Study Identifies Signs An Employee Is About To Leave
Those who are thinking about leaving their job may be giving off cues that others can pick up on. Tim Gardner, a Utah State University Associate Professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, has completed a new study on voluntary turnover. He said he was surprised when his research showed an employee who starts taking more vacation time, punching out at 5 p.m. every day and looking at outside openings on company time, isn't necessarily someone who is about to leave. Gardner discovered the one thing most employees had in common before they left was that they began to "disengage" in the workplace. According to Mr. Gardner, a few examples of behavioral changes people often make in the one to two months before they leave their job are: they offered fewer constructive contributions in meetings; they were more reluctant to commit to long-term projects; they became more reserved and quiet; they began doing the minimum amount of work needed and no longer went beyond the call of duty; they were less interested in participating in training and development programs; and their work productivity went down. Gardner said if employees were demonstrating at least six of these behaviors, his statistical formula could predict with 80 percent accuracy that they were about to leave the organization. Gardner, who worked with Huntsman professor Steve Hanks and Chad H. Van Iddekinge of Florida State University on the study, said the list of indicators that might tip a boss that someone was thinking of leaving were not surprising. What was unexpected; however, were the behaviors that did not make the list.