Stay Interviews: How to Stop Your Employees from Leaving

No employer wants to see great talent walking out the door – or incur the costs associated with voluntary turnover. Wouldn’t it be great to know what your employees are thinking before they consider leaving? Many employers are now conducting ‘stay interviews’ to do just that – discover and address their employees’ concerns before it’s too late.

Not only are stay interviews an effective retention tool, they may also help employers gain insight into their organization, such as what internal processes are or are not working, potential threats to success, and any untapped resources that could maximize output.

How to Format Stay Interviews:

The stay interview should be informal. The goal is to facilitate open communication so the employee feels comfortable speaking candidly.

Some stay interviews are conducted as one-on-one meetings between manager and employee. In most work settings this is ideal – the manager can use the interview as a chance to build rapport and trust with the employee. In situations where a one-on-one is not advised, a Human Resources representative can conduct the interview.

When to Schedule Them:

Some employers conduct stay interviews on an ad hoc basis; however, others may choose to schedule them regularly, staff-wide. This has the advantage of projecting fairness and transparency.

It’s a good idea to avoid scheduling the interviews before performance appraisals: employees may worry that their answers could negatively impact their reviews.

It’s also be beneficial to meet with new hires during the probationary period to address any potential problems before they take hold. After all, you’ve taken the time to hire for the right fit, why not follow up and ensure that it’s working out?

What Questions to Ask in Stay Interviews:

Interview questions may be tailored for each position, but it is helpful to start with a standardized list. Here are a few examples:

  • On a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being extremely satisfied, how satisfied are you in your job? What would it take to get you to 7?
  • Which company policies, procedures, or practices are assisting you to be successful, and which ones are creating barriers for you?
  • What aspects of your job best engage your skills and interest?
  • Do you believe your current salary and benefits package is compatible with the job market?

Stay interviews are most successful if employees feel that their feedback is respected. Their answers  must be accepted without criticism, and employers should be prepared to provide follow up afterwards.

Retaining good employees is paramount for any organization’s success. If you would like to discuss adding stay interviews to your retention strategy, please email today.

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