Hidden signs your employee is going to quit

According to science, there are a number of not so obvious signs that your employee might resign. (ShutterStock)

There are a number of not so obvious signs that your employee might resign.


In a relationship, whether it is romantic or professional, sometimes things don’t work out as you hoped they would. However painful or inconvenient it may be, people do separate sometimes. For instance, as a boss, you might be worried that your employee is going to end your professional relationship.

There are the obvious signs: suddenly dressing up, having a lot of doctor’s appointments, or a sudden surge in online profiles being updated. However, some employees are very careful and don’t show these obvious giveaways.

Here’s a list of 13 not so obvious signs that indicate your employee might be about to quit:


1. Their work productivity has decreased more than usual.

2. They have acted less like a team player than usual.

3. They have been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual.

4. They have been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual

5. They have been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual.

6. They have exhibited a negative change in attitude

7. They have exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual.

8. They have exhibited less focus on job related matters than usual.

9. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual.

10. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual.

11. They have left early from work more frequently than usual.

12. They have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization.

13. They have shown less interest in working with customers than usual.


Of course, these are all relatively small changes that won’t be noticed unless you really pay attention to it. To calculate the likelihood of the employee quitting, you need to score the employee on each one of these points. If 1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree or disagree; 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree; only the employees with an average score of 4.2 or higher have a probability of quitting twice as big as the typical employee.

So if you are a particularly paranoid employer, don’t stare yourself blind on a single action that seems off for this one employee. Only subtle changes in behaviour over a longer period of time will tell you if someone might be thinking about calling it quits.

The next stop for you as an employer or manager is to focus on retaining the employees you want and to find out why some are slacking at work. You could conduct regular one-on-one interviews to learn about what keeps your employees at your organization, a.k.a. stay-interviews, and what could be changed to increase their job satisfaction rate.

To retain your staff you’ll need to find out why your employees feel miserable, and the problem is probably more than just money…