What is a “Stay Interview”?

Do you sometimes worry that your good employees may leave? Hold a few “stay interviews” and possibly you will never need to do an exit interview.

By holding a one-on-one meeting with your employee before she becomes a disgruntled employee, you can explore her feelings about her position and uncover what it will take to make her stay. You can certainly use a stay interview once an employee becomes disgruntled – but they are more effective if used in an attempt to keep on top of the needs of a seemingly happy employee and may make the difference in preventing that employee from ever becoming disgruntled.

Ask the employee to meet you in a neutral setting – like a coffee shop or restaurant. Take some time to get to know her better. Then ask questions about how she feels about her job and career path.

Stay interview questions could include:

  • What are the things you like about your work?
  • What is it that keeps you here?
  • What makes for a great day at work?
  • What is something new you would like to learn this year?
  • Is there anything you’d like to change about your job?
  • Are there things you would like to change about your team or department?
  • Are we using your talents? Fully?
  • What is one thing that would make your job more satisfying and rewarding?
  • Do you feel supported in your career goals?
  • Do you feel we recognize you?
  • What kind of recognition would be meaningful for you?

Don’t be afraid of what your employee might say. Sure, there will be things that you can’t provide for your employee upon request; but you can validate her feelings, express your support and assure her you’ll do what you can to explore options.

Avoid saying you can’t meet their needs in your initial meeting – for some employees, that’s enough to prompt a job search. Instead, commit to reviewing their feedback and give them a timeline for further discussion. And whatever you do – Follow up and by all means – Keep your promises!

Sometimes, just listening and working to discover solutions are what your employee really needs.


About hrscoops

This entry was posted in Coaching, Communication, Employee Engagement, Employee Turnover, Human Behaviour, Management Coaching, Retention, Stay Interviews, Workplace Culture and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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