Even in tough economic times, many workers are constantly on the lookout for greener pastures. As companies are forced to lay off large portions of their workforces, or even close their doors, more and more employees are reporting that their loyalty to their jobs has decreased. Long gone are the days of retiring after 30 years of dedicated service, having a pension and a gold watch waiting as a reward. Some studies report that as many as 84% of employees are regularly on the lookout for a better deal. We’ll keep the “treat your employees right” lecturing to a minimum –we all know how much it costs to lose a treasured member of the team. Here are a few quick, easy ways to see if your key employees are looking to move on.
- Check the job sites. Sounds simple, but most tech-savvy job seekers will post their resumes on sites such as Elance, Odesk, and LinkedIn. A quick search for your industry or the employee’s name will show you who’s hiring, who’s looking, and maybe even the resumes of members of your staff.
- Social media. Take a look at your employees’ blogs, Facebook profiles, Twitter feeds, and again, their LinkedIn pages. See what their general sentiment about their current job is, and note if they seem to be inquiring about employment opportunities. Also keep an eye on what their friends post to their pages or posts. Your employee may be discreet, but chances are a friend or relative will mention something without thinking that you may be watching.
- Search for their info. Google Alerts and Trackur are both great options for keeping an eye on what’s being said about an employee online. Setting up a few saved searches with key details about your most important employees is a great way to keep an eye on things without spending too much time searching.
- Availability and schedule changes. You’ll have to step away from your computer for this one. Is your employee suddenly going to the “dentist” a lot? Spending more time updating their appearance, stepping out often for private phone calls, or repeatedly taking unexpected time off are all signs that someone may be looking to move on.
- Increased Internet usage. Studies show that most workers spend several hours a day online. If usage suddenly spikes or your employee scrambles to minimize windows whenever you approach their desk, you may want to take a look at the sites they’ve been visiting.
Although losing employees can be costly and time consuming, keep in mind that if you can’t make someone happy, it may be best for both parties if you part ways. If you suspect that your top employees may be looking to move on, take a moment to decide if you are ready to lose them. If not, be prepared to spend some time looking at why they want to move on, and what you can do to keep them.