From the time that I worked as an employer-employee relations officer for some BPOs and for retained small business clients (when I was in the private practice) up to this moment that I am managing our own business, I had the privilege to observe and learn how to interpret human behavior in an organization.
What amazed me are that the signs that will eventually lead to someone leaving the company are predictable. Let me share some indicators that will help you tell if it’s nearing goodbye between you and your employee:
1. They suddenly become frequently tardy – if your employee usually reports to work earlier than anyone else in the office and suddenly started to incur frequent tardiness (almost everyday), this is already a sign that their motivation to come to work has been affected. Their drive to wake up early has waned and they might be considering looking for another job.
If you are in charge of personnel, take this opportunity to get to know them and ask them what’s causing their being tardy. Take this cue to come up with a program that will inspire all members who are going through the same situation.
Important! Don’t forget to document this though as it might prove handy in the future in case their tardiness becomes a liability to the organization and it is already you who wants to say goodbye to them.
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2. They have used up their leave credits and their number of absences have dramatically increased: a motivated employee would love to be in the workplace almost everyday. They have this certain drive and noticeable liveliness at work. But a person who feels he should be somewhere else other than his workplace would usually use up his leave credits to escape the pit where he is currently in. These employees regard leave credits and the chance to be absent like “life lines” that will give them extra energy to survive the daily grind at work.
But when their leave credits are depleted, what happens next? This might likewise be damaging to your organization so better find out what is causing it.
3. They become less productive: if at first they were usually one of those who close the most number of sales or have always submitted work before deadlines. Now, you feel like the decision of hiring them was all a mistake and you wonder where the person you so courted to join your team has gone.
This is already a waving red flag. Their enthusiasm to deliver has already faded and allowing this to continue is harmful to both the employee and the employer. Try to rescue him/her by getting to know what’s causing the problem and start your HR strategy from there.
4. Their linkedin account suddenly becomes updated – stalk them a little and see if their linked in account has been updated. If their linked in account became “so attractive you want to hire him again”, tendency is that they are waiting for that next head hunter to pounce on them.
5. Has facebook posts of being stressed at work – Browsing their facebook account makes you look at your life and say “thank you” that you are not on their shoes. They’ve posted a lot of depressing quotes regarding work or cryptic messages about their workmates that they recently fought with. If he is one talented guy, this person will readily grab an opportunity that comes his way.
Those are just few of the indications that your employee might not be happy at or with his work and has probably contemplated leaving soon.
What will you do then if you see those signs?
If you want to keep them, you better know what motivates them. Come up with programs that will keep them at work such as incentives (money is not always it though) or other activities that will once again ignite their love for their job.
However, if you want to let them go? Do it the right way. Document each tardiness, absence, or decline in productivity (you should be doing this from the onset anyway). Once there is enough evidence that their tardiness, absence, or decline in productivity is becoming a liability, notify them about it and impose the necessary disciplinary action based on the company policy and the law. (Avoid litigation expenses, contact your employer-employee relations lawyer for the proper way to do this)
Just to share, in my experience, there are instances where it is more beneficial for both parties (the employer and the employee) to let go of each other. To make it easier for both of you, you can talk to your employee and tell him/her that you support his/her plans and that if he/she intends to leave, he/she might as well do it the right way so that his/her performance and records will not be affected.
Assure your employees that you will give them a good recommendation for as long as they give their 100 percent dedication while they are in your organization. Sounds so ideal? I have always done this with all of my employees and we have maintained a healthy friendship even if they left the company. So somehow, it works. It is two-pronged, a win-win solution. You get the necessary dedication while they get the needed support for their career growth.
But the bigger question will be: why would they want to leave in the first place? (But that’s another topic for another time)
So, there you go! As HR people, it may be cliche but why not take advantage of the above signs to help our respective organizations lessen attrition rate and increase productivity.
About the Author:
Dexter D. Diwas is the co-founder of Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., a premiere Kindergarten School in the City of Baguio, Philippines. Apart from being a lawyer, he is also passionate about Business, Human Resource Development, and Career Advising. He is currently taking up Master of Management at the Institute of Management, University of the Philippines – Baguio.