Being able to spot flight-risk employees or rather employees who might be thinking of leaving your company, is hugely beneficial for you. If you know that someone could be about to leave, you can create a plan to persuade them to stay or prepare to replace them when they go.
Identifying flight-risk employees and red flags during interviews is not only beneficial but essential for maintaining a successful and productive team. By recognising the signs that an employee may be considering leaving your company, you can take proactive steps to retain their talent and expertise.
Managers can achieve this by offering new challenges and opportunities, addressing their concerns, or increasing their compensation and benefits. On the other hand, if it becomes clear that an employee is not a good fit or may be considering leaving, it’s important to be prepared to replace them.
By taking action early on, you can minimise disruptions and ensure that your team continues to operate smoothly as failing to identify and address these red flags can result in high turnover, decreased productivity, and ultimately, reduced profitability. It’s for these reasons that it becomes crucial for managers to be proactive in identifying and addressing potential flight risks and red flags during the hiring process.
What are some common signs of a flight-risk employee?
Sometimes it’s obvious when someone is getting ready to move on, but there are other times when you need to pay a bit more attention if you don’t want to miss the signs. With a little bit of vigilance, you can spot when someone is thinking about leaving before everything falls apart.
1. They’re No Longer Motivated
Maintaining a motivated and engaged team is critical for a company’s success, and identifying employees who are feeling unmotivated or disengaged is essential for managers.
There are several tell-tale signs that an employee may be losing motivation, such as a lack of enthusiasm, a decline in productivity, or a decrease in attendance at social events. In addition, an unmotivated employee may stop offering to collaborate on projects or providing constructive feedback, become more withdrawn or less communicative, and may show less initiative or interest in their work.
One way to spot an unmotivated employee is to pay attention to changes in their behaviour, such as a sudden drop in performance or a change in attitude. If an employee who was previously eager to advance in their role suddenly loses interest or stops taking on new challenges, this could be a sign of waning motivation.
Additionally, if an employee is no longer offering to help or contribute to team projects, this could be an indication that they are feeling disengaged or uninterested in their work. To keep employees motivated, managers should focus on providing regular feedback, opportunities for growth and development, and fostering a positive work culture.
By addressing any concerns early on and taking proactive steps to maintain engagement and motivation, managers can ensure that their team continues to operate at peak performance and that their best employees stay committed and loyal to the company.
2. They’re Only Doing the Minimum Required
A healthy work/life balance is an essential aspect of employee well-being, and it’s not always a bad thing if an employee is no longer going above and beyond to complete their job. However, it’s important to ensure that employees are still productive and efficient during their scheduled work hours.
For example, if an employee who was previously putting in extra effort to complete projects on time or taking on additional responsibilities suddenly becomes complacent and starts arriving and leaving on time, or only doing the minimum required work, it could be a sign that they are disengaged or lacking motivation.
To ensure that employees are maintaining a healthy work/life balance without sacrificing productivity, managers should encourage open communication and set clear expectations around workload and performance.
By regularly checking in with employees and providing opportunities for feedback and development, managers can help maintain employee motivation and engagement while ensuring that everyone is operating efficiently and effectively during their scheduled work hours.
3. Their Communication Has Changed
When someone’s communication style suddenly changes, it could mean that they’re thinking of leaving. Perhaps an employee who is usually upfront about sharing their opinion is now quiet and withdrawn. Or someone who is ordinarily perfectly pleasant and friendly is now confrontational and looking for an argument all the time. Watch out for employees who have stopped sharing in meetings or no longer want to eat lunch with their colleagues.
4. They’re Taking Extra Time Off
If an employee suddenly takes extra sick leave or personal days, it could be a sign that they’re getting ready to leave. Their time off could be to allow them to attend interviews or even spend time conducting their job search. However, don’t assume that any time off is an indication of an employee about to jump ship; they could be ill or dealing with family problems, so don’t take this sign on its own.
5. Their Friends Are Leaving
Have several of your employees left recently? Or perhaps a few who are part of a friend group have slowly been leaving over time? Friends at work help people enjoy their work more, and can even help them to be more productive. If an employee is feeling lonely, they could be looking for a new job.
While these signs could indicate dissatisfaction at work, they could also be signs of something wrong at home. Creating a work culture where employees are able to be open about these things can help to differentiate between the two. Make sure you don’t rely on only one of these signs to determine if an employee might be getting ready to leave.
Red flags during the interview process
When conducting a candidate interview, be it a phone screening or in person, it’s important to look out for any red flags that the candidate may not be the right fit for the role at hand. Here are a few things to watch out for.
1. Turning up Unprepared
This could be something as simple as not bringing along a pen and paper to take notes, a copy of their CV or even forgetting to learn about the organisation. Showing up unprepared can be an indication that the candidate will approach the job in the same way.
2. Arriving late
This is an obvious error, but should not be overlooked unless there is an extenuating circumstance. If a candidate can’t make the effort to show up on time for a first meeting, why would they be expected to arrive on time for work?
3. Giving vague answers
A job interview’s main purpose is to understand a candidate’s qualifications in greater detail. If they provide ambiguous responses to straightforward questioning techniques, then they are either unable to express their thoughts coherently or they are trying to hide something. Both of these are not characteristics of a good future employee.
4. Not asking any questions
By not engaging in the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview it demonstrates a lack of interest or understanding of the job/organisation or a lack of preparation.
5. Poor Body language
Body language is an important component of our day-to-day interactions and should therefore be factored in when conducting an interview. If a candidate is leaning back in their chair, slouching or displaying any other forms of poor body language this could be a sign that they are not fully focused or perhaps lack confidence.
TL;DR Key Takeaways
- Identifying flight-risk employees and red flags during interviews is essential for maintaining a successful and productive team.
- Being proactive in identifying and addressing potential flight risks and red flags during the hiring process is crucial for managers.
- Some common signs of a flight-risk employee include lack of motivation, only doing the minimum required, changes in communication style, taking extra time off, and friends leaving.
- To keep employees motivated, managers should focus on providing regular feedback, opportunities for growth and development, and fostering a positive work culture.
- Managers should encourage open communication and set clear expectations around workload and performance to ensure that employees are maintaining a healthy work/life balance without sacrificing productivity.
- By addressing any concerns early on and taking proactive steps to maintain engagement and motivation, managers can ensure that their team continues to operate at peak performance and that their best employees stay committed and loyal to the company.