Signs your Employee is About to Quit

The cost of hiring a bad employee is staggering, but losing one of your star employees to another company is even worse. Unfortunately, moving on is something everyone does and you can't hold people back forever. However this doesn't work out best for you, you've spent a lot of money making sure the right people were hired and you want to keep them under your wing until they eventually retire.

Well if want to make sure your loyal flock doesn't fly the coop, it's important to make sure your star players are content where they are. Make sure you're keeping an eye for any of these signs. If one of your MVPs shows them, they may be looking to move on.

Change in Attitude

One of the easiest things to spot in an employee who is ready to jump ship is a change in their attitude. Whether they stop volunteering for projects they would usually snap up, or they may just appear to not care anymore. Whilst this could be due to many things: family, health or problems at work, it could also be due to the need to start somewhere new.


An employee may have a change in attitude whilst still working as hard as they have previously, it may be a more subtle change. A once outgoing charismatic employee could suddenly become quieter than a mouse and an introverted member of staff could suddenly jump out of their shell.

A Drop in Communication

A star employee never fails to keep the bosses in the loop, but a star employee seeking work elsewhere may start to create communication problems between themselves and management. This keeps you out of the loop and you have press much harder to try and find out what is going on with certain projects.

Longer Lunch Breaks

There's never enough time for a truly fulfilling lunch break, an hour just seems to disappear as you tuck into your meal deal, but hang on a second, one of your employees has once again taken a longer lunch than usual. This should start the alarm bells in your head, a key part of job hunting is the interview process and if an employee has been taking longer than usual to choose their usual tuna sandwich, then they could be meeting new employers.

More Personal Phone Calls

If someone is job hunting, they're going to be contacted by the companies they're seeking employment at. That employee who all of a sudden needs to take a lot of private phone calls could be off searching for a new place to call work.

Formal Attire

Offices across the country are embracing the practice of smart casual, much to the elation of recent graduates not ready to don a suit for 5 days a week. So whilst your office may be filled with jeans and t-shirts referencing pop culture, someone in formal attire would stick out like a sore thumb. Whilst this could be a fashion conscious, lifestyle choice it could also mean that they're preparing to meet some professionals, possibly in an interview scenario?

Using up Holidays

If you were going to leave a job, you wouldn't want to leave without taking every possible paid holiday you can, that's just bad planning. So if you notice someone using up all their holidays in quick succession it's either nearly the end of the businesses year, or they're planning on going elsewhere.

Drop in Productivity

Once upon a time your star employee would never have to worry about deadlines, they'd have the work completed and a report on your desk before you could even think about the end date. However, recently they have to be prodded and urged to finish a project before the deadline, with some of their work being under the acceptable standard.

What Can You Do?

Your business is like a sports team, you've spent a substantial amount of money securing the best players available to you, and now, suddenly your Sergio Aguero wants to go to another club. Naturally you want to keep your perfect little family together, so if you're worried that any of your employees are showing some of the above signs and are looking to make a swift exit, you need to persuade them to stay.


By organising a one to one meeting with the employee in question, you can ask about the things that have been bothering you. This is an opportune time to ask where the problems are coming from, they could stem from personal matters in their life, or it could confirm your fears - Sergio is looking for other employment.


Once you know where you stand in this employment break up, it's time to think about what you can do to make them stay. One of the most common reasons for someone to jump ship is down to the pay, and if that is the case then perhaps a pay increase can be negotiated. Even a slight increase may be enough to make them stay, after all they have already built relationships within the office and no one wants to be the newbie again.


Whilst money may be a concern to the employee, it could also be that they feel undervalued and would like a bigger challenge. If this is the case, you could potentially keep the employee with the company as they may be happy with an increase in responsibility. By trusting them with more important tasks you're showing that you value them completely and if they continue to perform as well as they used to - let them know of any promotions.


However if your employee can not be convinced to stay, then at least you know and can prepare to replace your star with a new recruit. It's not the end of the world if they walk out that door, just ensure they know the door will be open to them if the new job doesn't work out. If you're worried about this happening to you in the future, take a look at how you can keep your employees happy.