Half of your employees are thinking about leaving. Here's how to retain them.

More than half of employees are looking for new job opportunities, according to Gallup's 2017 State of the American Workplace report.

For many employees, finding a new job opportunity means leaving their current organization, Ryan Pendell writes for Gallup. In fact, 91% of employees report that their last job change came with an organization change, he adds.

When 50% of your employees have one foot out of the door, leaders have to ensure their star employees are engaged, he writes. Pendell highlights five mistakes leaders make when trying to retain their top performers.

1: You don't illuminate the path for internal growth

Leaders who excel at developing high-potential individuals don't necessarily prioritize retention. Instead, great leaders accept that talented individuals restlessly seek new opportunities to grow, Pendell writes.

But if your star performers aren't aware of the growth opportunities within the firm, they're likely to look elsewhere, he warns. 

2: Your career conversations are uninspiring

Career conversations that only focus on promotions and pay raises can come off as "narrow and uninspiring," writes Kim Scott, a leadership expert. Personalized career conversations feel more meaningful and engaging, so ask your employees what their professional development goals are, Pendell notes.

Related: To retain top talent, managers matter

3: Your employees don't understand what's at stake

Your team may not know what they stand to lose if they leave your organization, Pendell writes. To refresh your employees' memory, remind them of the unique opportunities and benefits that your firm offers, he suggests.

4: Your recognition style doesn't feel genuine

A lack of positive feedback is one common reason employees leave. But recognizing good work isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. To give meaningful feedback, ask your employees what type of recognition makes them feel most valued, Pendell writes.

5: You don't hold stay interviews

Don't wait until your employee's last day to get a sense of how they feel about their career path, he warns. Instead, hold regularly scheduled "stay interviews" that help you maintain insight into your employee's challenges and future career plans, he recommends (Pendell, Gallup, 12/5).

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