Signs that an employee may quit and how employers should respond (Guest Blog)
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According to new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, January can also be a stressful time for employers. New statistics show that 22 per cent of current employees will look for a new job as the result of New Year’s resolutions.

January is an exciting month in the workplace. Fresh projects are just beginning, creative goals are being set and New Year’s resolutions are well on their way to being achieved. It’s a rewarding time where we can look back on our hard work and learn how we can improve for the year ahead.

Yet according to new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half UK, this can also be a stressful time for employers. New statistics show that 22 per cent of current employees will look for a new job as the result of New Year’s resolutions. HR Directors also revealed that they are not only fearful of losing ‘general’ staff in 2013, but 79 per cent fear losing top performers in the first six months. 

This conjures the question many HR staff and employers have every year: how do you stop an employee leaving?  While there is no guarantee this can be achieved, there are signs that can help you communicate with employees before they wave their red flag.

Change in attitude

If a formerly enthusiastic individual has become withdrawn or indifferent while performing his or her role, consider speaking to them about the situation. If they feel strongly against talking about it, let them know that you have acknowledged their change of actions and communicate your concern towards them in a positive manner. If they do admit they need more challenges or are thinking about quitting, let them know that you would like to discuss their career goals and what they want to achieve. Another alternative is to offer them an incentive to stay, like further career opportunities. Remember to stress their value to the organisation, but don’t promise more than you can deliver.

They tell you they’ve been offered another role

When an employee tells you they’ve been offered a new position, remind them that the door is always open if things don’t work out and you would be happy for them join your team again. Alternatively, you could always make a counteroffer, yet remember this can be risky business. If the employee accepts the offer, the ‘trust exchange’ between you both has been compromised and you may doubt their loyalty from then on.

Other signs that an employee may quit:

Longer lunch breaks and frequent absences: This may be a sign that the employee is using the time for interviews or they are bored at work.
Change in attire: Your employee has started dressing more formal than normal.
Change in productivity: Your employee may have always taken projects home, but has now stopped or become more forgetful about meetings and deadlines.

Remember, most employees want their jobs not to be merely a source of income, but also a means of attaining self-esteem, pride and professional development.

Unfortunately it’s not always easy to retain your best and brightest. Yet by making sure employees are happy through regular communication, company updates and encouragement, you can ensure that your company isn’t hit with the mass exodus.

Phil Sheridan is the UK Managing Director for Robert Half. Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500.