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Ten Early Signs That Your Employees Are Thinking Of Leaving

At Jackie Kerr Recruitment, we are here to help you grow your team. So, although you make think we see employees leaving a company as an opportunity, we actually think the opposite! We want to help you increase your productivity and this includes running a happy ship with all your employees pulling together as a cohesive team.

So, we've put this short guide together so you can spot any early signs that an employee is unhappy in your organisation - so you can do something positive about it and keep your best talent on board.

  1. They do "just enough". Happy employees are motivated and enjoy the challenges of their work. They will often seek to improve systems and modernise or add value to what they deliver and want to be seen by others as successful and driven. Unhappy employees may have lost interest in their job, their colleagues and have lost their mojo. They don't want to be fired so will do "just enough" to get through the day or to survive whilst they are looking around for "something better"…
  2. They consistently turn up late and leave on the dot. They are some keen but slightly disorganised employees out there so this isn't a sure fire indication but after a polite hint about their punctuality, their subsequent reaction will usually give them away. Regular late arrivals and consistent clock watchers may indicate that they have become bored with the day job.
  3. They start having many more sick days. Again, you can't look at this in isolation. Some of your better employees may be more susceptible to illness but, if this feels like a new occurrence, and they are showing the other signs listed in this article, they not be content in their current role.
  4. They hide. This doesn't just mean not volunteering but includes disappearing from the office or missing all office socials, avoiding eye contact, keeping quiet in meetings. Often a sure sign that the employee has disengaged from the business.
  5. Friendless at work. This is a really bad sign as it is a natural human instant to form friendships, partnerships or at least associations with our colleagues. Even if only to discuss the rugby results or last night's telly in the coffee room, the "loner" is unlikely to be very happy at work.
  6. They don't introduce their network. When you know that an employee has contacts or relationships within their network that could be useful to the firm, it's a bad sign if they show no interest in introducing them to their colleagues.
  7. They feel undervalued. Being overlooked for a promotion or being "overtaken" by someone they previously perceived as a junior can be a cruel blow. The second most common reason that people leave their organisation is that they don't feel appreciated or recognised for their contribution.
  8. They are secretive. Receiving phone calls on the mobile that they need to take outdoors doesn't automatically mean that an employment agent is helping them find somewhere else… but it could do…
  9. They don't cooperate and are tetchy. Unhappy employees often feel powerless and helpless. Unfortunately this can sometimes cause them to seek mini-victories to convince themselves that they are in control. This can often result in negative behaviour. By refusing to cooperate, they have exerted some control and shown the management that they won't be pushed around etc. This can adversely affect morale and other employees and should be addressed as soon as possible.
  10. They don't like their line manager. This is the number one reason that people leave their job. Very often, this is a training issue for the line manager. Traditional promotion paths often mean that an expert in one area is rewarded with a promotion to manage the other people in that area. However, this doesn't automatically mean the new line manager will be any good at managing people, which requires an entirely different set of skills! The line manager doesn't have to be best friends with the team but they shouldn't be actively disliked by their team!

Unfortunately, this is not an exhaustive list! There will be many other signs too but we hope we have encouraged you to be more vigilant and keep an eye on your employees' wellbeing. Retaining staff is an essential element of productivity and preserving the high morale of an organisation.

Are you looking to keep talented individuals who will help grow your business?

Call us for a chat on 01793 762026 or email Jackie and her team at:


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