👩🏾‍🏫 The Stay Interview 👩‍💻

It’s no secret that the world of work has forever changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are leaving their jobs en masse and reporting higher dissatisfaction in their jobs than ever before in recorded history, which has been dubbed as The Great Resignation.* With workers leaving in droves and companies having a difficult time trying to replace them, this trend is creating astronomical amounts of damage to businesses as they try to recover from the pandemic. Now more than ever, management teams are looking into how they can retain their top talent and ensure that they are satisfied in their roles so that companies can recover post-pandemic. One method that we recommend is the Stay Interview. This article will explore what Stay Interviews are, how you can conduct a successful stay interview, and how they help businesses to thrive and grow. 

A Stay Interview is essentially the opposite of an Exit Interview. Instead of trying to get feedback from an employee who has already resigned, a Stay Interview highlights what motivates an employee to stay employed with the company, how their work experience could improve, and how they envision their future with the company. The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at The University of Victoria, British Columbia defines a Stay Interview as, ”An informal one-on-one structured discussion between a supervisor and an employee. It is a conversation meant to identify the factors that drive an individual employee’s retention and engagement”. In other words, the goal of a Stay Interview is to ask top performing employees why they continue to choose to stay with your organization. The Stay Interview also attempts to identify what you can do to improve the work environment and conditions in order to encourage top performers to continue to stay with you long term. Exit Interviews, while valuable, often don’t include the whole picture of what it’s currently like to work for your organization. In other words, they tend to be biased. Afterall, there is a reason the specific employee has decided to leave your organization and thus disgruntled feelings could be clouding their judgement about the reality of working for your organization. However, it is still important to conduct Exit Interviews in order to gather why candidates choose to leave in order to help improve your Succession Management Plan. 

There are certain methods that hiring managers can use to implement a successful Stay Interview. Here are our top tips: 

  • First, schedule a time that is mutually convenient for both interviewer and interviewee. This prevents people from rushing through and giving inaccurate answers due to time constraints.
  • Explain in detail to the interviewee what the meeting is about and share what questions you are going to ask them in advance. This helps to reduce an interviewee’s anxiety, as high anxiety levels can also result in them giving inaccurate answers .
  • Notify them that honest feedback that is given in good faith will not be penalized. Many employees fear that if they tell the interviewer some uncomfortable truths, that it could get them into trouble. Ensure them that this is not the case and that you are simply looking for honest feedback to help improve the work environment.
  • Remember that you do not need to conduct stay interviews with all of your employees. The only employees that we recommend you interview are your top performers.
  • Make sure that the interviewee is in a location where they are comfortable answering questions. Make sure it’s in a private space and offer them a comfortable chair, coffee or tea, etc. This will help encourage them to answer your questions in more detail.

It is also important to ensure that you ask the best questions that you can to get as much information from the employees as possible. Here are some of our recommended questions that you can ask your employees: 

  • What do you like most about working here?
  • What do you like least about working here?
  • Are there any significant problems in the workplace that haven’t been addressed thus far?
  • Do you have any ideas about how to improve our organization that maybe you haven’t had the opportunity to share?
  • If you were to accept another role at a different organization, what would you miss the most about working here? 
  • Do you feel that you are working at your highest potential in your current role?
  • If you could change one thing about the work environment here at our organization, what would it be? 
  • Do you feel that your current compensation is matched with your current work? 
  • Do you feel that the current management is doing well in their role? If not, what can they do to improve? 
  • What is your work preference, WFH, Hybrid or 100% in office? If Hybrid, how many days per week would you like to come into the office?
  • Can you recommend any additional company benefits that we should consider?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. However, these are a few questions that will really encourage your employees to reflect upon what your organization is doing well on in terms of employee retention, and what you can improve upon. 

Hearing constructive feedback from employees can be uncomfortable, especially when they give you feedback on your job performance as a manager. However, as this post pandemic trends have showed us, it is absolutely essential to retain top talent. The vast majority of employees now a days have no issue with leaving their current role and accepting other offers. Finding out what you can do to improve their work environment is crucial to long term talent retention, and overall organizational success. 

We hope that this article has been informative and insightful! Please drop a comment below to ask any questions or to share your thoughts. May you achieve further success in retaining your employees! 

The Stay Interview

2 thoughts on “👩🏾‍🏫 The Stay Interview 👩‍💻

  1. Rebecca on Reply

    Very informative! Fun to learn a new term, stay interview, and thank you for providing a list of questions that could be used. I will be sure to use this information in the near future. Thank you!

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