Worried that some of your best employees are restless and thinking of other options? Follow these talent management tips to identify them before it’s too late.
shutterstock_63635614The cost of replacing a member of your team can be high, which is why spotting a restless or unhappy employee before they jump ship is so important. Identifying a dissatisfied employee can be a big talent management challenge, however. After all, what it they are just having a bad week? What if they are too much of a professional to show any obvious signs of dissatisfaction? Or what if a particular project is putting them in a foul mood? In this post, we will take a look at some of the red flags that will help you spot restless employees.

Employee Satisfaction by the Numbers

Before discussing how to identify a restless employee, there are a few statistics that you should take into consideration. A survey from Officevibe shows that approximately 88% of employees “have no passion for their work.” The same survey showed that about 80% of senior managers are similarly dispassionate. This shows how employee satisfaction is a bigger talent management issue than most people think; one that ends up costing businesses a lot of money. In fact, the Officevibe survey suggests that about $500 billion dollars of the US economy is lost each year due to a lack of engagement. While disengaged employee isn’t necessarily going to leave, a lack of engagement is often the first step to them exploring other options.

Spot the Red Flags of A Restless or Unhappy Employee

Employee shows a decline in performance. This is perhaps the most obvious red flag. If an employee doesn’t plan on being with your organization for much longer, then why give 100%? Of all of the identifiers, this one should be the most black and white since it should show up in your performance reports.

Withdrawal from interactions and communication with managers and coworkers. A restless employee isn’t just disengaged from their work – they are disengaged from their coworkers and managers as well. Keep an eye out for a lack of socialization or assess the situation with engagement surveys.

Consistently Doing the Bare Minimum. To be clear, an employee probably won’t be able to give everything 100% all of the time. If they are consistently doing the bare minimum when it comes to projects and everyday tasks, however, then they may be considering other options.

Their Co-Workers Complain About Them. While a dissatisfied employee may be making an effort to hide their restlessness from HR and their manager, they are less likely to do so with their coworkers. If an employee who used to get along fine with their colleagues and never gave them cause to complain suddenly is the target of complaints, then chances are good that they are thinking about leaving.

You Still Need a Backup Plan

Proper talent management means planning for those worst case scenarios to avoid losing valuable employees. Even if you are on the lookout for restless employees, you may not always be able to identify them and win them over before they decide to leave.

This is why it’s important to have performance management tracking in place to easily identify your top performers to ensure all efforts are being made to keep them happy and retained. It is also important to have an effective succession plan in mind – so that if you do lose a team member,  you can work to minimize the impact on your organization.