Every employer has been through it – finally you seem to have stabilised your team, everyone’s working well together, you’re feeling confident about delegating and perhaps taking a well-deserved holiday.
Then, seemingly out of the blue, one of your star performers resigns. They’re off to the competition and you never saw it coming.
But, according to Nicole Gorton, NSW Director of leading recruitment firm Robert Half, employees who are thinking of leaving nearly always provide hints, which a savvy employer should be able to detect. “Early warning signs provide scope to remedy the situation if necessary, or put you in good stead to begin the hunt for a new replacement to ensure the transition passes smoothly.”
There are five obvious signs that should alert you to an unhappy employee, looking toward greener pastures:
“Once you’ve spotted these signs, it’s safe to assume an employee is looking elsewhere,” points out Gorton. “So it’s time to decide whether this is someone you wish to keep, or a blessing in disguise. Obviously situations will vary, however each should be approached with tact all the same.”
“If the employee is someone you want to keep, try to get to the root of the issue by brainstorming a new agreement that may persuade them to stay. Encourage them to talk about what they enjoy about the job and what frustrates them – by addressing these negatives you may even convince them to stay. Either way, you will gain valuable insights that will help address ongoing issues and assist in restructuring the position to avoid future turnover” adds Gorton.
If, despite your encouragement a valued employee decides to leave, make sure the parting is amicable and you leave the door open to their coming back. Sometimes new jobs don’t work out, and if that’s the case, you would like this person to consider working for you again. Don’t commit yourself, but make sure they know you would be happy to talk any time they are on the move.
Alternatively, identifying leaving signs in an employee you’re not particularly worried about losing allows you time to prepare for finding a replacement and to analyse your needs. Will a direct replacement be needed or do you need to reconfigure your staffing?
Sound out possible replacements by testing your networks, or by looking toward recruitment agencies for help. By planning for a possible resignation, you will be able to immediately swing into action once it becomes a reality, minimising disruption to your organisation.
“Above all, resist the temptation to speed up the departure by making work uncomfortable for the employee. A disgruntled former employee bad mouthing your organisation will only cause further impairment,” cautions Gorton.
For further information, please contact Marianne O'Donoghue, Marketing & PR Manager on 02 9241 6255.