3 Warning Signs Employees May Be Looking For The Exits

Employee retention is crucial for the success of a company.

Therefore, employers are placing emphasis on employee happiness and creating a positive work environment. However, as an employer there are signs you can look for that will tip you off that an employee may be looking for the exits.

Serial entrepreneur, James Cann, says to watch out for the following warning signs so that when it comes time to have “the conversation” with an employee, their eminent departure will be less of a shock factor.

Reduced Productivity

Everyone gets comfortable in their job. Certain factors can affect a person’s productivity. A good way for you to track employees’ productivity is to ask for weekly reports and conduct weekly meetings to get updates on the progress of projects and discuss strengths and weaknesses. When a person starts looking for another job, their attention naturally deviates away from their current job.

This can dramatically affect productivity. Also, when a person grows tired of their current position, you may notice sloppy work habits as if the employee just doesn’t care. If you are seeing an employee who previously consistently provided top-notch work suddenly giving sub par work, that’s an indication there might be a problem.

Negative Attitude

Some people are complainers by nature. But, when someone is truly not happy in their job, you can tell it just by their attitude and body language. Usually, when someone is planning to leave a job, they will do the bare minimum just to get by, knowing their time there is limited. They can do this while suffering no repercussions because the boss is too busy running other aspects of the business.

This negative attitude will inhibit an employee’s willingness to take on new projects or offer useful input. Everyone has bad days when their attitude is not the best. But, if you notice a dramatic change in a person’s demeanor, this is a red flag.

Social Interaction Avoidance

Social interaction in the workplace is important so that employees can build a trusting relationship with colleagues and managers. An employee who is thinking about leaving may suddenly become secretive and avoid any kind of social interaction with colleagues.

If an employee continually refuses to attend company functions that are meant to be fun or they avoid socializing after work hours, this could mean they are uncomfortable being social because they don’t want to accidentally divulge their plans to leave by giving too much information.


Of course, there are other signs an employee might be thinking about leaving. For example, if your employee normally dresses casually for work, but suddenly starts dressing up, they could be up to more than just trying to look great. Perhaps, they are attending interviews on lunch breaks or after work. If an employee experiences a big life change, that could leave you scrambling to fill an unexpected vacancy.

The birth of a child, loss of a loved one or illness can mean the employee’s plans for work are going to change. If you notice an employee keeping odd hours, such as taking vacation days when they typically wouldn’t, it may mean they’ve got one foot out the door as they try to use their vacation before leaving. Every employee may exhibit some of these signs at one point. However, when you notice employees being consistent with these behaviors, that is when it is cause for alarm. 

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