Huntsman Alumni Magazine

Spring 2014

Research Finds Top Ten Cues Employees Give Before They Quit

Tim GardnerEmployees who start taking more vacation time, punching out at 5 p.m. every day, and looking at outside openings on company time aren’t necessarily the ones about to leave.

Management professor Tim Gardner’s research, receiving wide media coverage, looked at employee turnover and found some surprising indications of employees who are about to leave.

Gardner discovered that the one thing most employees had in common before they left was that they began to “disengage” in the workplace. So the next time you observe your employees reluctant to commit to long-term projects, not care about advancement in the organization, offer fewer constructive contributions in team meetings, avoid social interactions with management, or become less interested in training and development programs, beware. You just might lose them.

“It appears that a person’s attitude can create behaviors that are hard to disguise,” Dr. Gardner said. “As the grass starts to look greener on the other side of the fence to you, chances are that others will soon notice that you’ve lost your focus.”