How to reduce staff turnover by spotting the 10 signs your employees want to leave

Drake Editorial


It's a bitter pill to swallow, but regardless of how good your organisation is, employees are always going to leave. The question is, how can you minimise the number of resignations?   

Read the 10 warning signs that signal your employees are considering other opportunities: 

  • Your employees seem despondent, and disinterested by the business activities.

If an employee is considering leaving, they are likely to have a reduced interest in day-to-day business activity and may seem less excited about new projects 

  • The quality of their work has declined 

Employees that are no longer interested in their own role will find it hard to muster up the motivation to give the same level of quality that they used to. You may notice more careless errors or incomplete documents. Note – this isn’t always a sign that the employee wants to leave – it could signify a high workload or other personal problems which should be investigated to ensure their wellbeing. 

  • A reduced productivity

Often, when an employee is looking for other options, they may reduce their productivity at work, only doing the bare minimum expected of them.  

  • Avoiding events and social activities at work

If a staff member suddenly is no longer attending social events at work, it could indicate that they are no longer invested in their working relationships. Of course, they may have other things going on, but if you do notice an employee suddenly change their attitude to work functions, it is worth investigating what is going on for them. 

  • A reluctancy in committing to long-term projects

This is not always easy to spot, because an employee won’t say outright, they cannot partake in work-related activities, but you may notice subtle clues in language about how they relate to a long-term project. Or a reluctancy to be a part of the project all together altogether. 

  • Increased absences from work

Try to avoid making assumptions, but increased absences can often be a strong indication that your employee is unhappy or wants to leave. Approach this with care, because there may be other personal issues going on. 

  • Isolating themselves from the team

This may signal a disagreement amongst team members. If your employee suddenly withdraws it could mean they are unhappy in the team and looking for an escape route. 

  • Minimal engagement in meetings and conversations

Some employees are naturally more vocal in meetings, but if you have an employee that used to participate often who now seems withdrawn, this can indicate they are not as invested in the day-to-day operations of the business. 

  • They don’t acknowledge or share in work successes

A recent success should be a shared event within the team. If you notice any employees not excited by wins for the business, it could signal that they are bowing out of the game. 

  • Has not ever been promoted or has been passed over for a promotion

Do you have an employee that has never been offered a promotion? If they have been in the business for a long time and not been given opportunities, it could mean they are not interested in remaining long term, or if they have been passed up for a recent promotion, they may well look for opportunities elsewhere. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late! 

The first step to preventing your employees from leaving is becoming aware of the signs that they are unhappy. There could be a myriad of reasons why your employees have changed their attitudes towards work, and it’s not always because they want to leave. They could be experiencing other hardships. As an employer, you have a duty of care to take the time to discover why there has been a change.  

The sooner you spot these warning signs and act on them, the more likelihood of a positive outcome. If you wait too long, neglect to handle employee issues promptly, or make the mistake of ignoring them completely, the workplace environment and staff attrition rates will be impacted. 


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