Nobody likes being blindsided. Maybe it’s the weekly casual 1-2-1 that turns into a sombre conversation about now being the right time to move on. Or an emailed letter of resignation sat in your inbox on a Monday morning. Either way, it stings.
But aside from your emotional response, losing an employee is also an expensive event – costing you anything from 16 to 213% of their salary. But it’s not just the direct costs. You can also see less revenue as replacements are trained, and even the knock-on effect on your remaining employees.
So with ‘the great resignation’ possibly on the way, it’s time to pay attention to the warning signs – and understand what difference you can make.
Research into the ‘warning signs’ that someone’s looking to quit lists 13 key behaviours – several of which point to a general disinterest in the future of the organisation. That’s not surprising: if you know you’re moving on, then you’re not going to get pumped about a Q4 project when it’s only February.
But it’s more than being invested in the work itself. Do you see your employee catching up with colleagues, piping up in company-wide meetings, and trying to connect with their managers? Like a relationship on the rocks, one clear sign is if they’re not putting in the time.
Everyone planning to quit knows to be careful what they wear. Come in suited-and-booted, or in a slightly dressier top than usual, and prepare for half-joking suspicions about interviewing for a new role. While that’s not something worth looking out for, some new behaviours can be pretty obvious signs that something’s coming.
A “negative change in attitude”, and expressing “dissatisfaction” about their manager or role both make the list of the biggest indicators. Essentially, if someone’s unhappy to the point of quitting then they’re probably not keeping it to themselves. And even if that’s not in words, doing less work and reduced productivity also made the top 13 too.
No-one stays in the same job forever. People move on, life goes on. But if one person leaving is indicative of a bigger organisational problem, then it’s worth knowing about. Otherwise you could see the sort of ‘great resignation’ event that can put your business into real trouble.
Maybe engagement is struggling, or wellbeing’s taken a hit – especially after the stressful chaos of the pandemic. Or you’ve introduced a new policy that hasn’t gone down well – like putting an end to remote work, despite 1 in 3 saying they’d quit as a result.
Career advancement, new life goals, travel plans – there’s 101 reasons someone might leave your organisation. And most of the time, there’s no point in trying to stop that.
What’s important is identifying the common, reoccurring reasons that are turning people off from staying. Once you know those, you can get to work. We know that employee surveys are a key part of that, in so many different ways:
Check in on your teams with an industry-leading employee survey, and understand how you can up the ‘staying power’ of your organisation: