There are Warning Signs that Can Help Predict Turnover

There are Warning Signs that Can Help Predict Turnover

It’s a Monday, you’ve got a heavy week planned for your team, and you’re met with a headcount that’s one employee short. One of your people ghosted you without notice. Like many business leaders today, the concept of any kind of two-week notice has become more of a wish list item than the norm. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. There are subtle signals that watchful supervisors can monitor which may be helpful. Although it’s not the same as a formal notice, turnover often comes with precursory behaviors that can at least give business leaders a heads-up about the vacancy that may be coming.

Let’s take a look at some of the early warning signs that could indicate a forthcoming round of turnover at your company.


Spending their Days

While not always a direct warning of turnover, the spending of all of one’s vacation days, sick days, or personal time might be a sign that someone’s intending to leave soon. This should be taken in the context of when the person is due to re-up on their personal time. For example, if your staff gets their days allotted annually, a person using up all of their days well before they’re due to reload could mean they’re not planning on sticking around much longer. It might also mean they’re using personal time to attend interviews with other employers, notably if it’s mid-week or half days.

On the flip side though, this could also be a sign of an employee dealing with a complex personal situation. Experts recommend checking in with your employee to ask them if they need additional support. A conversation could give you a better understanding of the situation.


Dialing Back

The modern phenomenon known as “quiet quitting” is always something that managers should be on the lookout for in any case, but this can also be a sign of an employee’s plans to quit soon. In these instances, people start taking on less tasks or start doing the bare minimum in their roles. When employees stop going “above and beyond,” so to speak, it may be a good hint they’re becoming discontent with their jobs.

Quiet quitting can be a costly reduction in productivity for any company, even if the employee is not considering leaving. This can be remedied by taking steps to increase a person’s sense of feeling valued. Make sure your employees feel heard and consider acting on some of their ideas for how things can improve. It might just get your employees reenergized and engaged in their workflows.


Attitude Changes

The filters held by individuals really start to come down when an exit is imminent. And by that we mean a person’s attitude towards things in the workplace becomes more apparent. This often manifests as increased complaining, perhaps some negativity, or a disgruntled demeanor. In other words, folks tend to not be quite as polite when they have one foot out the door.

The tricky part about this is there’s not much a manager can do about a person’s bad attitude if they’re intending to leave. The focus instead should probably be more on containment because negativity can often be contagious among other employees. A sour mood can impact a company’s culture, so perhaps consider solo projects, if possible, to reduce the spread.


Extra Calls or Car Zooms

Here’s a subtle behavior to watch out for – extra phone calls or video chats. This could be a sign that an employee has been submitting applications elsewhere, especially if they’re taking video chats in their private vehicles during their break periods. Job interviews often take place during business hours, after all, and a quick chat on a lunch break is a convenient way to schedule the first few rounds of interviews.

If these types of activities take place repeatedly in a relatively short window of time, this could certainly inform managers that a team member is seeking employment elsewhere. Most folks prefer to make a transition without a gap in employment, and an exiting employee may need to squeeze in their interviews when they can. So definitely maintain an awareness of an uptick in phone activities of this nature.


Awareness is Key

An employee exhibiting these types of behaviors (or a combination of several of them) should definitely be a signal to supervisors that something is amiss. It may not prevent an abrupt departure from your company, but at the very least your teams won’t be totally blindsided. An inkling of an exit gives you at least a little more time to prepare than none at all. So, always maintain a general awareness of the habits and routines of your staff in an effort to spot red flags early and remain at the ready for potential turnover.

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