Should Your Organization be Conducting Stay Interviews?

Should Your Organization be Conducting Stay Interviews?

As leaders in Talent Optimization, we are often posing the question “Why do people leave?”

We’ll mention the four forces of disengagement. We’ll stress the importance of flexibility. We’ll cite the latest research on what CEOs are saying.

But maybe the better question is ‘Why do people stay?”

Implementing regular “stay interviews” with your top performers can be a key to uncovering why they continue to stay at their organization and how to retain them long-term. The benefit of conducting stay interviews to be able to address continue offering the benefits and type of work that energizes employees as well as address any frustrations before they eventually become dealbreakers.

The most effective “stay interviews” exist when there is a high level of trust between the employee and manager. Depending on the company’s culture, collecting the feedback of employees may best be left to traditional methods such as an anonymous engagement survey.

Examples of Stay Interview Questions

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What is your favorite part of your job? (Least favorite)?
  • What keeps you working here?
  • Do you feel valued at our company?
  • How do you think your role impacts the overall business goals?
  • Do you have the proper resources to perform your job most effectively?
  • Give your current work-life balance a score between 1-5 (1 being no balance and 5 being very balanced).
  • What could we do to improve work-life balance?
  • What talents do you feel are being underutilized?
  • What skills do you want to develop?
  • How can I best support you?
  • Is there anything you would like me to do more of/less of as your manager?
  • What might tempt you to leave?

Tips for Conducting Stay Interviews

  • Set ground rules—This allows the employee to feel that it is a safe space to share their perspective.
  • Practice active listening—take notes and repeat back what they said to make sure you understand what they said.
  • Reserve or withhold judgment—It can be intimidating for employees to trust and share this information. Telling them you disagree or confronting their beliefs may cause them to withhold crucial information.
  • Don’t conflate a stay interview with a performance review—This isn’t the time for the manager to share their thoughts on how things are going. Feedback on performance should be reserved for regular 1:1s and annual reviews.

Final Thoughts

Remember, it’s not enough to ask employees to participate in stay interviews. Before implementing stay interviews, be sure from the top down, managers are genuine in their commitment to taking action on the information collected in order to truly impact retention.

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Becca Vanderveer

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