Advantages of the “Stay Interview”

We’ve talked a lot about employee retention and the parameters companies are navigating in order to keep their staff happy. Due to the Great Resignation, these tactics are necessary more than ever. Because whether it’s due to flexibility, benefits, or salary, many working adults are sitting in exit interviews and moving on. 

But what about the people who stay? Chatting with employees who stick around can give any company an upper hand. It can help better understand which business processes are working and which are not. 

Enter the stay interview

Similar to an exit interview, stay interviews are the new strategy to learn what is influencing employees and their decision to remain with their company. These interviews should be informal and comfortable. CNBC says, “Workers will only share how they feel about work honestly if they feel a sense of psychological safety, or that they can speak freely without fear of retaliation and knowing their feedback will be fully accepted.” Basically, it should feel more like a conversation than an actual interview. You want your employees to know that their work is appreciated and their perspective will be considered.  

When conducting these stay interviews, be sure to ask the right questions. For instance, rather than directly asking why they are still there, inquire what condition could possibly cause them to quit. NBC News advises to always ask open ended questions “about what they like most about their jobs, what they dislike, and under what events or circumstances they might leave.” Thinking proactively is key and urges a sense of preventative maintenance. 

How to stay accountable

CNBC stresses the importance of not just listening, but taking action. They advise, “Follow a few simple steps to close a stay interview on a strong note: Thank the employee for their time, summarize the feedback you’ve heard, relay what your next steps will be and provide a clear sense of what the employee can expect will be different following the discussion.” These conversations should also take place within departments. Managers and directors can facilitate open communication with their teams, creating a safe place for employees to provide feedback whenever anything may arise.   

On the significance of the stay interview, Forbes says, “Creating an open and judgement-free environment can help by giving people the courage to admit when they’re struggling and ask for help. It’s also important to set boundaries and encourage employees to look after themselves.” 

Providing this resource to your employees benefits both them and the company. During this great reshuffle, and especially in the long run, these conversations and actions will prove to pay off. 

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