Four Signs That an Employee Is Ready to Jump Ship


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When one of your employees is looking for another job, they start living a double life, professionally speaking. They exhibit a few tell-tale signs that will give away their intentions. Check out this article to find out what they are.

You’ll want to know if one of your valued employees is searching for another job. The hiring process can be a nightmare, so a heads-up that someone is thinking about jumping ship is always welcome. You can either convince the employee to reconsider, or start the recruitment process early to make sure the position won’t be vacant for long.

Luckily for you, there are a few warning signs that let you know when an employee is looking for other professional opportunities. Here are some examples.

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Their Job Performance Suffers

They’re still doing their jobs, but they’re not going the extra mile anymore. They stopped putting in overtime, offering constructive ideas during meetings, or offering to take on long-term projects. This may be a sign that they’re trying to achieve a better work/life balance, but it can also mean that they’re no longer interested in performing well because they’re one foot out the door.

You’re best move would be to open up a dialogue and ask the employee what happened. If they’re having trouble in their personal life and stress is getting to them, offer to help. You could tempt them with a more flexible schedule or the opportunity to telecommute once or twice a week. If their heart is set on leaving though, it’s best to find out sooner rather than later.   

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They Act Out

When an employee starts feeling underappreciated, it’s only a matter of time until they’ll look for another job. Usually, they first speak up about their frustration – with you, someone from HR, or other colleagues. If you still value them, address the problem quickly. Listen to the staff member’s concerns and reassure them that their efforts are being noticed.

If the employee is too shy to speak up, they’ll suddenly become more quiet and reserved in relation to you and their coworkers. Their work might significantly decrease in quality; in some cases, they can even intentionally miss deadlines and meetings to test if you’re paying attention.  It’s juvenile, but it happens. If you’re not going to respond in any way, prepare to receive their two weeks’ notice.

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They Dress Up

If one of your employees is actively looking for another job, they’ll likely have to take interviews or employment tests during their lunch break. Which means that they’ll show up at the office dressed fancier than usual. It’s a subtle cue, but one you should be paying attention to. Spending a longer time on phone calls can also be a red flag, since a lot of employers have made phone interviews an integrated part of their recruitment process.

If you suspect there’s something fishy going on, ask the IT department to check their computers and verify their Internet browsing history. Any job listings pop up? It may be time to have a chat with the employee in question.

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They Act Disengaged

Suddenly, your employee has become less interested in training opportunities – a sign that advancing in the company is no longer a priority for them. They back out from social interactions with supervisors or colleagues, and they seem more detached and less eager to make a good impression at the office.

When a formerly chipper and productive employee shows signs of apathy, it’s time to schedule a meeting with them to discuss their future with the company. If you notice their behavior and do nothing about it, it will escalate. The employee might eventually speak up, but they could also give up on fulfilling their duties altogether. If you’re willing to engage them and ask for insight you may be able to figure out a way to change their minds.

Being unaware of your employees’ unhappiness can cost the company, especially when your star team members start calling it quits. Keep an eye open for any changes around the workplace. Additionally, hold regular meetings with your staff to assess their performance and talk about their career plans. It’s in your best interest to retain your most valuable employees for as long as possible. 

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