In today’s episode, host John Laurito shares 5 signs that mean someone in your organization is about to quit. An employee quitting on you and your business is not something any leader would want, most especially if that employee is among your top performers. So listen to this episode, learn what the signs are before it’s too late to try and talk it out with that employee.
[0:20] The dreaded thing for a leader
[1:17] What are the signs?
[2:31] Their patterns change
[4:10] They stop asking questions
[6:00] They stop contributing to meetings
[6:34] They’re not as available to you
[7:30] They stop being combative and challenging
[9:02] The easiest thing you can do is to ask
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader!
John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito, your host.
John OK, so today we’re going to talk about a dreaded thing for a leader. And I’ve been there many, many, many, many, many, many times with this. It’s that moment when somebody walks into your office or they call you or they texture or they email you and say, Hey, I’ve got to talk about something. Hey, do you have a minute? And you just, you know, it’s not going to be good. And in some cases, they have something in their hand, a sheet of paper, a letter. And you know what’s coming? And it’s a resignation. Now there are some times where that resignation might be welcome. I’ll be honest, but there are many times where that is the most painful thing for a leader to hear when you have a great person that is resigning and leaving your organization.
John So today I want to talk about what are the signs because there are signs every time I’ve lost somebody, even the ones that I said, You know what? I just this came out of left field. I thought back, I look back and I said, You know what? Know there were signs I just didn’t see them or didn’t pay attention to them, and I didn’t look closely enough. Or maybe I did, but I just subconsciously turned a blind eye to it. I just ignored it. But when I thought back, I’m like, There were signs. So I want to share those with you. What are the signs?
John What are five signs that somebody is about to leave your organization? Because very rarely do one of these side sides, if not many of them show up. If you look closely, you pay attention. So let’s talk about these. And then in the next episode, yes, I’m gonna do this as a two-parter. So this is going to be part one. It’s going to be a little teaser because, in part two, I’m going to tell you what to do about it.
John How do you save that person? I didn’t get that person to stay with you that you don’t want to lose. So let’s talk about the five things. And these are in no particular order by any means. But let me start off with really just the basic premise that anything and then I’ll go into some specifics. But here’s reason number one, their patterns change. Now that’s a broad statement, but I mean, just any kind of pattern or something. People don’t just randomly change their patterns of how they do things. Something triggers that could be an emotional state, could be a decision they’re making. Could be something they’re wrestling with. Could be some stimulus from the outside, whatever something is changing their pattern could be health related, whatever. But there’s a reason why people start to do things differently.
John And when I say pattern, it’s anything. It’s their routine. It’s how they are acting. It’s how they respond to certain situations. It’s how they communicate. Literally, it’s anything that’s a pattern. We all have patterns of how we do every single part of our life, and we become predictable to an extent. You know, your personality doesn’t change overnight. The way you handle situations doesn’t change overnight. These are all patterns of how we deal with people and how we deal with situations. So as a leader, if I see anything that’s a change in a pattern that’s a red flag, something is going on. It could be that this person is just having a bad day. It could be something bigger than that, something personal to go on. And it could be that they’re the topic of this present this podcast and that they are thinking or they’re close to making the decision to leave your organization. This would cause a change in their patterns. OK, that’s number one. Anything that you see that changes could be what time they come in. It could be how they deal with you, communicate whatever it is, their attitude, something is different now.
John Let me go through some specific examples. These are things that I have seen with many people. So this is number two. Number two is that they stop asking questions. OK, so any time somebody in your organization and I’ve just say their participation and they’re seeking to understand certain things, and that’s always a part of somebody who’s successful. They’ve got an inquisitive mind. They’re trying to understand things. They’re asking questions about, Hey, what if we do this? What do we do that they’re throwing out ideas if they stop doing that or do that significantly less? That’s a sign that somebody is leaving. I remember somebody that I had who was excellent. This was a leader that was underneath me for a period of time and they were very inquisitive. Like, would ask question, question, question, question. And then one day I noticed that they stopped. It was almost like they either figured everything out or they just lost interest one or the other. And I know they didn’t figure it out. Something’s going on. It wasn’t positive. Thankfully, I was able to dive in and had a conversation with that person. I said, Hey, is something going on? Is everything OK?
