As a manager or business owner, being caught when employees quit suddenly can be surprising and daunting. This is especially the case if you thought you knew them well. Or, perhaps, you thought they were doing a good job.

Don’t like being blindsided by employees who suddenly quit work? There are a few things you can keep an eye on that will help you fix things before it happens.


Young man ready to quit

© deagreez / Adobe Stock

Sudden Change in Workplace Behavior

When an employee’s behavior at works becomes more and more negative, it could mean something. Let’s say, for example, you have an employee who always came in to work and behaved friendly towards you. Suddenly, they don’t. You notice their mood shift. They avoid interacting with you altogether and avoid eye contact. Every chance you can get to talk to them is thwarted.

This behavior could have begun at home, for a variety of different reasons. However, if it is specifically a change in how the employee acts towards you or other supervisors, they might be looking for a reason to quit or feel guilty about wanting to.


Decrease in Productivity

An employee who already has one foot out the door has mentally checked out. As a result, their work is going to suffer. If you keep records of employee performance, make sure to notice any fluctuations or drops in productivity. Take note if it takes place especially around a time they started treating you differently.


Lack of Focus on Their Job

Is your employee always on their phone taking personal calls? Do they text all day or spend all day on social media? They might not be lacking in productivity, but they might be lacking in focus. If they seem more focused on their non-work related life while at work, they may not be sticking around very long. If this behavior sticks out like a sore thumb, it might be worth talking to them about it.


Shifting of Responsibilities Onto Other Workers

An employee who has mentally “checked out” might pawn their work, or prospective work, onto their co-workers. When you give them work to do, they might try to shift it over to your other workers. Or, they might try to make excuses as to why another worker would be better for it, even though you know it isn’t true.