Avoid Employee Turnover: How to tell if you’re losing a Top Performer

Every manager wants to avoid employee turnover – particularly when it comes to top performers. Do you know what signs to watch for?

The most valuable, talented and driven creative professionals are deeply invested in their careers. But these employees can also expect a lot from employers in return for their efforts.

They want their jobs to be a source of fulfillment and prefer to work for organizations that consistently recognize their skills and support their career growth.

If standout team members feel unchallenged creatively, underappreciated or stuck in one position for too long, they’re apt to pursue greener pastures. Professionals with specialized skills are finding that they’re in great demand. Further, nearly one-third (32 percent) of advertising and marketing executives said it’s challenging to find skilled creative professionals today.

If a key team member is thinking about jumping ship, indicators will likely appear well before you receive a resignation letter. Here are some potential warning signs:

Increased absenteeism. Unhappy employees tend to miss more workdays than their colleagues. Pay attention when an individual starts using up personal or vacation days because it could be a sign he or she is burning out or interviewing for other jobs.

Social withdrawal. Avoiding the more social aspects of work – like team-building activities or office parties – is common among employees who are considering leaving. Previously outgoing staff members may suddenly seem quiet, skip voluntary group outings or hole up in their office or cubicle.

A decline in work habits. Uncommon errors, missed deadlines and an overall decrease in productivity can indicate that a once-passionate employee is now just going through the motions.

A change in attitude. When a positive, team-oriented employee starts complaining about the organization or butting heads with coworkers, it’s often symptomatic of job dissatisfaction.

To prevent losing a valued employee, take action as soon as you see sufficient evidence of the person’s intent to leave. Here are four tips: 

  1. Ask questions, listen attentively. Meet one-on-one with the employee and candidly ask if he or she is dissatisfied. When faced with a direct question, many people will respond in truth. If the individual says yes, ask why, listen attentively and explore possible remedies that would work for both parties.
  2. Show you take the concerns seriously. If the employee is looking for more challenging work, consider offering new responsibilities that will stretch his or her skills. In addition, provide training opportunities to support the employee’s ongoing professional growth.
  3. Review compensation, perks and benefits. Perhaps salary or work-life balance is the concern. Strong performers who gave it their all during the downturn may feel that modest salary gains in recent years haven’t kept pace with the increased value of their contributions or expanded workloads. Offering remote or flexible work options can also help you avoid employee turnover in many cases.
  4. Say thanks. One of the easiest and most cost-effective retention tactics is remembering to recognize employees for their good work. Offering a simple “thank you” for a job well done can be surprisingly powerful. Prompt, sincere and specific praise provides an emotional lift and shows staff that you’re paying attention to their efforts and appreciate their contributions.

Brian Torchin

| HCRC Staffing | |