Signs A Team Member Is Leaving

The best leaders  provide stability and encouragement to their teams and know the signs when individuals are planning to leave..

The “leaving” we talking about here is not the expected attrition or change that comes as people grow enough to take on new responsibilities. 

Nor when they desire to expand their knowledge by exploring new areas of interest.  Instead, this is about when the behavior of one member begins harming the team.

When an individual behaves in ways that interfere with the ability of other team members to complete the mission they are signaling their intent to leave.

In short, consistent acting outside team norms erode trust and a leader concerned for their team cannot leave this unaddressed for long.

3 Signs that a team member is leaving

1) Shared values are no longer shared:

The core of every team is made up of the shared values of each team member.  While the level of commitment to a particular value (integrity, respect, empathy, etc..) may vary across the team, when a team member is found contradicting the teams’ values, they lose influence and become less effective.

Likely, they will begin looking for a new team that aligns more closely to their new values.  Helping them find their way can be positive for them, the existing team, and the new group they may join.

Having core values in common is foundational to team stability and productivity because it gets to the intrinsic motivation of people.

2) Unethical Behavior

Building trust between team members requires 100% ethical behavior.  Trust is built daily, but can be lost completely in a day.   When a team member steals, cheats, or looks to take advantage of others through manipulation they will not be able to maintain followership. Simply put, when people will no longer follow them, they are no longer the leader.

3) Missing Positive energy

Only people with positive energy can effectively lead a team consistently over time.   Work is difficult enough without someone siphoning fuel out of the tank.  Everyone has a bad day, but every day should not be bad.  Our responsibility as leaders is to positively influence others to action, provide encouragement, and make their load a little lighter when we can.

Could it be that if a person on our team consistently makes our work harder than it should be that perhaps they are not on our team after all?

What do you think?