EdgeNetworksExpert Speak Watch out for these signs! Employee flight risk ahead…

Watch out for these signs! Employee flight risk ahead…

Employees are your business, and your bottom-line.

Today, everybody understands the high impact associated with ‘employee flight risk.’ However, identifying the factors or precursors isn’t always easy. If we know where to look, there are common warning signs we can identify and subsequently adopt measures to prevent.

It is important for organizations to understand that flight risk is a curve instead of a single point in time. This allows the organization to pinpoint when intervention is optimal, and can save the most employees and the most money.

Red flags

Sometimes there’s not much we can do to change the employee’s mind. But it is crucial for the HR function to keep an eye on such behaviour and patterns so that no one is caught by surprise.

On the other hand, a well-timed and honest conversation with such an individual may help uncover causes for grievance – look for ways to delve deeper into the issues – and design interventions to effect change for the better.

Here we present some common warning signs that the HR function must examine carefully:

Changed behaviour

HR must watch for negative changes in a high-performing employee’s work behaviour and habits. These could range from general disengagement from company activities, dissatisfaction over policies and issues, or a sudden ‘I don’t care attitude.’   This may be a good time for someone from the HR team to reach out to the employee and ask for feedback to understand why the employee is feeling unhappy or dissatisfied.

Payslip downloads

It has been observed that multiple pay slip downloads and visits to the exit policy (usually housed on the corporate intranet) have a link to indicate employee flight risk. By tracking such actions and using predictive metrics, the HR function can forecast flight risk in the workforce.

Keeping odd hours

Exploring new jobs/ opportunities outside the organization takes time, so if a previously reliable employee suddenly keeps taking time off, leaves early, comes in late, this could be a red flag. The erratic timings may be due to job interviews he/ she is attending, or using up remaining paid time before moving on. HR may decide at this stage to speak with the interview or plan to hire someone new.

Change in employee survey scores

Significant changes in employee survey scores impact productivity. This predictive metric determines the correlation between productivity and employee survey scores. It then forecasts when major change in the scores will positively or negatively impact a team’s productivity and retention.

 Negative attitude

A noticeable change in an employee’s attitude is something that must be considered seriously. When a high performing employee who is positive, collaborative and cheerful, suddenly becomes visibly negative and begins complaining a lot – HR must reach out to find what is amiss. This could range from disenchantment with the organization, team or manager. Constant complaining or negativity could also rub off on other employees. Hence, this is a red flag for HR to take note of and act upon.


None of us like to be caught by surprise and these red flags are a starting point to dig deeper.

 HR Analytics is often used by organizations to predict flight risk and help design interventions. Predictive metrics are often part of a first step toward the data-driven talent management route to address flight risk in organizations and design interventions to effect change for the better.

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