The turnover tsunami is real.

According to the Achievers’ Employee Engagement and Retention Report, 52% of workers plan on looking for new jobs in 2021.

2020 was unfortunately a banner year for team members feeling undervalued, burnt out, and stressed. However, a turbulent economy meant many people stayed in jobs and were scared to move.

Now that job growth is exploding, people are jumping ship and pursuing the opportunities they were too nervous to pursue before.

Turnover is already skyrocketing. This is especially true in the world of tech where there’s a massive skills shortage, but it’s happening in virtually every industry.

The True Cost of Turnover

We all know turnover is bad. But it’s easy to forget just how damaging it is to your organization.

The cost of turnover for one position is estimated to be 1.5 to 2 times the employee’s salary, but that’s just scratching the surface.

Consider the damage it does to your customer experience, company culture, team morale, and so on.

Virtually no aspect of your business is unharmed by turnover – it affects everything.

Let’s take a step further and think about the traditional approach to retention, and why it doesn’t work…

Offering More Money and Perks is Not a Real Solution

Lately, I’ve been interviewing a lot of CHROs for a search. Given that turnover is such a big challenge at present, I’ve been asking these HR leaders for their thoughts on how to best boost retention.

There are really two answers I get from CHROs.

The first answer is offering more money and perks – higher salaries, catered lunches every day, and so forth. Sounds great on paper. Only problem is, it’s virtually useless for alleviating turnover.

When we think about why people quit jobs, it’s never for a free lunch elsewhere. It’s usually not about money either.

Sure, these things might be the last straw to get someone to leave, but if someone is quitting just for a few extra dollars or a free lunch, they were probably unhappy for other reasons.

Qualified candidates know they have a wide range of opportunities. They’re looking WAY beyond the dollars.

They’re looking for something more – and the best CHROs are thinking about how to identify that. Going a step further, they’re strategizing on how to leverage this for retention and attracting talent.

Your Leaders Must Understand Their Teams

The second answer I receive for the CHROs I am currently interviewing digs deeper into actually understanding our individual team members.

Everybody likes a good salary and perks, but for many team members, they’re looking for something more. They’re looking for a connection to their leader, a connection with their team, and they want to work for a company that invests in them beyond their salary.

They’re looking to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They’re looking for a real purpose. And they want to work to make a real impact. Nobody wants to be a pencil pusher.

If you’re SERIOUS about attracting and retaining top talent, the leaders need to work to understand this – and understand their team members.

They need to understand what their team members REALLY want out of their careers and personal lives.

With a real understanding of each team members’ needs, behavioral drives, goals, and blind spots, you can implement tailored solutions to support their success in the workplace.

You can use your power as a leader to make them feel comfortable, supported, and ultimately thrive on your team. To be clear, I’m speaking from experience here.

Our organization used to deal with as much as 40% involuntary turnover year after year. We dealt with this challenge for almost 20 years.

But once we committed to serious leadership development and adopted a talent optimization platform, we slashed that turnover to just 3%.

The impact for our company has been phenomenal. We’re seeing greater revenue, better results for our clients, and a much stronger employee experience.

You Have a Choice

You can let turnover continue to bleed your budget dry while undermining your results, customer experience, employee experience, morale, you name it.

You can continue throwing money at the problem and addressing this challenge with outdated practices like free lunch and foosball tables. OR…you can start taking the problem seriously and develop a real solution.

You can train your leaders on the VITAL importance of understanding each of their team members.

It starts with understanding each of your team members, but the next step is understanding how you can meet their needs BEYOND their salary. The choice is yours.

Fixing turnover is not easy…but it is 100% worth it!