It is a fact of life whether we like it or not, that the reality of running any business is that somewhere along the way people in your team
will choose to leave. And no matter how long someone has been with an organisation, together with whatever role he or she may play in the business, transitions in the workplace will have an impact on everyone in some shape or form.

At some stage you’ll receive the email saying “I’d like to catch up with you sometime today if you’ve got time“. Or perhaps they will just walk up to your desk and say “Have you got a minute? Do you have time for a quick coffee?”

It’s never fun being caught totally off guard. Chances are we have all been there at some time or other, and this scenario can become very stressful to the best of us.

No manager has a crystal ball. You never know when it’s going to happen. But rather than only learning about their reasons during an exit interview, wouldn’t it be nice to know that someone might be looking to leave before you get hit with the news?

Research shows that the top 5 reasons employees cite as their reasons for leaving their jobs are:

  • Lack of career progression
  • Below market salary
  • Putting in too much overtime
  • Limited teamwork
  • Lack of flexibility

Whilst there can be some pretty obvious tell-tale signs that someone in your team has one foot out the door (such as taking several sick days, no longer actively participating in team meetings, or a rapid drop in work quality), other signs might be less obvious. It’s up to you to be more aware.

The table below highlights the best ways for you to identify who might be about to quit along with some actionable advice about how best to address these issues. It gives an insight into the psychology, behaviour, company culture and HR practices that help to influence your team members’ decision-making processes.

By identifying these key indicators as they arise, organisations will place themselves in a better position to help prevent staff from quitting their job within the business.

After all, staff resignations can become a very costly exercise for your business … up to 3 or 4 times what you’ve actually paid your employee to be there.

Warning Signs What to Do
Taking Extra Time Off 
Be wary when employees with excellent attendance records start taking time off
Address the situation quickly and honestly.
Find out if they are happy in their current role and if there is anything that you can do to improve their position
Disengagement
If an employee starts contributing less in meetings and no longer seems to go the extra mile, they could be on their way out.
Give them something new to do – or involve them in a new project. By handing them new responsibilities you may be able to revive their interest and enthusiasm for the company.
Experiencing Life Changes
If a member of staff is going through a divorce, has recently lost a loved one, or going through a health related crisis, they may be dramatically rethinking their priorities.
Take a genuine interest in how they are doing
Empathise with them and where possible try reducing their workload or giving them some time off to deal with the things that  are causing them problems. Let them know you care.
Increased Linked In Activity
Significant profile updates and new contacts may be a clear sign that your employee is networking with the intent of jumping ship.
Find out what they are looking for
This could give you a chance to make them a better offer, change their role, or address other issues.
Delegation of Responsibilities
While delegation is important to Managerial roles, non managerial employees who start trying to shed their responsibilities could be gradually transitioning their way out
Provide consistent and meaningful communication – to remind your employees that their work is worthwhile and important to the company, and they should take pride in what they do.
Being Excessively Punctual
Having punctual employees is great but having someone who always came in early or stayed late suddenly start arriving or leaving on time, maybe cause for concern
Try to figure out why they have become disenchanted – maybe their passion for their role needs to be re-ignited
Dropping Subtle Hints
Dissatisfied employees sometimes leave physical or verbal signs that they are looking to make a change
Don’t ignore the signs and address them right away – and ensure a constant channel of communication between you and your team
Reduced Quality of Work
Watch out for missed deadlines, poor quality of work and limited personal investment in projects. These maybe clear signs that your employee no longer cares
This may be time to decide
Whether you want to fight to keep them or  commit to replacing them