A good employee is one of a business’ most valuable assets, and loosing such an asset can be costly- especially when you factor in the expenses of hiring and training a new worker to fill a vacant position. But according to recent statistics, many workers across the U.S. want to quit their current jobs in search of greener pastures.

So how can a business owner tell if an employee is gearing up to quit? Here are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  1. Unexplained time off. Your seemingly healthy employee who repeatedly uses personal time off might be going to job interviews. This is particularly true of workers who use up a lot of vacation/sick time at the beginning of the year.
  2. Sudden change in dress code. An employee who shows up in a suit might be headed to an after-work job interview. Someone who arrives late or takes a long lunch dressed unusually formally could also be interviewing.
  3. Increase in private phone calls. If your employee frequently goes into conference rooms to take private calls, he or she might be speaking to recruiters or H.R. people.
  4. Too much time at the copy machine and printer. Does your employee seem to have a suspicious amount of clerical work? It’s possible that work involves cover letters and resumes.
  5. Secret meetings with co-workers. Your employee who keeps on having private whispered conversations with close colleagues could be sharing details of a job search.
  6. Isolation at work. Conversely, an employee who stops joining co-workers for lunch and after-work drinks is showing signs of disengagement from the workplace.
  7. Change in attitude. A team player who develops a negative attitude could be thinking of leaving. Watch for frequent complaints and other expressions of dissatisfaction.
  8. Change in work performance. An employee who starts performing poorly might have decided to leave the job. Someone who plans to change jobs will not be give great attention to current work assignments.

Often, when employees are considering quitting their job, they leave behind a trail of subtle (and at times blatant) messages pointing to that fact. Knowing how to quickly spot such employees is a vital first step to retaining them.

Check out the next post for some tips on how to keep your valuable employees from leaving.

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