Any organization knows its biggest assets are its employees, and organizations work diligently to retain their employees and make sure they are happy and healthy. With the hiring crisis following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now more important than ever for employees to understand their employees needs and ensure those needs are being met.

Stay interviews are a way for organizations to gain more insight into their employees’ experiences and their feelings towards the job. Rather than an exit interview that takes place after an employee has left, stay interviews are conducted with current employees.

This article will look at the purpose of stay interviews and present questions that human resources departments can ask when conducting stay interviews.

Purpose of Stay Interviews

The main purpose of stay interviews is to raise employee retention. Organizations want to know what they’re doing well so they can continue those practices, and they also want to know areas that can be improved so that employees continue working for the organization.

Rather than just simply discovering what’s “good” and “bad” about an organization, stay interviews have a variety of other benefits:

  • Building trust between team managers and team members
  • Learning if there are any disputes between members of a team
  • Understanding apprehension and complaints that employees have about their position
  • Discovering what truly motivates employees to work hard and achieve their goals

Effectiveness of Stay Interviews

Stay interviews are incredibly effective because employers have the chance to explore the answers provided by an employee during the interview. Rather than simply reading a feedback form that can feel impersonal to fill out, these interviews allow the opportunity for employers to sit face-to-face with their employees and ask questions to learn more about what was said.

From the employee’s perspective, participating in a stay interview can be a fulfilling experience because the employee feels like their feedback is more warmly received. He or she can expound upon issues they bring up so that the employer has a thorough understanding of an issue and what can be done to address it. Moving forward, employers can customize their assignments and interactions with employees based on the information they received, making the employee more engaged and motivated and the payoff for the company that much more increased.

While stay interviews can be incredibly insightful, they can sometimes be uncomfortable for employers if the employee brings up numerous issues about how the organization is operating. Employers must commit to positive change as a result of a stay interview, otherwise employees can become more frustrated when they conduct these interviews but see no change taking place afterwards.

How to Conduct a Successful Stay Interview

Stay interviews can be effective when they are conducted during the first few months of a new employee’s job, annually, or whenever employees seem disengaged during long stretches of time. It is widely common for turnover to occur for new employees, so conducting early stay interviews are beneficial to address employees’ concerns before they decide to leave an organization.

Stay interviews should be scheduled in 30 minute – 1 hour sessions, and if possible, interviews should be scheduled closely together so that employers can take action quickly and not leave concerns lingering and unaddressed. If an organization is just implementing stay interviews, they can begin by interviewing long-term, high performers, and employees with high potential; and organizations can gradually increase the number of stay interviews they conduct.

When it comes to preparing questions, organizations should consider the information they want to receive and seek questions that are personal and allow the employee to open up about his or her experiences. Questions can also be divided into categories to help with organization and the flow of the stay interview. Categories can include questions about the employee, the position itself, company culture, work environment, and technology or other equipment used in the job.

Examples of questions in a stay interview include:

  • What excites you about coming to work every day?
  • What situation(s) make you think about leaving the organization?
  • Would you recommend this jo to a friend if he or she was looking for a job?
  • How do you feel like you are being utilized effectively in the organization?
  • What would increase your satisfaction when you come to work?

Based on responses, employers can analyze answers from the interview and see if there are any patterns or trends. Organizations can then brainstorm solutions prioritize changes that can be made. For example, if a high-performing employee responded he or she was thinking about leaving the company a month ago, employers should work to address that employee rather than an employee who thought about leaving a year ago.

Bhr Consulting

When implemented and utilized properly, stay interviews can be powerful tools for employers to learn about their workforce and implement energizing and invigorating changes. Bhr Consulting understands the importance of conducting stay interviews, especially given this turbulent time in the workforce. Contact us today to learn more about our HR services and how we can help your organization retain its employees!