John I mean, you don’t even have to be masterful at how you say it, but just if you check in on the person and say, Hey, I got to be honest, I’ve noticed something and noticed a change. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel like there’s something going on, am I totally off base? Or is that correct? Is there something that we need to talk about? I’m here to help. What I care about you. Is there something that I can help with? More times than not, that person will open up. It’s hard for them sometimes to initiate that. But if you go to them, that’s an open door, and a lot of times you get that person talking and you may have to do that more than once. But that’s reason number two. They stop asking questions. Stop having that curious mind. That’s number two.
John Number three is they stop contributing in meetings overall. So when you have team meetings and group meetings, you can kind of tell they’re disengaging. I saw this recently with somebody who ultimately did leave their organization where this person just kind of was always very interactive, very much contributor in a meeting. And then all of a sudden and this person stopped. And sure enough, they may they were in the process of making a decision to move to different organizations. So that is, sign number three sign number four is that they’re not quite as available to you anymore. So, for example, I’ve seen this before where they might cancel or one on one now again, every once in a while, that’s going to happen. But that would always just prompt something in my mind that, OK, there something’s going on. Maybe it’s a conflict. Maybe it’s something. But if they’re doing it repeatedly and they’ve not been doing that again, this goes back to the pattern. But if they’re missing meetings or rescheduling meetings or just canceling meetings, and they’re not available to me.
John So if I’m trying to get a hold of them or I’m trying to schedule some time with them, and it’s a little harder than it normally would be, and it’s not due to work circumstances that would justify that. That, to me, is a red flag, that something that’s happening, that something’s happening. So that is number four. Number five is they also stop being combative and challenging and they stop being having conflict with you. So I think that’s very healthy for somebody in your organization, especially in a player, to push back, to really challenge, to look at things from a different angle to really kind of pull things apart and play devil’s advocate. I mean, that’s a really valuable person on your team when they stop doing that, and that’s a sign that they’re thinking about leaving. They just don’t care anymore. You know, that’s really what’s going on in their mind. You know, what am I going to be here? I’m looking, I’m going elsewhere. I’ve already got an offer. I don’t even care anymore. I’m not going to. I’m not going to challenge them. I’m not going to push back. That’s a dangerous sign, right? OK, so let’s go back to the beginning. Patterns that encompass anything. It could be somebody that is usually, you know, in the office or working every single day, and all of a sudden they’re taking a lot of time off.
John Granted, I’m a big believer you’ve got to recharge about or take time off. But if it’s not something that, again, if your gut tells you, something’s off. Maybe it wasn’t really planned. It was sudden. You know, that could be something. It could be nothing. But it also could be something, and it might be worth at least keeping an eye on. Now your radar is up, they are looking, and you just kind of open the scene. If there’s some other signs or patterns that might indicate, OK, this person is on a different path than they were before mentally. So let me have a conversation with them. And again, the easiest thing in the world you can do is just have a conversation and ask somebody if you’re wrong, you’re wrong. But they’re still going to appreciate you asking. That’s a great thing. So if I said to somebody, Hey, you know what? I could be way off base on this, but I’ve noticed a few things that make me concerned and make me just want to ask if everything’s OK. I noticed that you really were very quiet in the last couple of leadership meetings we had. You’re normally really participative and you’ve been very quiet. Is there something that’s going on? It makes me think that there is an obviously I want to ask and if there is, I’d love to talk about it. So what’s on your mind? They’ll tell you.
John I mean, again, if there’s nothing you know, hey, you know, just had a bad day. Whatever this and that, there’s still going to appreciate you having the conversation and you asking, OK, it just shows you care. OK, so those are five signs that somebody could be leaving. We’re going to talk in the next episode about how to change that course, how to keep them. You’re going to win that every time, but sometimes if you do the right things, take the right steps. You will be able to keep your players. I’ve done it many, many times, and I’ll share with you how.
John OK, so tune in to the next episode. It will be coming on in the. A day or two days, it’ll be coming out. So stay tuned or it’s already out. Who knows? I don’t know when you’re listening to this. As always, like subscribe, share and go down below, give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody.
John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me, your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks. Lead on.