Posted by John Reed on Sunday, September 4, 2016 - 01:00
With low unemployment in the tech sector, it can be relatively easy for your top performers to find other jobs. An employee leaving can be disruptive to your team's productivity and morale, so you want to make sure you have a strong retention plan in place.
You also want to be aware of warning signs that indicate an employee is leaving.
Begin by scheduling a one-on-one career discussion with each of your direct reports. Nothing beats a conversation with each staff member to thank them for their contributions and make sure they are satisfied with their current roles and fully committed to your team and organization.
This is also a great time to uncover any areas of concern and address them immediately. Creating a retention plan will help you keep key staff members through this year and beyond. Still, there are signs that an employee has one foot out the door. Here are my top five:
1. Increased absences or time away from the office
IT staff members who are looking for other jobs take time away from the office to attend interviews and meet with potential suitors. If you see a team member taking more days off than normal, or increasing their time out of the office during the day, you may have an employee leaving.
Use our Salary Calculator to make sure your compensation is on target for each IT pro on your team.
2. Changes in attire
An employee leaving will likely dress well because he wants to look sharp and interview ready. If you notice an IT team member changing from his usual, casual wardrobe at the office, this might indicate he's interviewing for other roles. For example, if someone on your team typically wears khakis and a golf shirt and you see him in a dress shirt, slacks and a sport coat on a more regular basis (not just for a one-time event), he could be meeting with potential employers.
3. Decreased communication or disengagement
If you notice staff members decreasing their level of communication, keeping to themselves more frequently or disengaging entirely, it's cause for concern and an indicator that they have mentally “moved on."
4. Changes in their personal workspace
Removal of personal photos or a sudden cleanup of the workspace can be signs of an employee leaving — or preparing to leave.
5. Increased private conversations
When you see employees with their doors closed more frequently, or having cell phone discussions in the hall or outside the building, these may be signs they are discussing new opportunities or contemplating potential offers.
That's my list of signs indicating a team member might be on the way out. Let me know if you have other signs of an employee leaving based on your experience, and any retention strategies you've used.
Remember, the best offense is a good defense, so don’t wait for these signs to appear. Schedule those one-on-one employee discussions now so you don’t have any surprise resignations.
Discover the latest trends in IT hiring and salary data for more than 75 IT jobs in our Salary Guide:
- 4 Simple Retention Strategies to Keep Top Tech Talent
- Work-Life Balance as Part of an Employee Retention Strategy
Note: This post has been updated. It originally appeared on 12/13/13.