“In June of 2021, 74% of employees said they experience burnout on the job at least sometimes.”

I read this statistic in a recent Gallup article, and I am frustrated that some leaders (apparently way too many) are still failing to give their employees what they need. The Great Resignation isn’t over. 11.5 million U.S. workers quite their jobs in Q2 2021.

Let’s calculate the cost of this. Builtin.com estimates the cost to replace an hourly employee is $1500 USD–personally I think this is on the low end, but let’s go with it. If all 11.5 million workers were hourly employees (ahem, highly unlikely), the current employee exodus cost companies 17 billion 250 million dollars in only three months! Unreal! The cost to replace a salaried employee is estimated at 1.5 to 2 times a person’s salary.  So, if you lost only two salaried employees during Q2 who each were making $65,000 per year, it just cost the company a minimum of $195,000.

There is a way to stop the bleeding.

Leaders need to provide for the three psychological needs every employee has to get the pay-off of employee loyalty and engagement.

Autonomy. Employees want to create positive change through their work. Allow employees to be in control of their individual contributions so that they can do so. Tune into each employee’s strengths and encourage them to use those strengths. Promote psychological safety by giving permission to get to the goal in the way that makes sense to that individual employee.

Competence. Employees want to do good work. They want to perform well. They want to produce positive results. So, set them up for success. Provide opportunities to grow, learn, and master skills. Cultivate psychological safety by providing latitude for mistake-making.

Relatedness. Employees want to know they are part of something bigger than themselves, and they do it best when they are connected to the whole. Make human connection part of the way you lead. Create opportunities for your team members to connect with each other, and open yourself up to stronger connections with the people you lead. Build a psychologically safe space where everyone’s ideas are heard and respected.

(For deeper understanding and tips on the three psychological needs, click here: Autonomy, Competence, Relatedness.)