Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Checking Out

I have long maintained that once an employee begins seriously looking for a new job, he or she has already resigned from his current position.   Once the employee has posted an application and accepted an interview with another company, he already works there.  At the very least, he no longer works for his current company.  All that remains is for the new employer to make it official.

There's no fault in that - today's career path in anything but a straight trajectory.  My old boss used to say, "you've got to move to improve."  It's OK for people to quit.  They just shouldn't drag down the team on their long, slow departure.

I have seen the pattern repeated time and time again.  People show signs of checking out long before they actually leave.  They come in late, they avoid team activities, they miss deadlines and exhibit many other behaviours that are unexpectedly out of character, or widely divergent from the employee you once knew.  They appear to be disengaged.  It is a rare person who can keep his head in the game until the final hour.

Biz Magazine, published by Town Media, in their 2014 Q1 issue published these "tips and tricks" to spotting a "job hopper" within your own organization:

  • A noticeable change in attitude (formerly enthusiastic, now indifferent)
  • Long lunch breaks and frequent absences (no longer invested, going on job interviews)
  • Missed deadlines and increased errors (lost interest)
  • More professional attire (dressing up for a job interview at lunch)
  • A drop in productivity (gradually disconnecting from the job)
The astute manager recognizes these signs and acts with respect in the best interest of his customers and his company and frankly, the departing employee himself.

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