What Is The Purpose Of Stay Interviews
The purpose of stay interviews is, ultimately, to raise employee retention rates. However, many things can be discovered during stay interviews that are important for reaching that end goal.
For example, stay interviews allow employers to:
Build trust between managers and their team members.
Engage with employees to show their opinions are valued.
Learn why employees want to continue working for the company, and why they might want to leave.
Find out if there are any issues that should be resolved between the employee and any of their superiors or team members.
Understand the employees stance on their current position and what theyd like to have changed.
Determine what challenges employees appreciate and what motivates them to work toward the organizations mission.
Gain a better understanding of the employees unique fears, dreads, hopes, and strengths.
Gather actionable information about current and upcoming employee trends in the office.
What Do You Like Most About Working Here
This is one of the revealing stay interview questions that has the added benefit of helping you with recruitment. Include some of the positive responses in your employer branding to attract candidates. For example, you could mention some of the benefits in your job descriptions, on the career page of your company website, and at interviews and recruiting events.
If there is a long pause or they shrug their shoulders and say, the free coffee, it might be a sign that they are unhappy. However, theres still time to make changes that will help you retain high performers.
How To Effectively Conduct A Stay Interview
Conducting stay interviews is a lot easier than you may think. It is similar to any other type of one-on-one interview, with a few key differences. Start by figuring out how you will review and evaluate the feedback you get. Is there a committee? Are the results confidential? How will you act on the information you receive?
Be sure to explain that youre doing the stay interview with this individual specifically because you value their contribution and want to ensure that they are happy working at the company. Additionally, assure your employee that there are no wrong answers and that your goal is to hear honest, constructive feedback that will make the company better.
To help you get started, use the guidelines below to determine who should conduct your company stay interviews and when, questions to ask during a stay interview, and how to close a stay interview.
Why Stay Interviews Are Important
With Hawaiis current low unemployment rate, its never been more critical to solicit and pay close attention to employee feedback. Stay interviews allow employees to share both their concerns and appreciation for the way things happen in the company. It gives them a voice they otherwise might not have. And, surprise: most employees wont directly tell you their frustrations about their jobtheyll just look for a new one instead. In this competitive job market, your best employees will quickly be snatched up by other companies, desperate to hire and promising to meet their needs.
While some complaints and suggestions might be unrealistic other reasonable requests could be easily implemented. At ALTRES, for example, we have a robust wellness program that is the direct result of employee advocacy and has grown to be a cornerstone of our company culture.
Another recent employee-led change was the elimination of single-use plastics in our office lunchrooms. We feel good about addressing the concerns of our employees and they feel good about working for a company that listens to them. Its a win-win for everyone.
Stay Interviews: What They Are And Why They Matter
A certain amount of turnover is to be expected at every company. But as a manager, too much turnover on your team can lead to lower engagement and morale, fear and uncertainty, and decreased productivity. Whats worse, when one person leaves a team you might see a domino effect, with their other colleagues leaving shortly after, too.
The idea of a stay interview is to be proactive, and not wait until your employee has already handed in their 2 weeks notice to do an exit interview. Its a way for managers to spot what might be swaying someone to leave and address it before they start looking for other opportunities. Or, it can help you reduce turnover thats already happening by pinpointing common pain points. Its also a way to find out what employees really love about their jobs, and make sure those engagement factors are upheld.
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What Can I Do To Make Your Experience At Work Better For You
This question begs for feedback on the managers style so all who ask it should have seat belts buckled and prepare to avoid being defensive. But more importantly, answers provide clues regarding how each manager should adapt their style to each employee. Probes might include:
Do I tell you when you do something well? Or only when you do something ineffectively?
Am I with you enough? Or not enough? Or too much?
Are my instructions clear? Or might you not always understand what is expected?
Do I seem genuinely interested in your career here?
How do you like to be recognized? Privately? In public?
Combining the employees responses from Q1 and Q5 opens the door to retention and engagement solutions as in How can I make small changes to her job so she does more of what she wants?
Want to bring Stay Interviews to your organization tocut your companys turnover by 30% and more? Learn ourstep-by-step business-driven process and how toimplement it in your organization today.
