7 Indicators of A Flight Risk

  |   Blog, Career Management, Employee Engagement, Performance Management   |   No comment


There is a 70% increase in online job ad applications on the first Wednesday after New Years Day. That’s in a normal year, but with business confidence at a 12 year high and unemployment at pre-GFC lows, this holiday season may result in a higher than average New Year / New Job employee churn.

Now is the time to begin to look for flight risks – and take the necessary steps to clip their wings.

Here are the 7 major indicators to look for:

1.  Major life change:

Marriage, divorce, a sudden (and/or serious) illness, childbirth, or the death of a loved one can make people take stock of all areas of their lives. If one of your team has experienced one of these events look for further indicators below.

2.  Change in work habits:

If someone on your team goes from being reliable to un-reliable (missing deadlines, doing less than their best work, etc.) that is a clear indicator that something is up. Conversely (and counter-intuitively), if you see someone improve in these areas this may actually be an indicator of a flight risk as well. It may be a sign that that they want to secure a good reference before they leave. Of course, you would only be concerned about this if you actually want to hang onto them.

3.  Change in hours worked:

Pay close attention to any shift in routine. Obvious indicators include arriving late, leaving early or taking time off during the day. But don’t ignore non-obvious indicators like beginning to arrive early. They could be using the time before others get into the office to dust off their resumes or to apply for jobs.

4.  Change in attitude towards peers, managers or other stake holders:

Most of the time managers notice someone who goes from having a good attitude to a poor one. But, similar to point 2 above, the reverse can indicate a flight risk as well.

5.  ‘Joke’ about job-hunting in the office:

These ‘jokes’ should ALWAYS be taken seriously. Even if they aren’t to the point where they are actually looking, this typically indicates something needs to be addressed.

6.  Dressing up more than usual:

This is one of the most obvious indicators — and one that can be over-looked this time of year as it can easily be explained by holiday parties.

7.  No longer participating in meetings / company functions or working in isolation:

Humans beings are sociable creatures. If they stop participating in group events of any kind it may be an indication that they are disconnecting from their tribe.

To learn more about how to clip their wings, along with other mid to long-term strategies click here to download a complimentary 39 minute training on employee retention.

Pay attention to these indicators now — before the holiday break. If you observe one or more of these from your staff sit down and talk to them. Figure out what’s going on and take steps to rectify the situation before the first Wednesday after the New Year.

Kim Seeling Smith is the CEO of Ignite Global, The Employee Retention Specialists, whose work has been recognized by Richard Branson’s 100% Human at Work Initiative. Kim is the author of “Mind Reading for Managers: 5 FOCUSed Conversations for Greater Employee Engagement and Productivity” and the co-author of “101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career” (with personal development guru and mega author Brian Tracy).


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