signs your top employees may be looking for jobs

After taking the time and energy to groom an employee into a top performer, finding a two-week’s notice letter on your desk can be a devastating blow.

And it happens somewhere every day. Approximately 1.7 million people quit their jobs each month in search of better opportunities. In today’s more fluid job market, many of these transitions are outside of your control.

You may not be able to stop someone from moving on, but you can at least be aware of signs that top employees are considering their options so you’ll have more time to be prepared.

Here are 5 warning signs your company’s top performers might be looking to jump ship.

1. Productivity Has Decreased

If your once dedicated and eager leaders are suddenly missing deadlines or turning in sloppy work, it’s a huge red flag. Employees who have lost enthusiasm for the job likely don’t plan on being around long enough to deal with the repercussions.

2. Personal Days and Sick Days Have Increased

If personal time off and absences are suddenly at an all-time high without explanation, it may be a sign your top performers are interviewing at another company.

Cue the fake coughs and family emergencies.

3. Their Attire Has Changed

If employees usually dress business casual but have started dressing a little nicer, take note. There’s a good chance they’ve gotten dressed up to impress a potential new boss at their lunchtime interview.They’re dressing for the job they want, not the one they have.

4. They’re More Active on Social Media

If you’re starting to suspect some of your leaders are getting ready to leave, an easy way to confirm your suspicions is by checking their social media pages. Have they made extensive updates to their LinkedIn profile recently? Do they have new Facebook friends from other companies? If so, there’s a good chance they’re taking interviews.

5. Their Attitude Has Changed

Did you and your leaders once have a great rapport, but suddenly, they seem to be dodging you?Employees who are preparing to leave will often show their hand by isolating themselves from their coworkers.

They’ve already mentally checked out, so avoiding socializing with others is going to save them the trouble of having to act like everything is fine. If you see your employees are starting to avoid social interaction, keep the lines of communication open. Reach out to them and find out what’s making them unhappy.

When high performers sense there is no next step for them or they feel their contributions no longer matter, the frustration can build to a breaking point.

This is why it’s crucial to proactively keep your top performers engaged and help them plan a future career path at your company. If high turnover seems to be a pattern, it could be a sign of a larger issue.

In the end, however, some job transitions are inevitable. If an employee has made up his or her mind to move to another company, it’s difficult to convince that person to stay. Your best defense is to have a strong succession management process in place to identify your next leaders before you need to find a replacement. OnPoint has helped small, mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies create strong succession management programs that include training and development for high-potential employees.

For more information on how to keep your current leaders engaged and build a strong bench of future leaders, check out our blog.