Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How to Detect an Employee Leaving

Do you know whether any of your staff members are thinking about leaving the organization? Find out by watching for these early warning signs of dissatisfaction and withdrawal:
  • A change in behavior, such as coming in later or leaving earlier.
  • A decline in performance that's unrelated to external factors.
  • Sudden complaints from a person who hasn't previously been a complainer
  • Wistful references to other companies. Example: "I heard that so and so got a huge signing bonus at XYZ Corp."
  • Reclusive behavior. Example: An employee who previously participated in meetings or volunteered for projects suddenly st`ys in the background or does just enough to get by.
If you recognize these warning signs, arrange to meet with the employee as soon as possible. Use probing questions to identify the source of the problem. Indicate that you value him/her as an employee, and ask how you can work with him to create a better work experience.

Suggestion: Some companies periodically conduct what they call "stay interviews": They ask people how they feel about their assignments, company policies and the working environment.

At Hartford Life Insurance, the process starts within six months after an employee starts work. Managers hold formal sessions with each individual and ask for evaluation of the company.

- Adapted from "Hiring and Keeping the Best People," Harvard Business School Press

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