There’s a silent killer of your profitability. It’s not obvious like wasted benefits and it’s not a glaring hole like inefficient processes. It sneaks into your organization when you expect it least and kills your team from the inside out draining your best people and soaking your resources and if you work in healthcare, it’s ruining patient care. The silent killer choking out your profitability is none other than employee turnover you have no one but you to blame.

The old adage that people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers has never been truer than it is today. It’s truly a job seeker’s market and when employees don’t feel valued, they’re quick to find a new company who will show them the value they crave and most of the time, that has very little to do with monetary compensation. If we want to stop this silent killer before it robs us of our best key talent, we had better act quickly and it starts with changing the way we operate.

Using healthcare as an example, turnover is expensive. It costs about $50,000 to replace an STNA. That’s a lot of money considering how quickly that position turns over. It’s even more expensive to replace an RN as most studies show that it costs about twice as much, or $100,000. An STNA here and nurse or two there, and soon you’re talking about some real money! Enough that it’s already cutting into an ever-shrinking bottom line. The number one reason people in healthcare give for changing jobs? Their immediate supervisor.

This is the problem. As long as you’re promoting supervisors based on seniority and technical skill, you will always have a turnover problem. ALWAYS. Just as being a great baseball player seldom translates into being a great baseball manager, great nurses seldom transition into being great supervisors. The skill sets that make one great in one area, aren’t what’s required in the other. We’re setting people up to fail from the very beginning and the results come out in red ink bleeding on the balance sheet. We need fewer managers and more leaders. We need supervisors who are skilled with people, not just skilled supervisors. We either need to train our managers to lead or completely change how we promote them, to begin with.

The biggest threat to the financial health of an organization is not being able to retain key talent. In another era, we could fire those who couldn’t get along, punish those who didn’t want to play nice and reward those who simply showed up. That era has passed. In the era of sub 3% unemployment, companies can’t afford to be as choosey as they once were and manager have to adapt or die. This is why we absolutely must give them the tools to produce results and build people. It’s why we absolutely must begin building our bench of leaders who can engage their teammates. Employee turnover is the silent killer of profitability and we’d better act before it’s too late.