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As every employer knows, unhappy employees are bad for business. Disgruntled employees lead to low employee retention and high employee turnover. Both cost you unnecessary time and money and are bad for team morale. Low morale exacerbates all other problems.

It has never been more important to value employee wellbeing. The pandemic’s far-reaching effects mean that many businesses are still on shifting sands, figuring out staffing, remote work, and how to stay connected while physically apart.

Employees, on the other hand, have been evaluating their worth and their work-life balance amongst all the upheaval of the past few years. Many are looking for a change, and that often starts with employment.

If you want to hold on to talent but are worried that your employees are showing signs of burnout and may be ready to quit, you must move fast. We can help you identify the eight telltale signs that your employees want to quit, so you can act now before it is too late.

1. Increased Sick Days

Increased sick days can be a sign that an employee is on their way out for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, if an employee is unhappy or stressed, it can affect both their mind and their body, and the health of both are essential to wellbeing. This can translate into more days lost to sickness, which they need to recover from their burnout and malaise.

Secondly, if an unhappy employee is shopping around for alternative employment, they might be taking sick days to attend interviews or simply to use up their paid sickness allowance before jumping ship.

2. Low Motivation and Reduced Buy-in

Low motivation and reduced buy-in are sure signs that you may be close to losing a team member. Motivation to get the job done is a crucial ingredient to efficiency, and buy-in shows that your employees really believe in their work.

According to a study on incentives and workplace performance, 40% of the success in team projects can be directly attributed to motivation. That said, low motivation may manifest in several different ways.

It may look like unopened emails, a slow pace, and a ‘bare-minimum’ attitude. Unhappy employees exhibiting reduced buy-in may contribute less in meetings or brainstorming sessions or show carelessness in their work.

3. Decreased Productivity

A decrease in productivity is a sure sign that your employee is not faring well in some regard. Unhappy employees lead to lower productivity because these factors are inextricably linked.

Based on a study by Persol Kelly, a staffing solution company located in the Asia Pacific region, 84% of employees who are happy at work feel productive. In contrast, only 42% of unhappy employees responded, saying they feel productive.

Decreased productivity may manifest as your employees missing deadlines or quotas and disregarding their personal goals. This can lead to client dissatisfaction, budget issues, and stress among other team members.

4. Clock Watching

Admittedly, most people are a little bit guilty of clock-watching, whether it be the countdown to lunchtime or the end of the day. It becomes a problem for employee turnover when clock-watching becomes someone’s primary work activity. If your employee always leaves at the earliest possible moment, it is unlikely they are concentrating on the task at hand.

5. Unwillingness to Commit to Long-Term Projects

If you have an unhappy employee who is envisaging their future elsewhere, this may manifest as an unwillingness to commit to long-term projects. This particular sign that employees want to quit depends on the type of work you do, but those who cannot imagine a future with your company practically are checked out emotionally too.

6. Waning Interest in the Team

If an unhappy employee has emotionally checked out of their work life, you may notice a drop in interest in the teamwork, both socially and professionally. Feeling like you belong to the team and are supported by your colleagues is a huge factor in job satisfaction and loyalty.

The idea of ‘belonging’ is a particular issue in the Asia Pacific region. In a survey by Accenture, Asia Pacific came last out of all the areas polled on whether employees feel like they belong at work. The region scored around 10% lower than North America, the UK, and Latin America.

7. Attitude Change

Many people are hired for a new job and begin their new role brimming with enthusiasm, only to discover that the reality does not quite match up to the package they were sold. Employees who feel this way may exhibit a sudden change in attitude, which is a sign they might want to quit.

You need to be aware of the practical signs that your employee is feeling differently about their job. Maybe they used to be first in the morning or always prompt with email responses. Maybe they were highly organized and always made an effort to foster good relationships with their coworkers. If you have an employee that used to exhibit these traits but is now late, disorganized, and withdrawn, an intervention is needed.

8. Secrecy

When employees, unhappy or otherwise, are looking for a new job, a certain amount of secrecy is embedded in the process. If your employees seem to be hiding something or are less open than they were previously, it could be a sign that they want to quit.

Summing Up

If these warning signs are present in your business, it is time to act. You can preempt many of these problems by investing in your workforce and treating them like the valuable asset they are. Top companies such as Google and Microsoft have Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), which help to make their employees feel appreciated, heard, and supported.

At MindFi, we are experts in designing bespoke mental health support for your team. We offer group sharing sessions, 1:1 therapy, and self-help resources to optimize the working life of your employees.

Do any of these warning signs seem familiar to you? Schedule a demo with us today to learn how to keep your employees happy.

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