is dissatisfied on the job and is looking elsewhere.
  • Tardiness.  Employees who start showing up to work late, leaving early and returning late from lunch, and ducking out the door the moment the clock hits 5:00 p.m. have their minds on something other than their work.  Pay particular attention if the employee has not had a problem with tardiness until recently.
  • Isolation at work.  An employee who once ate lunch with co-workers and took part in company volunteer projects but who now is conspicuously absent from these events may be planning to leave the organization.  They may see no point in continuing to build relationships if they don’t plan to say.

What to Do If You See These Signs

If these “red flags” sound familiar, you may have an employee who is considering a job change.  To head off the employee before it’s too late, consider performing a “stay interview.”  At this interview, ask the employee to talk about his or her biggest concerns on the job.  Ask what changes the employee believes would solve the problems and encourage him or her to stay.

Some employees may say that no change could induce them to stay.  Many workers, however, will identify problems that can be solved without an undue effort on the employer’s part.  Many top employees will also have key insights on how to solve the problem efficiently.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you anticipate and prepare for employee resignations by building a high-quality candidate pool from which to choose your next top employee.  Contact us today to learn more!

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