Retention Red Flags – How To Identify Them?

Author: TASC Outsourcing
Jan 24, 2023

Retention is one of the primary considerations of employee engagement and a substantial amount of the HR department's key performance indicator. Retention is about retaining talent and ensuring that the top employees remain with the firm for as long as feasible via a positive environment and effective employee retention strategies.


How to identify retention warning signs?


Here are some retention red flags that may suggest an employee's impending departure:


Change in outlook

The poor work attitude of an employee may be an indication that they are contemplating leaving a company. When an employee who once approached every task with vigor begins to withdraw, they may be considering offers from other firms. At the very least, this change indicates something is amiss.


  1. A decline in the quality of work

Work that is submitted late and of poor quality is an indication that an employee's focus is not on the task. This may occur when an employee is under personal stress, but it could also be a sign they have lost interest in the current position and are partially checked out.


  1. Absence of interest in self-improvement

A dedicated employee is concerned with their professional development and advancement in the workplace. These personnel actively seek out learning opportunities, such as demanding work or new resources, as well as mentors, and want to further their careers. When people lose the drive to grow, they may cease their efforts to improve themselves.


  1. Disengagement from coworkers

A coworker that appreciates a company will always be keen to participate in meetings, professional functions, and social gatherings. An employee who is routinely late or absent from workplace activities, even the optional ones, is a retention red flag, especially if they previously volunteered for assignments and were the life of the party.


  1. Refusal to Accept New Roles

Another indicator may be the employee's use of lame excuses to avoid taking on additional duties. They could look for reasons to postpone or cancel future travels. They may advocate for the transfer of their duties to another employee for dubious reasons. These measures may suggest that the employee has an option locked down elsewhere and does not want to risk placing you in a poor spot by failing to meet a deadline. The approaching departure of an employee may manifest as a lack of enthusiasm for new work, especially if they are generally a team member who is keen to take on additional responsibilities.


  1. Lack of interest in long-term projects

When an employee decides to leave an organization, they may stop contributing to strategic or long-term objectives. Such employees are no longer driven by annual targets or success rates and have little interest in long-term remuneration. Even more so, they would avoid participating in long-term projects, fearing they might not be around to see them through. 


During open talks regarding quarterly objectives, employees may be aloof and cold and avoid offering advice or thoughts. They display a lack of attention during discussions concerning team or business objectives. If the management pays close enough attention, they may be able to determine that the individual is resisting and that their input quality has declined.


  1. Secretive conduct

It is a red flag when an employee is quick to minimize their screen whenever someone walks by. This may happen if the employee is viewing job advertisements or is having communications with prospective employers. While snooping is unprofessional, one should keep an eye and ear out for warning indicators to evaluate whether they need to have a retention discussion with an employee. 


Can employee retention strategies help?

Retention should be a continuous and obvious priority. An organization should always have good employee retention and should keep a check on it through the employee retention rate formula. Demonstrate that the organization is taking steps to improve employee happiness to retain the motivation and loyalty of employees who are difficult to replace.


  1. Gauge job satisfaction.

Don't assume everything is well. Ask employees how they feel about their work, such as how interesting or difficult it is. Regular one-on-one meetings are useful, but for brutally honest feedback, such as employee satisfaction with management, consider a survey.


  1. Increase compensation

 It is common knowledge that money talks — and persuades or alters attitudes. If it has been a while since the company last assessed their company's compensation structure, then it is best to compare current employee wages to their productivity and skills. Make an effort to offer above-average pay for the particular city and industry.


  1. Leverage bonuses 

These financial incentives are one method for retaining highly talented team members, particularly if a firm is facing a significant transition such as a merger or acquisition. In addition to merit-based compensation, look for chances to pay spot bonuses after significant projects or exceptional performance periods.


  1. Motivate with opportunities

If employees do not see a clear path to advancement within the organization, they will leave on their own. Motivate today's top performers and tomorrow's future leaders by regularly discussing the company's growth prospects and its desire to invest in employees' future.


  1. Aid staff in recharging

Even well-compensated employees are more likely to leave if they are consistently overworked and anxious. Increase the likelihood of retaining employees by granting them the independence they seek. Consider remote job options, flexible hours, on-site amenities, and significant vacation time.


Key Takeaway

Understanding why a talented employee might want to leave is part of the retention dilemma for executives. The number one reason CFOs believed good employees would depart was a lack of growth opportunities. However, this is not the case with employees, who list low pay and benefits as the primary reason they would depart. 

An organization should always keep multiple scenarios in its head and try its best to reduce employee turnover. Creating a comprehensive plan and effective employee retention strategies to increase employee retention and reap the benefits of employee retention in the long run.