We’ve all been there when one of the senior members of your management staff walks into your office and hands you their resignation.
Unfortunately, trying to persuade the person to stay one with more money or more vacation time rarely works as neither of those things are why they are quitting.
There are several warning signs that can indicate a senior employee may be considering leaving their position. It’s important to note that these signs are not definitive proof of departure, but they can serve as indicators.
If you see any of these indicators, take a few minutes and ask yourself if this is new or just what they’ve been doing for years. If it’s new, talk to them and try and find out if there is a reason for it. Sometimes it’s just as simple as sitting down over a coffee and starting a conversation.
Here are some seven common warning signs to look out for:
Disengagement: The employee may start to display a lack of enthusiasm or interest in their work. They may appear less motivated, contribute less during meetings, or show reduced productivity. They may also stop taking on new projects or decline leadership opportunities.
Decreased commitment: A senior employee who is planning to leave may become less committed to the organization and its goals. They may no longer participate in company events, stop offering suggestions or feedback, or withdraw from social interactions with colleagues.
Increased absenteeism: If an employee starts taking more time off or using up their vacation days without a clear reason, it could be a sign that they are exploring other job opportunities or considering leaving the company.
A decline in work quality: A sudden drop in the quality of work or missed deadlines can indicate that the employee’s focus has shifted elsewhere. They may be less invested in maintaining their usual level of performance if they are planning to leave.
Decreased collaboration: A senior employee who is planning to leave may withdraw from collaborative efforts and avoid working closely with colleagues or subordinates. They may also stop participating in team projects or disengage from mentoring or training activities.
Increased networking and external activities: If the employee suddenly becomes more active in professional networking, attends more industry events or conferences, or starts updating their online professional profiles, it could be an indication that they are exploring new opportunities.
Changes in behavior or attitude: The employee may exhibit noticeable changes in behavior, such as becoming more secretive about their work, being more critical or negative about the organization, or displaying signs of frustration or dissatisfaction.
It’s important to approach these signs with caution and not jump to conclusions. Some of these behaviors may have alternative explanations, such as personal issues or work-related challenges.
If you suspect a senior employee may be considering leaving, it’s best to approach the situation delicately and have an open and honest conversation to gain a better understanding of their intentions.