Catching your star employees scrolling through a job search portal is a blatant sign they are looking for their next career move. It is a bit awkward and uncomfortable for everyone, but at least you won’t be blindsided when a two-week notice comes across your email. But most employees are more elusive than that. They may conduct their search over many months, seek new learning opportunities to create their resumes and by the time you notice, they might have another offer in hand. Though you may provide a counteroffer to retain them, they may have already said goodbye in their minds.
To retain your best talent in today’s competitive landscape, you need to tune in to the subtle cues of your employees who are looking ahead in their careers. Here are some signs that clearly indicate that your best employee may say goodbye soon.
They seem to be exhausted
Your star employees may go above and beyond in their role to get a job done. When other employees shy away from the hardest problems, the best employees tackle them without taking rest until they find a solution. While it can be a great asset to leaders, it might come at the expense of employee’s mental and emotional well-being if they are striving hard to maintain an unrealistic pace of work.
They start networking
LinkedIn is one of the best social networks for professionals, and there are a number of users who are using it regularly to build and showcase their personal brand. But LinkedIn is also a place where you can get noticed by recruiters and hiring managers. If you notice more activity in your LinkedIn feed from your star employee, it’s the sign they are looking out for another job.
Networking does not only happen on online platforms. Employees often take part in external workshops and conferences to learn new skills they need for the new job and connect with like-minded people.
Their friends also plan to leave
You’ll never want to be blindsided by an employee putting in their two-week notice. But the truth is, it happens. What to do to stop the next chain reaction of employees who might be heading for the door. The other top performers of your company might start investigating the reasons for the job change of their friend. You need to learn about those reasons by conducting exit interviews and take follow up actions to stop other top performers from leaving your organization.
They don’t take an interest in new projects
It’s a red flag when someone stops raising their hand for new projects, who was once a team player. When employees stop putting their time and energy into endeavors leading to long-term success, they’ve already decided to make a move in their career. They also may seem less enthused in joining the team-building events and all-hands meeting.
They don’t care about their work anymore
Employees who are committed to their jobs are often passionate about their work. They actively participate in meetings, speak up, defend their viewpoints and raise issues when things go wrong. If you notice your top performers not taking care of their work, they might be looking to spark their passion somewhere else.
They stop making eye contact
If you have an awesome relationship with an employee in the past, but the next day they are avoiding you and are not making eye contact, you will likely know that something is wrong. The behavioral changes in an employee are noteworthy such as decreased engagement with company leadership or an increased desire for professional development.
The Bottom Line
The talent war is not only about finding new talent, but also retaining the star talent and motivating the fallen stars, so they don’t leave. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep a close eye on behavioral changes in your star performers. These changes can help you find that something is off, and the employee is about to leave. This is the time when you can make every possible effort to retain your star performer in your organization.<< back to Blog