The Power of Stay Interviews

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If your company is experiencing turnover, stay interviews may be a creative solution to identify and address employee concerns and factors contributing to poor retention.

While exit interviews invite employees who are leaving to share their feedback on the job, management, and the company as an employer, stay interviews create opportunities for employees to share their thoughts without giving their notice. By creating an environment where employees can openly provide feedback, leaders can respond to concerns and make their company a better place to work.

Structure of the Stay Interview

A stay interview shouldn’t be a surprise and should be structured as a conversation between the employee and their manager or an HR representative. Plan to have these interviews annually and customize the timetable as needed according to the number of employees.

Start the conversation by discussing the stay interview’s purpose and establishing a basis of trust. Explain how the employee’s feedback will be used and how changes resulting from their input will be communicated. Answer any initial questions, then use thoughtful prompts to encourage the employee to share honest and useful information.

What to Ask

Asking the right questions is key to having a productive stay interview that produces actionable feedback. Coaching platform BetterUp shares suggested questions, including questions about leadership, overall satisfaction, and career growth and development. These questions are a great starting point and can be adapted to suit the conversation’s flow.

Stay interviews offer numerous positive impacts, but not everyone who is asked to participate will be excited by the thought. Before beginning the process, prepare to respond to employees who are eager to share their feedback and those who may hesitate. Determine if the interviews will be optional and if feedback could be aggregated to provide a level of privacy for employees.

Encourage employees to participate but be cautious not to coerce those who wish to opt out. Doing so can have a negative effect and create more conflict than their feedback may be worth. The better option may be to offer a stay interview and be flexible should someone choose to join in later.

Would you implement stay interviews as part of your retention strategy? Share your plan in the comments!

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