What Do You Think About On Your Way Home From Work
Similarly, the employees response would ideally suggest a positive sentiment about work, but not necessarily about leaving work. Of course, people are generally excited to get back to their life outside of the office by the end of the day, but you dont want the five oclock whistle to be a prolonged sign of relief. Furthermore, you dont want employees to leave irritated or annoyed by the days events.
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Stay Interview Questions & Tips
Whether youve been conducting stay interviews for several years or want to give them a try, here are a few tips and sample questions to work into your next interview.
- Schedule them in advance. This shows respect to your employee and allows them to prepare their thoughts.
- Let employees choose the setting.
- Be transparent about the goal of the interview.
- Listen more than you speak during the interview. Pay attention to body language and emotional cues to get the most out of an employees response.
Not sure if youre asking the right stay interview questions? Here are a few of our favorites.
- Do you have any interests or skills that you feel arent properly utilized with your position?
- Do you feel there is a part of your job performance you arent properly recognized for?
- Is there an area in which you would like more feedback or training?
- What do you think about on your way to work every morning?
- What are your career goals?
Let employees answer honestly. Consider every suggestion and dont make promises you dont intend to keep. As soon as the stay interview dynamic is damaged, the benefits stop. Remember that a stay interview is the beginning of a discussion, not the final say.
The benefits of stay interviews can have a tremendously positive effect on your business. Take the time to have the conversation. You wont regret it.
Highlight Your Previous Work Experience
You can also discuss how the work you’ve completed in your previous jobs prepared you for this role. For example, you might interview at a middle school for a position as an eighth-grade teacher. In this interview, you can tell the principal that you worked at another school for a few years, where you learned new teaching strategies that prepared you for this new role.
You can follow up this response by stating that you hope to remain with this school long term because your teaching style and values align with theirs. This can demonstrate that you’ve expanded your knowledge in education before searching for a position you intend to keep for a long time.
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What About Current Employees Who Have Been At The Organization For Some Time
This is up to your discretionId suggest somewhere in the range of 3-4 times a year.
A year feels too long of a time where things can build up that will chip away at employee satisfaction. You could possibly get by with twice a year, but it might be the same case.
To note, these stay interviews shouldnt take more than an hourthey dont need to be all morning or afternoon affairs.
What Do You Enjoy About The Professional Development Services Offered What Do You Dislike
No one wants to fall stagnant in their role. In addition to clearly outlining career paths and providing opportunities for growth, its important to make employee development a central aspect of your company culture. In fact, employees that have internal mobility within their companies stay at those companies twice as long as those who experience no mobility.
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What Does A Stay Interview Mean
A stay interview helps employers understand why an employee continues to stay with the company. It helps management find out the things employees love about their job that make them continue to do it. The stay interview also finds out work-related factors that may influence the employee to take another job. In a stay interview, employees are asked structural questions surrounding job satisfaction. From the answers, the employer can formulate strategies to address concerns raised and increase worker retention.
What Is A Stay Interview And How Can It Improve Retention
Youve heard of exit interviews, but have you ever taken the time to sit down with your employees for a stay interview? Stay interviews are conversations designed to surface issues that directly impact employee retention.
The idea of asking employees what they like and dont like about their job is a pleasant surprise for many, says Director of Human Resources Michele Kauinui. Communicating regularly and having a pulse on staff morale is a huge advantage for retention.
By listening and acting on suggestions from the front lines, you can increase loyalty, improve company culture, and keep your top performers happy. In other words, retain your best people for as long as possible.
In this article, well explore the stay interview concept and give tips on how to get started using them at your company.
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Provides An Avenue To Air Your Views
Do you feel that certain aspects of the company culture should change? Then the stay interview is your best chance to let your employer know. This could be anything from a toxic work environment to unbecoming behavior from another employee. A stay interview allows you to provide objective feedback to improve your workplace.
What Questions Should You Ask
Donât be afraid to ask the hard questions. By asking about both the highs and lows of the job, youâll find about what makes your employees happy or unhappy and how you can change that. Here are some ideas of what to ask:
What part of your role do you look forward to every day?
Find out what makes your employees excited to come to work each day.
What is one aspect of your job you wish you could change?
You may discover that this is a really simple, small change.
What did you really enjoy about your previous role or employer that isnât available here?
Generate ideas and feedback by learning about what other companies are doing that yours isn’t.
