I often come across directors wondering why or what happened when their top performers quit.
The fact is people will quit before they ask for what they want or tell you what is wrong. That is why looking for the ‘red flag behaviours’ or signs they may be looking to leave is so powerful. Here are a few to be on the look out for:
Productivity And Accountability Drop
They are missing deadlines, not achieving targets, they aren’t keeping normal hours or if they are in the office – they aren’t ‘all there’. They stop making commitments to long-term projects and aren’t offering forward thinking ideas. They don’t seem to care or want to step up, grow, stretch or course correct.
They aren’t proactively contributing in meetings, they aren’t responding to emails/phone calls in a timely manner or sometimes they don’t respond at all. They are only doing the minimum or less in regards to keeping the lines of communication open and constructive. When asked if everything is okay, they get defensive.
They are expressing negative things about work, they aren’t satisfied, they have nothing positive to say, they aren’t optimistic or pro-active.
Change In Appearance
Changes in appearance, combined with changes in behaviour can indicate that they aren’t interested in how they are perceived at work or they don’t feel that they are “seen” at work so how they dress doesn’t really matter.
Colleagues Are Concerned
When team members come to you and express their concerns, this is something that you should consider serious. Your top performer works closely with team members and they will be the first to notice subtle changes.
Simply put, all of these red flag behaviours equal one thing – your once top performer is now disengaged and instead of contributing positively to the company, they behaviour is having a negative effect.
Once you see the behaviours, you can take action. It is easier to respond to the intention of a behaviour rather than the problem.