10 Warning Signs an Employee Is About to Quit (and How to Prevent It)

Employee turnover can have significant implications for businesses, including decreased productivity, increased costs, and loss of valuable talent.

Recognizing the warning signs that an employee may be on the verge of quitting is crucial for employers to take proactive measures to address their concerns and prevent turnover.

Why Do People Quit Their Jobs?

Before delving into the warning signs, it’s important to understand the reasons why employees decide to leave their jobs. Lack of growth opportunities, poor work-life balance, and inadequate compensation are common factors that contribute to employee resignations.

Warning Signs Your Employee Is About to Quit

Warning Signs an Employee Is About to QuitDelayed Email Responses

One warning sign that an employee may be contemplating resignation is consistently delayed email responses. This could indicate disengagement and reduced commitment to the job.

The Resignation of a Close Colleague

Another red flag to watch out for is the resignation of a close colleague. This can create a ripple effect, leading to decreased morale and increased dissatisfaction among remaining employees.

Increased Activity on LinkedIn

If you notice a sudden surge in an employee’s LinkedIn activity, such as updating their profile, connecting with recruiters, or engaging in job-related discussions, it could be an indication that they are actively searching for new job opportunities.

Attitude Change Toward Work

A noticeable change in attitude, such as increased negativity, disinterest, or lack of enthusiasm, may signal dissatisfaction and potential resignation.

Decrease in Active Participation

When an employee’s active participation in team meetings, brainstorming sessions, or social activities declines, it could be a sign of disengagement and waning commitment to the organization.

Emotional Outbursts

Frequent emotional outbursts or uncharacteristic behavior can be a manifestation of mounting frustration and dissatisfaction with the job.

Lower Productivity

A significant decrease in an employee’s productivity and quality of work may indicate disengagement and lack of motivation.

A Major Life Event

Significant personal life events, such as a marriage, relocation, or illness, can trigger a reassessment of priorities and potentially lead to an employee considering resignation.

Taking More Vacation Days Than Normal

If an employee starts taking more vacation days than usual or frequently extends their absences, it could be a sign of burnout or dissatisfaction with work.

Refusal to Accept New Roles

An employee’s reluctance to take on new responsibilities or refusal to participate in professional development opportunities may indicate a lack of career growth and a potential desire to seek opportunities elsewhere.

Isolation at Work

If an employee becomes increasingly isolated, avoiding social interactions and engagement with colleagues, it may indicate a growing disconnection from the workplace.

Lack of Interest in Long-term Projects

A decreased interest in long-term projects or a lack of motivation to contribute to the organization’s future initiatives can be a warning sign of an employee contemplating resignation.

Lack of Interest in Self-Development

If an employee shows disinterest in self-development opportunities, such as training programs or workshops, it may indicate a lack of motivation and potential readiness to explore new opportunities outside the organization.

Lack of Interest in Career Advancement

Employees who demonstrate a lack of interest in career advancement opportunities within the organization may be considering resignation as they perceive limited growth prospects.

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How to Avoid the Resignation of an Employee About to Quit

To prevent the resignation of an employee who is showing signs of leaving, consider the following strategies:

  1. Offer Development Opportunities: Provide growth opportunities, such as training programs, mentoring, and stretch assignments, to demonstrate your commitment to their professional advancement.
  2. Foster a Positive Work Environment: Create a supportive and inclusive work environment that values open communication, recognizes achievements, and promotes work-life balance.
  3. Regular Check-ins and Feedback: Engage in regular check-ins to understand employee concerns, provide constructive feedback, and address any performance issues promptly.
  4. Address Workload and Burnout: Regularly assess workload distribution, ensure work-life balance, and address any signs of burnout promptly. Provide resources and support to help employees manage their tasks effectively.
  5. Recognize and Reward Employees: Recognize and appreciate employees’ contributions through rewards, incentives, and opportunities for career growth to enhance their job satisfaction.

Few examples of companies known for their successful employee retention efforts:

  1. how to retain employees about to quit


    Google is renowned for its employee-friendly culture and comprehensive benefits package. The company offers attractive perks, such as free meals, on-site gyms, and generous parental leave policies.
    Google also invests in professional development programs and encourages a supportive work environment, contributing to high employee retention rates.

  2. Salesforce:

    Salesforce prioritizes employee well-being and engagement through initiatives like wellness programs, flexible work options, and a strong emphasis on work-life balance.
    The company also focuses on career growth opportunities and provides avenues for employees to contribute to meaningful projects, creating a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

  3. Microsoft:

    Microsoft implements various retention strategies, including promoting internal career mobility, investing in employee development programs, and fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. The company also emphasizes work-life balance and provides comprehensive benefits to support its employees.

  4. Southwest Airlines:

    Southwest Airlines is recognized for its employee-centric culture and dedication to employee satisfaction.
    The company offers competitive compensation, extensive training programs, and opportunities for advancement within the organization.
    Southwest also prioritizes a positive work environment and encourages open communication among employees.

  5. Zappos:

    Zappos places a strong emphasis on company culture and employee engagement.
    The company focuses on hiring individuals who align with their core values and offers unique benefits such as free lunches, on-site fitness classes, and a fun and supportive work environment.
    Zappos also provides opportunities for personal and professional growth, contributing to high employee retention rates.

  6. Patagonia:

    Patagonia is known for its commitment to environmental sustainability and employee well-being.
    The company offers a flexible work environment, encourages a healthy work-life balance, and provides employees with opportunities to engage in outdoor activities.
    Patagonia also supports its employees’ personal growth and social activism efforts.


By recognizing the warning signs that an employee is about to quit and taking proactive measures to address their concerns, employers can foster a positive work environment, retain valuable talent, and reduce turnover.

Remember, open communication, empathy, and investment in employee growth and development are essential in building a committed and engaged workforce.

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Why is it important to recognize these warning signs?

Recognizing warning signs allows employers to take proactive measures to address employee concerns and prevent resignations.

By identifying these signs early on, employers have the opportunity to improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.


Is it possible to retain an employee who has already shown signs of quitting?

Yes, it is possible to retain employees who have shown signs of quitting. By addressing their concerns, providing support, and offering opportunities for growth and development, employers can demonstrate their commitment to their employees’ well-being and professional advancement, which may increase the likelihood of retaining them.


How important is communication in preventing employee resignations?

Communication plays a crucial role in preventing employee resignations. Open and transparent communication channels allow employees to express their concerns, provide feedback, and feel heard and valued.

Regular check-ins, team meetings, and one-on-one discussions can help address issues promptly and foster a positive work environment.


Should employers be concerned about employees searching for job opportunities on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn?

While employees exploring job opportunities on platforms like LinkedIn is not uncommon, it can serve as a warning sign that they are actively seeking new challenges or dissatisfied with their current position.

Employers should take note and assess ways to improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and growth within the organization.


Can offering development opportunities really make a difference in retaining employees?

Yes, offering development opportunities can significantly impact employee retention. It demonstrates that employers value their employees’ growth and invest in their professional advancement.

By providing training, mentorship, and opportunities to learn new skills, employees are more likely to feel fulfilled, engaged, and motivated to stay with the organization.


Are there any specific resources or tools available to help employers prevent employee resignations?

Yes, there are various resources and tools available to assist employers in preventing employee resignations.

These can include employee engagement surveys, performance management software, employee recognition programs, and professional development platforms.


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