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Stay Interviews: a key factor in employee retention

Stay Interviews: a key factor in employee retention

  • Apr 18, 2016

In a competitive job market, your best employees are being hunted by other job recruiters. The last thing you want is to lose the talent you worked so hard to recruit and foster. "Stay interviews" are a great way to combat recruiter competition and ensure your employees stay right where they are. When you think of conducting a stay interview what is your major concern? Among most employers they are afraid the employee will ask for a raise which is not in the budget. That fear often won't come to fruition and if it does then answer candidly. If you have a budget constraint then say so. If they are asking for a job or promotion they don't have the skills to do then talk about employee training opportunities which would help them get there. But don't end there. Let the employee know the reason for this interview is so you can find things in your control to make sure they're getting what they want and need from the company.

Starting your stay interviews with an open ended question such as, "what keeps you working here?" could get the ball rolling. Here are some other questions to consider:

  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • If you could change something about your job what would it be?
  • How would you like to better utilize your skills and talents?
  • How do you like to be recognized?
  • What would entice you to work for someone else?
  • What can I do to best support you?
  • What would make your job more satisfying?

You could also use some questions commonly asked in exit interviews. By asking them these questions in stay interviews, you'll have a much better chance of retaining your employee. Some examples would be:

  • Do you have the tools and resources needed to effectively do your job?
  • What is the company doing right? What could we improve?
  • Are the promises talked about in the hiring process being met?
  • What are three things you enjoy most about working here?
  • What are three things that would make your job better?

It's important to end on a positive note. Be sure to listen to the employee, take notes, and take action on their suggestions. If they don't feel like anything is going to change then you won't get honest feedback.

While you may not need to hold stay interviews with all employees, it's especially important to hold them with key employees or employees who may have one foot out the door. Holding these interviews opposite the employee's yearly review will help keep the purpose of these interviews in check. Don't wait for the exit interview to ask questions. At that point it's a good learning experience for what to do in the future but often too late to keep your employee from leaving.

Do you have questions about how to conduct an effective stay interview or other HR needs? Contact one of our expert HR representatives at (888) 819-5952 and we’ll help you get on the road to smarter HR.