One of the most challenging aspects of HR and management is retaining quality employees over a long period of time. Most companies use exit interviews to ascertain why someone is leaving, but this does not provide useful information in time to prevent turnover. Opinion surveys can be helpful in some ways, but they are typically anonymous and do not reveal a specific employee’s input. A better way is to perform “stay interviews” on a regular basis.
A stay interview is an informal conversation or meeting that a supervisor has with an employee to learn why that person stays with the organization and identifies triggers that may cause him/her to consider resigning.
Preferably, you should connect with your staff on a consistent basis with the stay interviews occurring a few times during the year. Managers should also make note of each employee’s answers so that action can be taken for retention purposes, if necessary. Benefits of doing this type of interview include employee involvement, a focus on the positive, and mutual communication.
Below are some sample questions that supervisors or HR can ask individual employees:
- On the way into work, what do you look forward to?
- What are you passionate about?
- If we changed your position completely, what would you miss the most?
- If someone who doesn’t work here asked why you stay, what would you tell them?
- If you managed yourself, what would you do differently?
- What parts of your job are the most challenging?
- What are you learning here and what do you want to learn?
- If you were to consider leaving, what would be the factors for doing this?
- What are the primary reasons that caused you to leave your last job?
- Where do you see yourself currently making a difference?
- Do you enjoy working with your co-workers?
- Do you feel you belong here? Why or why not?
- Where is the company or myself letting you down?
- What kind of recognition would you like to receive?
- Is there anything else you would like to share with me?
Having an open and honest conversation about these topics with your employees may shine a light on areas of the company or yourself that need changing. However, it is critical to the success of your team, the organization, and your own self-improvement to ask these questions on a regular basis, in order to keep quality staff not just working hard, but working happy.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any personal stories you are willing to share? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
- How to Measure Engagement with a Stay Interview
- Become a Much Better Business Communicator
- Stay Interview Tips for the Interviewee
Jeremy S. joined Empathia in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services and currently serves as Account Manager/Sales Consultant. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Development. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of managerial/leadership roles at another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music and spending time with his wife and daughters.