Organizational Wellness

Quitting Employees? Save the Day & Make Them Stay

Aug 4, 2023
Last Updated May 7, 2024

Great employees are the lifeblood of any successful organization. Without a dedicated staff committed to your company’s goals, it is very difficult to succeed in today’s business climate. This is why it is important as a leader within an organization that you pay attention to your employees’ wellbeing and not only focus on their work output. It is crucial that you know when they are happy, mad, need help or when they need a new challenge to stay engaged. With the amount of time that people spend at work, isn’t it worth assessing how its environment impacts broader life and wellbeing? Check out our latest State of Work-Life Wellness report to know more.

A third of new hires quit within 6 months of starting a new position. This fact can really slow down the growth of any organization and play a role in creating a toxic work environment for your prized employees. Because of these facts, it is important that you take employee turnover and retention seriously to help set your company up for long-term success.

Of course some employee turnover is inevitable. You simply might not offer the same position someone is leaving to go take at another company or the pay raise they requested is not in your budget. There is not much that can be done in these instances.

Thankfully, when it comes to employees looking to quit their job due to other reasons such as being frustrated, bored and unengaged or lack of benefits, there are a few things you can do to help prevent them from leaving.


Signs an Employee is about to Quit

The first thing you want to do when it comes to improving your employee retention is to look for signs your employee is about to quit. There are a few obvious tell-tale actions that workers display when they are considering leaving their current position. Tracking important employee retention metrics often makes these behaviors more obvious.

Decline in Engagement

The first sign is a decline in engagement. This can range from being less involved in company meetings to not interacting socially with co-workers and avoiding company functions. If someone regularly led meetings or actively participated with feedback and ideas but no longer gives their input, this is one of the more reliable signs that an employee is no longer interested in the outcome of their work and may be looking to move on.

Of course, some people are introverted by nature and may not naturally speak up to provide input or want to interact with Bill at the water cooler. The key to look for with engagement is noticing a decrease in their willingness to be a part of the company and its culture.

More Days Off

Everyone needs some time off to recharge their batteries. However, if an employee has been taking days off more frequently than usual, this may be a sign that they are actively seeking a new job. They may no longer have the passion for their current work and are just looking to escape their day to day responsibilities or they are using the time off to interview with prospective employers.

Half-hearted Work

The quality of someone’s work is another indicator they may be looking for a new job. If you notice a stark decline in an employee’s work quality that you would not expect, it is probably a good idea to reach out to that employee and see if something is bothering them. This is especially true if they routinely show up late and leave early when this was not the case before. This employee has most likely checked out but can still be saved from quitting and getting a new job.

Vague With Future Commitments

Showing an unwillingness to take on new projects is another common sign that an employee is thinking of quitting. This is especially true when they are vague with their reasons why they do not want any new projects. Often this is because they don’t want to be tied down when it does come time to leave. If you notice a once hard worker unwilling to take on new projects, it may be a sign you need to intervene and figure out why they are not working as much.

More Activity on Social Media

Social media is a great way to connect with prospective employers. If you notice someone being unusually active on social media websites, especially LinkedIn, it may be one of the signs that your employee is leaving. This activity may be updating an outdated profile. Logging on more frequently throughout the day to connect with recruiters or search for job opportunities. While this is a reliable sign that an employee may quit soon, it is important  not to monitor your employees’ social media habits too closely.

What to do if an Employee is Going to Quit

If you notice any of your employees displaying the behaviors above, it is not time to panic and start the search for a replacement. There are many actions you can take to help prevent an employee from quitting in the first place. In fact, taking some of these measures will help reduce employee turnover with other employees you may not have noticed displaying some of the signs already mentioned.

Prevention Through Proactiveness

Unfortunately, turnover is inevitable within any organization. The days of employees working their entire careers at one company are long gone. However, this does not mean that you can just sit back just simply let people come and go. Frequently getting feedback from your employees will help you learn what motivates, excites and even challenges them about their current position. You can also learn why people are leaving for other jobs and fix any common issues that were cited during an exit interview. The key here is that you need to know what is making your employees happy enough to stay and mad enough to leave.

Talk with the Employee

When you notice some of the signs mentioned above that an employee is thinking about quitting, you need to sit down and talk with that employee to learn their perspective. Show them that you care about their work life wellness and truly want to improve their situation to keep them around. Of course, don’t accuse them of anything and be confrontational but rather approach the conversation in a friendly manner where you are just trying to help them reach their business goals.

Setting up regular, informal meetings on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule to solicit feedback on company culture from employees can be a valuable asset when it comes to retaining your best performers. It is important that someone feels free to share their thoughts and ideas during these conversations and that you actually take action on the items mentioned. If an employee doesn’t see anything within the culture change, they will still move on to another job.

Even though turnover is inevitable, it is important that you take proactive measures to minimize it as much as possible. Employee turnover can be a costly hidden expense for many businesses as it takes a lot more money to recruit, hire and train new employees.

Committing to looking for signs that an employee is leaving and putting programs in place to keep your employees engaged and happy with their work can pay huge dividends in the long run. These actions can help your employees actually enjoy spending their days working on accomplishing a shared mission, which will surely help improve your employee retention rates. Wellhub is a great option to do just that. Talk with a Wellbeing Specialist to find the right solution for your employees.

Company healthcare costs drop by up to 35% with Wellhub! (* Based on proprietary research comparing healthcare costs of active Wellhub users to non-users.) Talk to a Wellbeing Specialist to see how we can help reduce your healthcare spending!



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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