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Importance of Performing Stay Interviews

One of the biggest costs for any company is the hiring and onboarding of personnel. Therefore, one of the best ways to protect your bottom line is by hiring quality talent and prioritizing job satisfaction for them. This is where stay interviews come in.

A stay interview is something that occurs between a manager or upper management and an employee. It’s designed to shed light on why employees work for an organization, essentially what keeps them around, and areas a company could improve upon to increase job satisfaction. Although it sounds like stay interviews provide a benefit to the employer alone, these meetings benefit the employee too.

Employees Feel Cared For

If employees feel like their employer genuinely cares for them, it can only help company loyalty and retention. The employer should communicate how important the employee is to the organization’s success and culture. Employers can’t assume an employee knows their worth. They should clearly explain to them that supervisors and colleagues alike want them to stay.

Employers Discover Company Intel

What’s a better way of taking the temperature of an organization than asking employees directly? Employers should use the stay interview as an opportunity to ask what the company can do better, giving the organization a better idea of culture as the employees experience it. Is the culture thriving and engaging or stagnant? Want to get a leg up on the competition? Ask employees point-blank about competitors in the area and what they offer. Take it a step further and ask employees what they are seeing in the job market.

Build Trust & Loyalty

During a stay interview, the employer needs to ask, listen, evaluate, and then take action. If the employee makes their voice heard in this forum, it builds a stronger connection between the two. Employees are more likely to stay longer when the employer is receptive to their requests or thoughts and might even approach them without being prompted in the future. This gives employees the opportunity to own their decision in staying with a company and gives the employer a chance to improve job satisfaction with a champion on the ground floor – win-win.

Promotes Positive Outlook

A stay interview and exit interview are very different, so treat them as such. Stay interviews focus on a discussion surrounded by achieving the same end goal. In contrast, an exit interview mainly focuses on what went wrong in leading to someone’s departure from a company. When conducting a stay interview, keep the conversation’s tone one of positivity, focusing on the collective goal.

Now that you know the benefits, how do you best conduct an exit interview?

  1. Do them in person, if possible, even if you belong to a remote-driven workplace. There’s nothing like a face-to-face, in-person discussion.
  2. Communicate and set expectations prior to the interview but don’t send questions ahead of time. You want the conversation to flow, not be scripted.
  3. Encourage employees to share what is great about the company and what is not so great.
  4. Avoid discussion about employee performance because that’s the goal of a one-on-one, not a stay interview.
  5. Allow for enough time. Somewhere between 20-30 minutes should make the most of the opportunity for both parties involved.
  6. Offer up the chance to follow up the discussion based on proposed ideas and intended changes that were part of the conversation.

Is your company conducting stay interviews? If so, what other benefits come from stay interviews? If not, what do you think the implementation of stay interviews could bring to your company? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Email Etiquette You Need in 2021.