5 signs employees are ready to bolt

People rarely leave their jobs unannounced. They may not use words, but in one way or another, they typically signal their intention to leave. Watch for these key indicators—and then be ready to sit down with the employee to discuss future work plans.

1. A shift in attitude. Employees who have decided they are “short-timers” may take on a devil-may-care attitude and show less concern about long-term matters.

2. Clamped-down communication. In trying to conceal one thing—a job hunt, or a better offer—employees often cut back on how much they talk about everything.

3. More frequent absences. A sudden change in a long-term attendance pattern—especially a change marked by morning, afternoon or lunchtime absences—may signal that an employee has scheduled daytime interviews.

4. Improvement in grooming or dress. There’s nothing wrong with employees improving their appearance. But if they arrive unusually well-dressed and take off part of the day, they may have an appointment where they’re trying to make a good impression—perhaps on a potential new boss.

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5. Major life change. Whether it’s a new baby, marriage or divorce, big moments in life can also serve as a precursor to job hopping.