I’ve had some serious writers block today, so I scrolled through some social media to see what inspiring things people are posting, or articles that are being shared. I thought I’d write about something that seems to be on the minds of other people. I found it quite surprising, that there were a lot of articles and statistics about people quitting their jobs to find new work. One article went so far as to state 60% of all employees have quit or are considering quitting right now! Do you have dissatisfied employees? Are your employees looking for a new job? How would you know?
How to Avoid Hearing “I Quit!”
As a business owner or a team leader you know how costly turnover can be to your bottom line. Retention is especially important when you have highly skilled workers that are in demand. I recently wrote a blog on the key to retention. In today’s economy there are more jobs available than people to fill them, and highly skilled workers are in high demand.
To be completely honest, I have quit more than one job and it took my boss by surprise. When I give an honest assessment of my performance leading up to deciding it was time to move on, the signs were obvious. If your employees are displaying any of the following traits, it’s a good idea to talk with them about their future.
For the weeks, and months prior to ever leaving a job, there was almost always a lack of engagement in my work. I was doing my work, but I’d have a tendency to procrastinate, or let a task take longer than was necessary. During this time, I would participate less in meetings, and was reluctant to volunteer for any “extra” assignments. I didn’t necessarily do this on purpose, but most of the time, my mind was elsewhere. Sometimes, I was thinking about where I wanted to work next, or other things I’d rather be doing. I would easily be distracted by non-work-related things which resulted in a lack of concentrated focus on my current job.
High performers generally have a high level of engagement. They bring excitement and enthusiasm to their work which drives them to be top performers. As a leader, it is important to monitor and observe changes in behavior in your employees. Changes in behavior, and engagement, are symptoms of an underlying issue. When you observe these symptoms, it is in your best interest to identify issues quickly and resolve them if you can.
Employees looking for new work tend to miss work more often. If they are less engaged and can be doing something else, they are more likely to do so. Also, if your employees are looking for work, they are likely to take time off to attend job fairs, networking events, or even interview for another job. Unplanned or one day time off can be an indicator that someone is looking for another job.
Absenteeism isn’t always manifested in unplanned time off or time off with short notice. Often times, it is strolling in just a few minutes later than normal. Nothing completely unusual, but a sign that getting to the office wasn’t a priority. Leaving promptly and taking longer than usual lunch breaks are also signs of absenteeism. If you notice a high performer taking more time off than usual, or longer breaks than they are accustomed to, this could be a sign someone is looking for another job.
Your high performers are high performers because they are productive. I mean these are the people you count on when things absolutely have to get done, right? Productivity decreases as engagement decreases. This can sometimes be difficult to spot, but the signs are there. High performers, engaged or not, will still be productive. They are wired that way, and really don’t know how to not be productive. However, there will be signs of slowed productivity. Maybe they are completing tasks on time, instead of beating deadlines. Another symptom could be turning acceptable work quality instead of the exceptional work they typically provide.
This Week’s Challenge
Dissatisfied employees always leave signals of their dissatisfaction. Attentive leaders are tuned into changes in behavior and are willing to take action. In an economy where the employer is at a disadvantage, and qualified highly skilled employees are in demand, ensure your leaders are watching for signs that your best talent is looking for another job. Being proactive with your employees can help you retain your best performers and keep your competitive edge.
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.