How should I handle employees who call in sick often? originally appeared on Quora--the knowledge-sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Brett Fox, EIR at Crosslink Capital, on Quora:

I had an employee who consistently left the office at 7 p.m. or later. Her attitude was great, and she was contributing to the company.

Then we went through a rough patch. Suddenly, she was leaving every day at 5:30 p.m.

I instantly knew she was likely looking for another job.

Sure enough, she resigned a month later.

The signs of trouble with your employees are always there if you look closely enough. And, the longer you wait, the less likely you are to save the employee.

You have to be vigilant about your culture at all times.

Employees, in my experience, have usually made up their mind when they resign. It's become an emotional issue, and it's tough to overcome emotion.

My view is simply, "Don't let employees get to the point where they want to quit."

So, how do you keep your employees from leaving?

Employee retention starts with hiring the right people.

For me, I am always looking for individuals who have the following traits:

  1. Integrity
  2. Smarts
  3. Passion
  4. Fits the company culture

I get myself in trouble every single time I deviate from this list. Next ...

Create a relationship with your team built on trust.

Trust is a two-way street. You can't expect your employees to trust you unless you trust your employees.

Trusting your employees doesn't mean you don't have goals, objectives, and the ability to check and monitor what's going on. Trusting your employees does mean that you give your employees the freedom make decisions and solve problems. Next ...

Build your trust-based culture from day one (in the good times), so you can sustain the inevitable bad times.

Almost every company goes through tough times. And that's when you need your employees to trust you and follow you.

You stand a much better chance of your employees standing with you if you are building your culture during the good times.

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Published on: Dec 22, 2016