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6 tell-tale signs that your employee is planning an exit

Posted on 10/01/2020 by Sophie Butler

staff exit

In our latest non-profit salary, rewards and retention survey 33% of respondents reported that their current role isn’t helping to progress their longer-term career and 84% stated that they are either looking for a new role or would consider moving for the right role.

We all know how difficult it is to replace good members of staff and the time and effort that goes into new recruits, so it is increasingly important to understand the indicators as to why someone might leave and spot the signs that someone might be considering a resignation.  More often than not though people have carefully considered their reasons for leaving and we have to accept that and move on gracefully but occasionally there might be a chance for us to salvage the situation and hold onto great people.

Here are 6 tell-tale signs your employee is planning to break up with you and what you can do about it.

1) Poor performance, reduced productivity

Everyone has off days (when they are stressed, poorly or tired or have personal changes) but when an employee is consistently not performing (such as meeting targets or deadlines or their work isn’t of their usual high standard) it may be because they have already moved on.

2) Negative about everything

We all like to moan about something from time to time, but if someone is being negative towards every task or being more vocal about team members or the organisation, it could be because they are unhappy overall in their role.

3) Not committing

Are they ignoring long-term projects or not committing to future events? This could be because they believe they will no longer be with the organisation.

4) They are no longer showing off their successes

When someone has done a good job, they want to ensure their manager knows about it. Perhaps they are producing less, doing the bare minimum or not telling you when they have done something well, received good feedback. These are all signs that they no longer care about their current role.

5) Taking extra time off

A colleague that is taking a lot of time off, especially late starts or leaving early and extended lunch breaks, could be attending interviews.

6) Updated social media profile

Someone that is actively looking for a new role may suddenly update social media profiles, such as LinkedIn, to help with their job search.

On their own, many of the above may not be a true sign that they are looking for a new job, but if someone is showing many of the above, then it is worth talking to them. You may be able to make changes to encourage them to stay, however often it is too late. If so, then look at what you can implement to encourage future employees to stay.

You can view some of our blogs on retaining talent here:

Fundraising salaries are up, but staff retention is still a challenge 

Attracting and retaining prospect research staff

Retaining talent and delivering learning strategy

Attracting and retaining talented employees (higher education)