Can you describe a time in the last year that you felt frustrated or anxious at work?
Asking about recent frustrations helps you understand why someone might leave.
What factors worsened your frustration or anxiety, and what made it better?
This question helps you prevent a key employee from leaving.
What are the factors that would make your work the best work of your life?
A top performer will stay when they feel like they are doing the best work of their life. Itâs important to know what that is for each individual.
Stay Interview Questions About The Work Environment
17. What do you feel we should definitely change about or add to our offices?
As we are slowly moving out of a pandemic, traditional beliefs about the role of the office in our work environment are dramatically changing.Ask your employee how they feel about this.
18. Are you satisfied with our current work from home policy? If not, what do you think we need to change?
Along the same lines, ask people what they think about your work from home policy in a pandemic world.
Stay Interview Questions With Sample Answers
When answering a question at your stay interview, it is helpful to first think about what your employer hopes to learn by asking it before crafting a response. These sample stay interview questions with answers demonstrate how to find your employer’s reason for asking a question and how to use that to give an impressive response:
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Host Your Next Stay Interview With These Questions
Just like visiting the dentist, dont wait until it hurts to have a check up and improve the health of your team. With this list of questions ready to go, you can schedule a 1-on-1 with each team member and get ahead of turnover. Be sure to take notes, think through what your employees have shared with you, and set some action items for the week to come. Improving engagement bit by bit helps you retain your top talent and build a stronger team.
General Stay Interview Questions
These questions ask about the employee’s experience of the total organization as an employer.
- What do you like most about your job and work in our organization?
- What do you like least about your job and work in our organization?
- How happy are you working here on a scale of 1-10 with 10 representing the happiest?
- What would have to happen for that number to become a 10?
- When you think about employers, how does this organization rate overall on a scale of 1-10 with 10 representing the best possible employer?
- What would it take for the company to earn a 10 in your mind?
- How well does the organization focus on producing a quality product for customers?
- Overall, how well do we walk the talk when we say that engaging and satisfying our customers is our highest priority?
- Have you ever thought about leaving the company? If so, what caused you to consider leaving? Why did you decide to stay?
- Have you actively job searched in the past year? Why were you leaving?
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Who Should Conduct The Stay Interview
The key to a successful stay interview is trust. If you have invested in your relationships with employees, and if there is mutual trust and respect, people will feel more comfortable answering honestly.
In companies where departmental managers have strong relationships with their staff, they may be the most logical choice to conduct stay interviews. If time is a major concern, informal stay interviews could even be part of ongoing one-on-one meetings or check-ins.
That said, at some companies, asking managers to conduct stay interviews for their team may not be the best move. After all, if youre seeking feedback on workplace culture and management style, will an employee be honest with their own manager? Consider assigning someone other than the employees direct manager or supervisorsomeone with no oversight of the employeeto conduct the stay interview.
What Do You Like Most About Your Job Why
This question will help you understand the types of projects and responsibilities your direct report enjoys. People usually prefer the tasks they are the best at, so it can also help you determine their strengths. This is sure to make them happier and more successful.
If you give them more of these types of projects and responsibilities, youre likely to increase employee engagement, which can boost retention and performance for your entire team.
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How Would You Rate Our Work
In addition to employee recognition, work-life balance is a huge retention factor. When companies provide their employees with a healthy work-life balance, theyre 25 percent more likely to retain their employees. If employees typically come in early, stay late and work into the wee hours of the night, work-life balance must be improved. Consider implementing a work-from-home policy to offer employees more flexibility.
The Stay Interview Process
After deciding who is going to conduct stay interviews and preparing those people with questions and an understanding of how to effectively do them, you need to decide which employees to interview.
Choose someone who excels at their job, but also represents a high flight risk group in your company. You might want to choose someone inline for a promotion because these interviews are recognizing that you appreciate the intervieweesâ opinion and their approach to work is something to be emulated.
While you may feel attached to the list of questions you created, donât let it box you in. Follow whatever line of thought or questions feels natural. You want the stay interview to feel like a conversation, not an interrogation. A stay interview should last at least thirty minutes to get the level of depth youâre hoping for.
Afterward, managers and HR personnel should review stay interview data together, discuss the results, identify patterns, and determine a plan of action.
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