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Stay Interviews – A Possible Solution to the Turnover Tidal Wave

By February 8, 2022No Comments

Considering the Turnover Tsunami, Great Resignation, and Great Migration/Renegotiation, we thought it would be timely to talk about Stay Interviews. We’ve all read, heard, and possibly experienced the scores of employees quitting their jobs in record numbers. We have detailed what a Stay Interview is to help you determine if  they would be helpful for your organization.

What is a Stay Interview?

Stay Interviews are a periodic one-on-one proactive approach to obtaining information from an employee. The interview focuses on retaining and engaging your employees.

Is there a difference between a Stay Interview and an Exit Interview?

Stay Interviews are proactive, whereas Exit Interviews are reactive. Both should give you good actionable information.

Stay Interviews should engage employees and find out issues and challenges before they resign. Stay Interviews give a strong message that what they say matters This information offers managers a chance to address and correct issues and problems sooner. It is also a great tool to find out what staff love about their job, the organization they work for, and why they stay.

Exit Interviews can give an organization great information about why an employee has chosen to move on. People will tend to be more open and honest with their feedback when they are on their way out. It isn’t uncommon for departing employees not to share everything they’d want to just in case the new job doesn’t work out. One suggestion is to reach out after three months and see if they have any other thoughts or advice they’d like to share.

When, how often, and with whom should you conduct Stay Interviews?

There are several answers to the when and how often:

  • It could be beneficial after the first month of a new employee’s hire. Are the reasons they accepted the job the same after a month on the job?
  • Twice per year.
  • Randomly throughout the year.
  • During times of change or restructuring.

As to with whom:

  • High performing employees
  • Employees you want to grow and develop.
  • Reliable employees
  • Newly hired
  • At-risk employees that you wish to retain.

Who should conduct the interview? HR or the manager?

First off, assuming there is mutual trust and respect between the employee and manager, the manager should conduct the meeting and ask questions. Having the manager lead the interview is another way to enhance the supervisor-employee relationship and to better understand how their actions, or non-actions, might impact an employee’s desire to continue to work for the organization or move on.

What sort of questions should you ask?

There are hundreds of options. Here are five to get you started:

  • What attracted you to this job?
  • What do you look forward to when you come to work each day?
  • What keeps you coming to work?
  • What one thing would you change about your job?
  • What can I do to make your job more satisfying?

What now? What do I do with the information?

This is an opportunity to listen and gain helpful information to proactively keep your staff engaged and challenged at your organization. The bonus here is another way to build trust, engage, and enhance your workplace culture.

Write up the employee’s responses to your questions. Do not ask questions and not communicate back with your employees. Stay focused on your employee. Do not get defensive with their comments or concerns. Your job here is to listen and not debate with them. This is another opportunity to show your employees how important they are to the organization, those you serve and work your mission.

Follow through with the information provided. Share with your employee what you plan to do in response to their input, including workable timelines. Be very upfront with your employees; if there are areas or changes that you, as the manager, can’t make, be honest and forthcoming and let them know.

Yes, there is power in Stay Interviews.

501(c) Trust members have unlimited access to HR Services. Contact us anytime regarding this subject or any other HR situations.

The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.


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