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7 Signs Your Star Employee Might Be Planning Their Exit

Date Published: October 26, 2023 | Last Updated:November 28, 2023 | By Jeramy
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In the dynamic world of talent retention, keeping your star employees is essential for the growth and stability of your organization. But how do you recognize the subtle cues that indicate they might be preparing to leave? Here are seven warning signs to watch out for:

1. Reluctance to Discuss the Future: If your star employee consistently avoids conversations about their long-term career goals and aspirations within the company, it could be a sign they’re exploring other options.

2. Complaints About Compensation: When a high-performing employee starts vocalizing discontent with their compensation, it’s a clear indicator that they might be considering opportunities where they feel more rewarded.

3. Aversion to Long-Term Planning: Star employees are typically eager to engage in long-term projects and commitments. If they shy away from such endeavors, it may signal that their commitment to your organization is wavering.

4. Dwindling Productivity: A noticeable drop in their productivity levels can be a warning sign. While everyone has ups and downs, a persistent decline could indicate their motivation is waning.

5. Idea Withholding: Star employees are usually brimming with innovative ideas and insights. If they suddenly stop sharing their suggestions or concerns, it’s worth investigating why they’ve become more reserved.

6. Increased Absences: Frequent or unexplained absences, including sick days or personal leave, could be a sign that they’re interviewing for other opportunities or tending to matters related to a job change.

7. Social Withdrawal: A once socially engaged team member who starts to withdraw from interactions with colleagues may be signaling their disengagement from the organization.

The bottom line is that your top talent won’t stick around if their growth isn’t a priority.

What to Do if You See the Signs:

  • Kill Toxicity: If you’ve identified a toxic culture within your organization, take immediate steps to fix it. Addressing workplace issues and fostering a healthy environment is crucial.
  • Skill Up: Offer training and growth opportunities to rekindle their enthusiasm. Help them advance their skills and careers within your organization.
  • Listen Up: Make it safe for them to share their concerns, suggestions, and aspirations. Actively listen to their needs and be responsive.
  • Celebrate Wins: Ensure they feel valued by recognizing their achievements and contributions. Regular appreciation goes a long way in employee retention.
  • Check-In: Don’t wait for a crisis to have conversations with your star employees. Regular check-ins can identify potential issues before they escalate.
  • Be Open: Share a vision for the future of the organization and how they play a vital role in it. Building trust through transparency is key.
  • Fair Pay: Make sure they’re compensated in alignment with their true worth. Recognize their contributions through competitive salaries.

Don’t let your best talent walk away. Losing star employees not only impacts your team but also your bottom line. Act now to retain your most valuable assets and win together.

Want to learn more about employee retention? Check out this white paper: “Employee Retention: 5 Steps for Setting Up Career Success” or this webinar: “Better Candidate Selection is Key to Retention.”

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