Unexpectedly losing someone in your organization is one way to squash any momentum your firm has accrued during the
usually slower summer months. Team
members who have considered leaving
in the past and have put their career
prospects on hold to take vacations
with their families and/or not make
any big decisions around the upcoming
holiday season will have more tempting offers come their way as firms start
mapping out their human capital needs
If you’re worried about losing staff —
or even if you aren’t — here are 10 signs
and or reasons that a valued team mem-
ber may be looking elsewhere:
• Passed over for a promotion. This
hurts feelings and bruises egos. If some-
one believes they have delivered strong
performance and weren’t recognized for
what they feel they have earned, then
they will look for a firm that will pro-
vide increased responsibilities, compen-
sation and professional growth — and
they will not have to look far as this is
new hiring season. This also is a rea-
son to clearly state the expectations
and requirements for promotions ahead
of time so staff knows what skills are
needed in the position.
• Leaving work earlier more frequently. Potentially to interview with
other firms and/or utilize their health
and PTO benefits before losing them.
• Acting like they have something
to hide. Most effective financial plan-
ners are skilled at reading people as
that is what you do with your clients
every day — thus they know how to
tailor advice to take action. Also watch
for reductions in communication with
existing team members e.g. not going
out to lunch any longer, etc.
• Low engagement. Could be in
many forms, but usually less willingness
to step up and take things on and not
suggesting innovative ideas.
• Reduced productivity. Easy to
spot if a team member was previously a high performer. Quantity
and overall quality of work product
• Negative attitude. Could be in
the form of initiating and/or increasing friction with existing team members because they know they won’t be
there much longer to have to deal with
• Less interested in pleasing cli-ents/manager. Missing deadlines, giving clients subpar service and reducing
communication with manager. Or,
increase of sarcastic comments about
work, company, clients, and other
• Hesitant to commit to long term
timelines. Because most people gen-
erally do not want to cause excessive
harm, above and beyond their leaving, to
the organization, they feel guilty when
projects with timelines that extend
beyond their departure date are being
discussed. In these cases, they will be
vague, noncommittal, and try to avoid
being put on the spot.
• Lost Enthusiasm for mission of
firm. B.B. King said it best in his 1969
song, “The Thrill is Gone”. As people’s
careers progress and lives change, their
needs change, as do the firm’s as well.
They find themselves no longer excited about what the company stands for,
where the firm is going, etc. We frequently take calls from candidates all
over the country who have become disenchanted with their firm’s high minimums
due to their desire to want to serve previously un(der)served populations.
•Had a major life change.
Substantial life changes often impedes
logical thinking and cause people to
make poor decisions. A firm we represent shared that one of their employees
resigned to take a month off to tend to a
new home purchase.
Finally, if none of these are clearly
visible, but you sense something is not
right, trust your gut and challenge yourself to take a closer look at what might
Next article, I’ll address what actions
to take if you have a team member about
to jump ship.
Caleb Brown is a past chairman of FPA
NextGen and partner in New Planner
Recruiting LLC. He can be reached at
THE NEW SCHOOL
By Caleb Brown
Is an Employee Ready to Jump Ship?
Watch Out for These Signs
The thrill might be gone for some staff members who are ready to move on.
Stay alert to these potential actions so you can be prepared.