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The last thing any manager wants is for one of his or her employees to quit. It would be nice if employees gave you fair warning, but that rarely happens.

Therefore, it is up for managers to keep their eyes peeled for signs that someone is thinking about quitting.

Perhaps you’ve heard the classic signs that an employee is looking to leave: they show up wearing dressier clothes or incur more absences to go on job interviews. However, a 2016 study showed that these clichés are not necessarily the most common indicators of an employee who is about to quit.

Below is a brief list of research-based signs an employee is looking to quit, and how to address the situation.

Don’t Miss These 4 Warning Signs

Warning Sign #1: Lower Productivity

Employees who are looking to move on emotionally check out of their current job. They aren’t worried about impressing anyone because they don’t see a long-term future with the company.

If you notice an employee’s productivity is dropping off, you should look into it by asking the employee about how to ensure their long-term future with the company.

Warning Sign #2: Less of a Team Player

Surveys show people often quit because they don’t like their boss or their co-workers. If someone appears isolated and less willing to work with others, whether or not by choice, you need to address the situation by sitting down with the employee.

If the employee is thinking about quitting because they aren’t getting along with others, you can work on resolving the situation through conflict resolution. If the lack of teamwork is a symptom of the employee wanting to quit, rather than the cause of it, you can focus your conversation on identifying the root cause of their discontent.

Warning Sign #3: Less Willing to Take on Assignments

If an employee is suddenly much less willing to take on assignments or is more prone to handing off tasks to others, he or she is probably not thinking about keeping a long-term commitment to the company.

If you notice the employee is handing off assignments with regularity, you should mention it but not jump to conclusions. It might turn out that there’s a legitimate reason, such as a medical issue or feeling overworked.

Warning Sign #4: Less Focus on Work Activities

It’s a bit unrealistic to expect your employees to be 100-percent focused on their job duties from the time they walk in until the time they leave. That being said, an employee who seems more focused on personal phone calls, last night’s big game or social media than on their job duties probably isn’t to into the idea of sticking around for very long. Even if this employee is maintaining decent productivity, you need to find out why this person doesn’t seem very engaged with their job.

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At Cornerstone, we’re used to helping our clients tackle all sorts of issues through custom services and staffing solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your company reach its goals.


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