You spend ample time (and money) recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and training each employee as they walk through your company doors.

Then, out of the blue, the dreaded resignation letter makes its way to your desk.

If retention is a struggle at your company, your employee engagement strategy might be the culprit. Discover the warning signs of unengaged employees and learn how to bring them back from the brink.

You’re Not Alone

Gallup found that unengaged employees cost companies $3,400 for every $10,000 of that employee’s salary. In total, that adds up to $605 billion per year in lost profits for U.S. companies. That number stems from wasted time, decreased productivity, missed opportunities and ultimately, the cost of replacing employees.

The Writing on the Wall

When employers know the warning signs of an unengaged employee, they are better prepared to take action. Here are five warning signs to be on the lookout for, and what to do about them.

  • They don’t have a clear career path

Employees want to grow in their careers. According to Glassdoor, one main driver of job satisfaction is the employee’s ability to progress in their career. If employees are routinely passed over for promotions or aren’t getting more responsibility, they are more likely to search for a new position.

Develop a career path for each role and employee. If there are clear steps an employee can take to rise through the ranks, let them know what those steps are and how to work towards them.

Conduct regular performance reviews with employees to lay out these career paths. When employees have regular conversations about expected benchmarks to meet, they’re more likely to feel valued by their employer, and excited about the next project or goal.

  • They aren’t getting paid enough

When was the last time your company did a compensation audit? There are plenty of free tools available (like this Glassdoor “Know Your Worth” calculator) that employers can use to determine whether salaries need an adjustment.

Here’s a hard truth: many employees already use these types of tools to gauge their salaries on their own. If their paycheck doesn’t align with the market rate, don’t be surprised if they give their notice.

  • They don’t see eye to eye with the company culture

Sad Employee with Sign

We all want to belong. If employees are clashing with co-workers and skipping out on fun company events, they may not be assimilating to the company culture. If an employee’s negative energy is impacting the rest of their team, they’re not only showing signs of being unengaged, but bringing down the rest of the employee base as well.

Conduct employee surveys and ask specific questions about how company culture can be improved, and act upon the suggestions. Employee dissatisfaction could stem from something as simple as wanting a 15-minute afternoon break or more casual work attire.

  • They’re absent more often

Just like skipping class in high school, employees will skip out on work if they aren’t engaged each day. Gallup studies show unengaged workers have 37 percent higher absenteeism at work.

Communicate attendance policies proactively from day one and have a conversation with employees when they aren’t meeting attendance expectations. Maybe they have switched childcare providers and would appreciate more flexibility in the mornings or the ability to work from home. Don’t assume, and be flexible if there are realistic alternatives available.

  • Their quality of work is slipping

If productivity has decreased or employees aren’t enthusiastic about helping customers or co-workers, you may have an unengaged employee on your hands.

Take time to work one-on-one with employees to build up their performance. With more frequent check-ins, managers can maintain a pulse on workload and goals and make faster adjustments as necessary.

Learn more about how a strong employee onboarding program can help improve employee engagement at your company with the Why Implementing a Strong Onboarding Program For Your Organization is Crucial Guide.