7 Signs An Employee Might Quit

Human Resources

Nothing is worse than losing a valued employee due to unresolved work issues. In most cases this is due to workplace conflicts, lack of appreciation, compensation issues, or issues with a supervisor. Identifying these problems early on is key to retaining talent and allowing the organization to thrive. An employee wanting to quit does not mean they were a bad match for the organization, rather it can mean that there are issues within the company that need to be addressed. A supervisor might be over micro-managing or they might feel afraid to ask for a raise and believe getting a new job is the path to a better wage. SHRM found that the number one reasons employees quit is over salary, in many cases finding it easier to look for other work as opposed to asking for more money.

Employee Might quit over salary SHRM

Employees who are key contributors to the company’s success can be overwhelmed and bored when no further great challenges remain. It’s up to HR to make sure their needs are being met and they are being appropriately compensated and challenged. Here’s 7 tell tale signs warning signs that an employee might be looking to quit.


Changed behavior at meetings

When an employee has set their mind on quitting you may notice a general lack of participation at meetings. This checked out state is because they have less of a vested interest in the topics and issues discussed since they are going to be leaving the company anyway.


Ask about 401K withdrawal

Unless they are old enough or clearly qualify under special circumstances, questions about a disbursement will likely mean they are planning their financial stability outside the company.


Uses more sick or vacation days than usual

If an employee rarely takes vacation or sick days but suddenly starts using them a lot, it may suggest they are planning to leave. This wouldn’t apply if they are approaching a date where they lose vacation days or if they seem legitimately ill.

sick day off


Seems resigned to status quo

If your employee is usually quite animated in pushing to get things done but suddenly seems resigned to let things be, this is either a sign they are going to leave or a symptom which could later lead to them leaving.


Calls for employment verification

While they might just be looking for a new apartment a call for employment verification can also mean they are actively searching for new jobs. This can be especially true of calls from outside the area. You can always search the number they called from and many times find the kind of business it was.


Asked for a raise but didn’t get it or expected more than they received

Few things will cause star team members to take flight quicker than feeling like they are being under compensated. Employees have access to a wealth of expected salary data over the internet and after a couple years most people know quite well their self-worth to an organization. This can be further complicated by them finding out what other employees make, which despite the best efforts seems to happen in many organizations.

asking for a raise employee

Indicates dissatisfaction on employee survey

If you do a regular employee survey or include work satisfaction questions on your performance management system you’ll be able to identify issues before they become major problems.

The goal of Human Resources is to identify those who are struggling and figure out what obstacles are causing them to want to leave. Once you’ve identified the obstacles you can take steps to remedy them, which will help not only the individual but others who may be affected by the same issues. This task becomes increasingly harder the farther along the employee is to finding a new job and announcing their resignation. The only way to head these issues off early enough is to have a culture of communication where supervisors and Human Resources are expected to ask and listen.

  1. Do you enjoy your job?
  2. What are your greatest challenges?
  3. How can I help make your job here more satisfactory?
  4. Do you feel that you receive fair benefits, pay and appreciation for the work you do?

Having these questions asked on a regular basis will give you the insight you need to decrease turnover and make a big difference in sustaining success in your company.

What warning signs have you seen from employees about to resign?

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