Good mentors always detect when their employees are about to quit.

Mentors are wise people who are trusted to be counselor or teachers. Their influence and comments are the ones that matters. This is why they must be able to detect some kind of problems such as good and bad leaders, internal problems and people’s perception about them or the company. Nevertheless, they are in charged also of maintaining good employees inside the organization since employee turnover is expensive. It requires a long time for hiring also,  it can be difficult to get the new employee up to speed. A 2012 Allied Workforce Mobility Survey has shown it can take up to a full year for a newly onboarded employee to work up to their full potential in 30 percent of companies.

Employee Appreciation Week_mentor_suzzanne uhland
Image courtesy of UW Health at Flickr.com

These reasons make mentors to be aware and attuned to some signs their best employees have when they are thinking about quitting. Mentors know that thinking workers are happy and would not dream of leaving is the first mistake they can make. The following list present the most common warning signs that employees might leave the company very soon.

1. They ask a lot for permissions and take extra time off

This pattern need to be immediately identified especially, when an employee usually has a good attendance record and suddenly he or she needs more time off, or miss work. This time out could be spent on looking for something else. Think about this, if it is a medical condition, he or she would let you know in advance. Talk to your employee as soon as his or her absences become unusual. Address the situation openly and honestly and asking question about if they are happy in their current situation or if  there is anything that can be done to improve their position at the company will make him or her feel you are worried about the situation and you consider him or her valuable for the company.

2. General apathy

Your team member used to ask questions in meetings and take notes. But, their commitment seem to be disappeared. And, projects or anything related to work seem not to be interesting for them anymore. In addition to this, what was stressful before is now indifferent and they address to situations negatively. It is important to look if the cause is inside or outside the company. If it is inside, talk to them and find out the best option that will make them more interested at work.

3. Gossiping and badmouthing

Your employees are now involved in office gossip and this seems to become a habit. They talk to their coworkers for complaining about everything related to the company.  They look for excuses or simple reasons such as coffee is not good enough in order to create a negative atmosphere. If you notice the eye-rolls are constant, cut off the situation instantly. This will make you lose not only one employee but more. negativity has a way of festering among the rest of the team and it’s highly contagious.

4. You find out some red flags on their body language

Body Language can give you more information that you expected. People can control their words but their actions or movements are more difficult to control. Identify those patterns that shows you an employee is not happy anymore in the company. Those patterns could be lack of eye contact, they are not friendly anymore, they avoid chit chat, they sit on the last seats in the meetings. Pay attention to body language  because even minimal expressions have more content that thousands of words.

5. Sudden Delegation of Responsibilities

Phil Chen, the founder of Sybarite Investments has said “Delegation of responsibilities is important in certain management roles, but it can also be a telltale sign of non-management employees about to quit. Long-time employees take pride in their responsibilities. Giving their responsibilities away could be a sign that they are transitioning out. When you see these signs — and more importantly, before you see them — you should provide consistent positive communication.”

employee_mentoring_suzzanne uhland
Image courtesy of Shoot Idea at Flickr.com

An important part of being a solid manager is recognizing and being in tune with your team. Having regularly scheduled one-on-one touch bases with your team members is an effective way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on with your staff.

You also never want to be caught without a contingency plan, in the event your star player leaves. Recognizing that your rock star wants to exit the stage can help you prepare a back-up plan, and notify Human Resources to be on the lookout for new potential candidates.  

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