How to Retain Employees Ready to Resign: Part 1

If you had to venture a guess, how much do you think it would cost to replace an employee earning an annual salary of $50,000 at your company? According to the Center for American Progress, replacing employees in mid-range positions cost companies approximately 20 percent of the employee’s salary. In this case, it would cost you around $10,000 to lose the employee earning $50,000. But there are also other costs of losing an employee: reduced productivity, engagement and morale, to name a few.

With employee engagement being such an important effort these days, many organizations have made it a priority to ensure their employees are happy and satisfied in their jobs, thus hoping to reduce the risk of costly turnover. But business is business, and you’re bound to find employees within your organization who are ready to move on. The good news is that there are ways to spot those employees and retain them before seeing the resignation letter.

Tim Gardner, associate professor of business at Utah State University, recently unveiled a study he conducted on voluntary turnover. He discovered 10 characteristics of employees ready to resign, and asserted that employees displaying at least six of these characteristics were likely to soon leave the organization:

  1. Fewer constructive contributions in meetings
  2. Reluctance in committing to long-term projects
  3. More reserved and/or quiet than usual
  4. Less interest in advancing within the organization
  5. Less interest in pleasing the boss
  6. Avoidance, particularly in social interactions
  7. Not expressing ideas or innovative approaches
  8. No longer going the extra mile
  9. Lack of interest in training and development programs
  10. Decreased productivity

Knowing the characteristics of an employee ready to resign, you may be able to determine which of your top performers may be ready to move on—but what next? We’ll talk ways to retain your best employees tomorrow in part two of this blog series.

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